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Hot Banana Pepper Recipe

Yields 8 half pint (250 ml) jars.

Make your own hot pepper slices to top pizza, burgers or sandwiches. Also great with cheese and crackers! To increase the heat of your peppers, do not remove the inner membranes from the peppers. If you like mild Hot Banana Peppers remove the membranes and seed.


  • 6 cups sliced Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
  • 3 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp pickling or sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered

Prepare Hot Peppers:

  1. Wash and stem hot peppers.
  2. Remove seeds and inner membranes if you'd like to take some of the heat out of the peppers, otherwise leave them in.
  3. Slice peppers into even 1/4 inch thick slices. Wear gloves to keep your fingers from stinging.

Prepare Jars:

  1. Fill large pot or canner with water so that jars are covered by 1" of water.
  2. Check jars for cracks, wash with warm soapy water, rinse well and place in canner.
  3. Heat jars in canner .

Prepare Brine:

  1. Mix vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan.
  2. Boil for 1 minute.

Fill Jars:

  1. Place 1/4 clove of garlic in each jar and pack with pepper rings.
  2. Pour hot vinegar brine over peppers.
  3. Remove air bubbles and push peppers underneath pickling liquid as much as possible, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.
  4. Wipe rim with clean cloth, seal with hot sealing lid, tighten screw band on top finger tight and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.


Yields 8 half pint (250 ml) jars

Need to adjust the recipe to accommodate for more or less peppers? You can double or halve the brine recipe, just keep the ratio of salt and vinegar the same.

Heat processing time recommended by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Grandma Nellie's Yellow Mushroom Bean Recipe

  1. Prepare the quantity of beans required (wash, remove strings and cut up).

  2. Put in saucepan in a small quantity of water, add salt to taste and steam till just tender and water evaporates. Set aside.

  3. In a separate saucepan, saute chopped onion in a bit of butter until soft but not brown. Dill may be added with the onion before sauteing.

  4. Combine sautéed onion, add a bit of whipping cream and bring to a boil till the sauce thickens.

  5. Combine with beans and enjoy the flavor of mushrooms!

Citron Preserves

  1. Cut the melons in quarters and remove the seeds.vPeel, and cut into 1" cubes.

  2. Cover with boiling water and cook until tender. Remove from water and drain.

  3. For each pound of melon allow three-quarters pound of sugar, 1 lemon, and 1 once of preserved ginger.

  4. Slice lemon thin, discard seeds; cut ginger into small pieces and cook lemon and ginger in water to cover until lemons are soft. Then add sugar and water, using one-half as much water as sugar.

  5. Cook all together until syrup is thick. Add citron, let stand over night.

  6. In the morning, heat and simmer slowly one-half hour. Remove citron from syrup, and put into hot jars. Boil syrup down until thick and pour over the citron. Seal.

Mom's Boston Marrow Pie

Without a doubt, this is the creamiest, most delicious "pumpkin pie" that I've ever tasted. This is a recipe from my mother, Iris Stefanec, who always makes Boston Marrow pie for us at Thanksgiving. The key to this recipe is Boston Marrow, which creates a very fine textured, creamy pie filling. Boston Marrow is quite a large squash, so you can make many pies from one fruit. It also freezes well so you can enjoy Boston Marrow Pie all winter long!

  1. Slightly beat 3 eggs. Blend in 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. allspice and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.
  2. Mix in 2 cups cooked, pureed Boston Marrow. Mix well.
  3. Gradually add 1/2 cup heated milk (evaporated milk works best). Pour into pie crust.
  4. Bake at 450°F for 40-50 minutes. The pie is done when a knife comes clean after being inserted in the center of the pie.

Freezing Boston Marrow: First spoon out the seed cavity. Then cut the marrow into large pieces and place in a large roaster. Cook in oven at low setting until the squash is soft. Then separate the flesh from the outer skin and puree the soft flesh. Place in freezer bags and enjoy all winter long!

Pickled Nasturtium Seed Pods

The fresh seed pods can be used as a caper substitute. Once the blossoms wilt it is time to pick the large seed pods for pickling.

  • 1 quart vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. each allspice and celery seed
  • Nasturtium seed pods
  • Add the Nasturtium seed pods to the brine and keep refrigerated.

Baked Beans

A delicious old fashioned recipe that is very easy to make. You can use any type of baking beans you like.

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 6 slices bacon, sliced
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cups white pea beans (or other dried beans), soaked overnight and then cooked, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 can (6 oz./170ml) tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  1. In a frying pan, heat oil and add bacon and onion. Cook until onions begin to soften.
  2. Transfer mixture to a 6-quart casserole dish or bean pot. Add beans and mix.
  3. Combine tomato paste, salt, sugar, and syrup and stir into bean mixture.
  4. Bake, covered at 350°F (180°C) for about an hour. Add water if necessary to give desired consistency.

Tomato Figs

Historical Note: In Fearing Burr's book Field and Garden Vegetables of America (1865) there is a delightful recipe for tomato figs:

"Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, in order to remove the skin; after which weigh and place in a stone jar, with as much sugar as tomatoes, and let them stand two days; then pour off the sirup, and boil and skim it till no scum rises; pour it over the tomatoes, and let them stand two days as before; then boil, and skim again. After the third time, they are fit to dry, if the weather is good; if not, let them stand in the sirup until drying weather. Then place them on large earthen plates, or dishes, and put them in the sun to dry, which will take about a week; after which pack them down in small wooden boxes, with fine, white sugar between every layer. Tomatoes prepared in this manner will keep for years." 1895

Homemade Sauerkraut

The following recipe is from an old book by Samuel B. Green called Vegetable Gardening. It was created especially for the University of Minnesota in 1896. The recipe is very similar to the one used by my family for generations. The only difference is that we use a large crock and add pickling spices in addition to the salt.

"Slice cabbage fine on a slaw cutter; line the bottom and sides of an oaken barrel or keg with cabbage leaves, put in a layer of sliced cabbage about six inches in depth, sprinkle lightly with salt, and pound with a wooden beetle until the cabbage is a compact mass; add another layer of cabbage, etc., repeating the operation, pounding well each layer until the barrel is full to within six inches of the top; cover with leaves, then a cloth, next a board cut to fit loosely on the inside of the barrel, kept well down with a heavy weight.If the brine has not raised within two days, add enough water with just salt enough to taste to cover the cabbage; examine every two days and add water as before, until brine rises and scum forms, then lift off the cloth carefully so the scum may adhere, wash well in several cold waters, wring dry and replace, repeating this operation as the scum rises, at first every other day, and then once a week, until the acetous fermentation ceases, which will take three to six weeks. One pint of salt to a full barrel of cabbage is a good proportion; some also sprinkle in whole black pepper." 1896.

When the sauerkraut is ready, place in sterilized jars and boil for 3/4 of an hour. Once cooled, place in a cool, dark cellar.

Marrow Fruit

The following recipe is from Pauline A. Locktin of Benito, MB. who graciously sent me her mother's recipe for vegetable marrow preserves. Thanks Pauline!

  1. First wash the vegetable marrow. Cut off both ends; cut crosswise into quarters. Stand each quarter upright and peel downwards in strips. Quarter the peeled sections, scoop out the seeds and cut the marrow flesh into 1/2" cubes.
  2. Measure and put into a glass or ceramic bowl. Sprinkle with sugar. (Proportions: 1 cup sugar to each 3 cups vegetable marrow.) Cover the bowl and let the mixture stand overnight.
  3. In the morning, simmer six thin half segments of lemon with 3 cups of water. After 5 min. add the sugar/marrow mixture. Stir and simmer gently until the marrow cubes are clear and tender.

At this point you can taste it and decide whether it needs more sugar or boiling water. You can also add the following: 1 cup golden raisins, added to the lemon and water or 1 can crushed pineapple, added with the sugar/marrow mixture.

Pauline's Old Fashioned Sauerkraut Soup

The following recipe is a recipe from my Grandmother, Pauline Stefanec, who has been making this delicious soup for years. It is a great way to use all the dried peas that you've harvested. Almost any dried peas will work but my favorite for this recipe is St. Hubert Soup Peas, or Prussian Blue This is a very nutritious, hearty soup that is perfect for a cold winters day. Enjoy!

  1. Place pork ribs in a large pot, add 1 large chopped onion, some garlic, and a jar of homemade sauerkraut.

  2. Add 4-5 cups water depending on consistency desired. To this mixture add 1 cup dried peas that have been soaked overnight (see note on soaking below), and 1/2 cup of pearl barley.

  3. Brown 1/2 cup flour in margarine and add a small amount of water to make a paste. Gradually add a little at a time until you have the desired consistency. If soup is too thick just add more boiling water.

  4. Cook on low to medium heat for a few hours until all ingredients are thoroughly cooked.

Soaking beans and peas: Different varieties of beans and peas need different lengths of time soaking, but I generally soak them overnight in the refrigerator. The next day I bring them to a boil in a fresh pot of water and let them simmer for a few hours or until they are tender but not mushy and then drain them.

Heirloom Ground Cherry Pie

  • pastry for a 2 crust 9" pie
  • 3 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • dash of salt
  • 2-1/2 cups husked ground cherries
  • 2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter
  1. Line a 9" pie pan with pastry and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the tapioca, sugars, almond extract, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Sprinkle half the mixture in the bottom of the pastry shell and top with ground cherries and dot with the butter.
  5. Top with a lattice designed or other decorative top crust.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes longer, or until the crust is deep golden and the juices in the pie are bubbling up in the center.
  7. Cool before cutting

Mother Mary's Pie Melon

  • 3 cups Mother Mary's Pie Melon cut into medium size slices

  • 3 cups pie apple thinly sliced

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4-1/2 cup flour

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • Nutmeg

  • Salt

  • Butter (1 tbsp.)

  • Pastry for double crust pie

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix the 6 cups of sliced fruit with sugar, flour, cinnamon and lemon juice. Let set while assembling crust (about 10 minutes).

  2. Pour into raw pie shell, dot with butter, a sprinkle of nutmeg and a pinch of salt.

  3. Add top crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake till golden. (about 45 minutes)