To me, pickin’ a peck of pickled peppers isn’t just a tongue twister; it’s an annual event. At the end of summer, I always have these beautiful red and green peppers weighing down the plants in my garden. There are so many, I hardly know what to do with ‘em all, but I’m not one to let things go to waste—especially something I’ve spent so much time and energy growing! Course, it’s always time and energy well spent. Going into my garden is like stepping into a magical place. It’s where I go to de-stress and think, mostly about nothing at all besides how rewarding it is to bring fresh produce to my kitchen from my own backyard.
And even though homegrown fruits and vegetables are seasonal, you can preserve just about anything past its prime, and the process is super simple.
For my peppers, I boil up some vinegar—think of it as the “collagen filler” of the vegetable world, keeping those beauties bright and plump—and pour it into a pretty bottle filled with a colorful variety of red and green peppers and a few cloves of garlic. Not only does the vinegar preserve the shape and rich color of the peppers, making for a beautiful dressing on any countertop, but, depending on what kind of peppers you use, it also transforms those little devils into a hot pepper sauce that is to die for.
Y’all, I use my pepper sauce like most kids use ketchup; I put it on everything. That heat combined with the sour bite of the vinegar transforms everything from salads to fried chicken into something special. Not too long ago I fed the set crew of Paula’s Best Dishes my fried chicken doused in pepper sauce and they scarfed it down as fast as lightning. Guess I know what to get ‘em for the holidays!
That’s the other thing about preserving peppers—the sauce makes for a wonderful gift, as does anything that comes from the garden and the heart. Gifting food is something I’ve always done and folks appreciate it so much. When my garden overflows, I’ll carry armloads of lettuce and tomatoes into the office and watch everyone’s face light up. It just tastes so much better than what you get at most groceries. And it’s so easy to make a simple gift even more special by dressing it up. I find tall, beautiful bottles or vintage jars for my pepper sauce and tie them with colorful ribbons, raffia or simple twine, giving the hot and tangy taste of summer year round.
In the meantime, you can find me deep in thought and knee-deep in my garden, replanting for the next harvest.Read More From Paula's Garden.
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Join Paula, Bobby and Jamie for a book signing at the Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah from 2 to 4 pm. Only 350 tickets will be given out starting 1 hour before the book signing. No cameras permitted; a professional photographer will be on site to take your photo.
Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea to the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten - roundtrip from Miami) aboard the Celebrity Reflection presented by Alice Travel. Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel. We are running out of space, so book as soon as possible!
Paula Deen is coming to Buffalo, NY to perform a live cooking show and let VIP ticket holders enjoy a delicious Southern feast with a menu created by Paula herself! Both events will be held at Samuel’s Grand Manner in Williamsville, NY which offers a refined elegance in a classically modern setting. The VIP lunch will be held at 12:00pm on February 8th and will go until approximately 2:00pm (doors will open at 11:30am). The lunch will include a hearty helping of Southern style cuisine which is personally selected by Paula, a Southern Cooking Bible cookbook, a photo op with Paula where she will also be signing autographs, a gift package, and preferred seating at that evenings cooking show! The cooking show will begin at 3:00pm on February 8th and run about 60 minutes long (doors will open at 2:15pm). Paula will be cooking up some of her favorite meals live for you at Samuel’s Grand Manor! Seating is unreserved and is “first come, first served”.
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Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas to Labadee, Jamaica, and Cozumel (roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale) presented by Alice Travel. We will be having special, separate events for kids on this one with Jack Deen hosting the kids program! Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel Book now before the prices start going up on the cruise and air!