Philda at word
The peppadews growing at Fairview self-seeds and we find ourselves in a constant supply of these deliciously piquant little peppers. The green shaped ones will all turn red at some stage - I quite like the look of a combination of green and red in one jar. I use it in omelets, pasta dishes, in salad and stuffed with cream cheese it makes a lovely snack served with an ice-cold beer. When we lived in Shoal Lake in Canada, I had a Ukranian neighbour (Baba Stech) who taught me a thing or two about pickling, but a word of special thanks have to go to David Elston who got the plants from us, but took the pickling process to the next level. I gladly share my recipe with you:
Preparation: (Done the night before)
1kg red-ripe but firm little peppers
100g coarse salt
1. Dissolve the salt in the water. If you leave it overnight in a brine mixture, it will prevent the chilies from becoming soft over time once bottled. Do not use table salt as this could make them go cloudy, but make a simple soaking solution of about 100gram pickling salt or coarse sea salt on 1-liter water.
2. Like any chili/pepper the burn lies in the pips, so you can make it less sharp by cutting off the stem and scraping out the pips with a small spoon. You have to cut off the stem anyway to allow the pickling solution to get in. When pickling the Peppadews I use surgical gloves to protect my gentle hands :) but I've also heard that it helps to rub sunflower oil, or olive oil if you want to be wasteful, all over your hands as it forms a protective layer
3. Soak the prepared peppers overnight in the brine at room temperature. Make sure they're all in the brine by putting a plate on top.
4. The next morning you drain them, give a rinse with freshwater and now you're in business:
To Pickle I use my big stainless steel pot and add:
750ml white grape vinegar
600ml white granulated sugar
8 pieces (cherry-size) fresh ginger, peeled
8 cloves garlic, fresh, peeled
8 bay leaves
Method:5. Measure out all the pickling ingredients (except the little green chilies) into a large cooking pot, stir well over low heat until ALL the sugar has dissolved then bring to a rolling, foamy boil.
6. Add peppers and chilies, bring back to the boil and boil them for only about 1 minute.
7. First, fill the STERILE bottles with peppers and then fill to about 1.5cm from the top with the boiling liquid and seal while hot.
This you bring to the boil while stirring for the sugar to dissolve. When it is bubbling you add the Peppadews for about a minute and then start bottling:
You fill the jars with Peppadews, then ladle the pickling solution into about 1cm from the top, (push the peppers down to allow the solution to fill their cavities)
Re. the bottles/jars: your mother will heat the oven to 180°C and put the washed jars and lids in there for at least 10 minutes prior to bottling. I just pour boiling water over the lids and pop the glass jars 3 at a time into the microwave oven for a minute...
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This is the story of our house, lovingly restored and shared with guests and family since 1995.