Ever wonder how many pickled peppers are in a peck a la Peter Piper? Eight quarts of peppers. That’s a lot of pickles. Peter must have been a fan and he’s not alone. All over the world, a variety of foods are pickled; onions, okra, eggs, turnips, tomatoes, cauliflower – and yes, even peppers.
Making your own pickles gives you the chance to really tweak the flavors you like best. Want more garlic or jalapeno? More sweet or more sour? I had (and lost unfortunately) a great recipe for dill cucumbers that featured mustard seeds. It made tremendous pickles; far better than anything at the grocery store.
If you are like me, you might be a bit hesitant to pickle for fear of food contamination. We can fear not, however, because pickling and some basic precautions really does make it easy to prepare foods that are well preserved and safe. Here is a link to some basics on the art of pickling. There is also some good info on using old pickling recipes versus modern standards here.