|This is what I should have used.|
Anyway, I decided to can the peppers. I went to Homestead Farm in Poolesville and picked out 10 smallish green peppers. I should have gone to Safeway and bought a gallon of vinegar, which I had to do later. The recipe calls for two cups of vinegar. Even if you can in a crock, I would think you would need more vinegar than that, since the vinegar is supposed to cover the vegetables.
When I got home, I dug out the canning kettle from the cupboard over the refrigerator and the quart size large mouth (more about that later) jars from the basement and went to work scalding the jars. Then, I selected six of the smallest peppers, washed them, cut the tops off, removed the seeds, and packed them with the cabbage I had chopped up and mixed with salt and mustard seeds.
I put an enamelware pan filled with vinegar on the stove to heat up and filled the peppers with the cabbage. Note that the peppers have not been steamed or cooked in any way. I then attempted to secure the pepper top to the pepper bottoms with toothpicks, as per the recipe. The problem with that was, it was fairly obvious that when I went to insert said peppers into the jar, the toothpicks sticking out of the sides of the peppers would impede the process. So I gingerly removed the toothpicks and tried to stick them back in vertically. This kind of worked.
Then I fished the hot jars, one by one, out of the canning kettle and started filling the jars. Uncooked peppers, as you probably know, are stiff. They have some give to them, but not a lot. The diameter of my peppers was greater than the diameter of the jars, so getting the little mothers in there was not so easy. I was able to get them in without breaking the peppers. Often the toothpicks came loose and the tops just sat on top of the peppers.
One pepper did not exactly fill a jar, but there did not seem to be room for an extra pepper. I allowed one pepper per jar and started pouring in the hot vinegar. The cabbage, no longer kept in check by the pepper tops, floated out to the top of the jar. So, you see, I should have pickled the peppers in a crock, as directed.
6 large green peppers, left whole
1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 cups cider vinegar, approximately (I'm sure you will need more than that, at least a quart)
1. Wash the peppers and remove stems. Slice off tops and reserve. Remove cores and seeds without breaking shells.
2. Mix the cabbage with the salt and mustard seeds and press down into the pepper shells. Pack firmly. Fasten tops back on with toothpicks.
3. Arrange peppers upright in a stone jar and cover with the vinegar. Or the peppers can be packed into hot sterilized jars. Add hot vinegar, seal and process in a water bath thirty minutes. Cool, test, vacuum seal and store in a cool, dry, dark, place. Makes six peppers.