It’s not that I have fingers shaped or in any way resemble peppers but I do hope that’s what you had imagined by the title of this post.
Do you remember those creepy plastic Halloween handouts that were really just lame candy substitutes? Glow in the dark plastic spiders, spider rings, spooky erasers, and sometimes if you got lucky… a set of Witch Fingers. You know what I’m talking about, unless you were a deprived home school kid or something. Those slip on green pointy fingers were exactly what came to mind when the phrase “pepper fingers” came out of my mouth the first time. As if you had chopped the top off of some green Jalapenos and slipped them on each of your fingers. As far as edibles go, Bugles are pretty good for painting that picture as well.
Enough blabbering… Jalapenos are the specific pepper that I’ll be delighting your imaginations and plates with today. Not too spicy but can certainly add some kick to any dish or sandwich. They’re even better when they are FERMENTED! Basically a different take on canning but way easier and supposedly more nutritious. Yay for Health! Don’t worry I’ll get back to the pepper fingers thing.
I know I know, sounds like a bunch of hippy dippy health shit and yeah… you’re pretty much right. However, the taste is incredible and I haven’t died yet. If all or any of the health benefits are true, it’s just a bonus as far as I’m concerned. Obama knows, I could sure use any help I can get in my digestive game.
This isn’t really a “how to” article but in short the basic method is to combine a brine which consists of distilled water and salt (not table salt), then add vegetables, peppers and garlic in this case, and in about two weeks time out on the counter… WHAMO! After that it’s ready to be stored in the fridge for a surprisingly crispy and flavorful addition to just about anything. The real trick in this process is you must make sure anything you ferment in your brine is fully submerged. No floaters, or from what I’m told the ferment will stink and just be no good. This is where the pepper fingers scenario comes back into play.
My mistake was just tossing in a bunch of different spices and herbs along with my veg which resulted in several foul words exchanged between myself and my spouse before we finally got it right. Turns out spices and herbs like to float, and so do vegetables for that matter. It took three attempts which included making new brine and using my clean hands to unload, wash, and reload the glass jars with our yummy home grown jalapeno peppers. We finally got it right, but as we were cleaning up the disaster area, I realized I had really fucked up. The peppers turned out great but there was a significant and lingering issue.
For three days I was feeling the tingly burn of salty jalapeno juice underneath my fingernails. The first night was the worst, and as any good married person knows, you don’t just sit quietly when your partner makes this kind of mistake… you make fun of them. My dear wife was happy to oblige with this task and I didn’t much appreciate the ironic salt in the wound. So of course I planned my revenge which is where the underwear part of the story comes in. Let’s just say that while the oils in pepper juice does hang around and is rather difficult to wash off, it can pretty easily be spread and shared with your loved ones. It was an uncomfortable night for the both of us to say the least, but it did inspire an idea. A simple modification that can turn sinful revenge into a sensual binge. Next time… Sweet Banana Peppers!