When I was growing up we always had homemade hot pepper vinegar. I know you can buy it at the store, but what’s the fun in that. In our case, my mom grew serrano peppers for hers. It was hot – no doubt about that, but we (meaning me and Fred), liked it that way. Fred would put it on things and you could see the sweat break out on his forehead from across the kitchen table – he and I sat at opposite ends of the table. It was always funny to me.
Collards, or any greens really, would not be right without good hot pepper vinegar. So as soon as some good looking skinny hot peppers show up at Bailey’s – well, there I am. I used finger hot peppers this time.
My mom made a simple version by just heating the vinegar and pouring it over the sliced peppers, but I’ve learned a few tricks I like from making pickles, so here is what I did this time.
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs sugar
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
8 finger hots – Bailey’s
Heat brine (everything but peppers) until sugar dissolves. Pour over sliced peppers. Let cool and then refrigerate. Easy Peasy.
All this said, about three weeks ago, I purchased my own serrano pepper plant just to make this like my mom did. Now if the temperatures would only be normal for us for April. I mean honestly, it’s the second week in April and we’ve run the heater a little tonight. I just don’t get it – and I feel for people who live further north than us – which is pretty much everybody.
These peppers are called finger hots, but I’m not sure whose fingers they are supposed to be. I can only think witch fingers because the are green, skinny, wrinkly, and pointy at the end. And yes, they are hot. Yum.
UPDATE: 30 April – I have three serranos on my little plant and am over the moon excited. That’s kind of sad.