In the Kitchen – Pickled Peppers Stuffed with Sauerkraut or Channeling Aunt Marge

Every big Italian family has an Aunt Marge, the matriarch who holds everything together.  My mom is the ninth of ten kids.  Aunt Marge was up around number 2 or 3.  She was always old when I was growing up.  She was married to my Uncle Woody who worked about 50 years in the coal mines of southwestern Pennsylvania.  His biggest gripe was that the sportscaster on the news never gave the studio wrestling results, which he was certain were “just as real as the Pirates and the Steelers”.  Aunt Marge’s main mission in life was to keep Uncle Woody alive, and to try to feed anyone who’s path she might cross.  She could whip up a Thanksgiving feast on a whim, and always told you “how skinny you look”.  At any given time, she had several vats of wine fermenting made out of everything but grapes, along with sausage, tomato sauce, and tons of garlic.  Oh, and she pickled anything she could get her hands on.  I’m sure this is where I get my love for pickling.

Banana Peppers and Sauerkraut?

I went to her house about a year before she died, and she pulled out this quart jar of pickled banana peppers which she had stuffed with sauerkraut.  Sounds terrible, but tasted great.  I asked her for some, but she said it was her last jar.  A buddy of mine had this huge garden with about 70 pepper plants.  I brought her about a half-bushel of peppers, and she put up her last batch.  I haven’t had them since about 1980, but as the fall weather started to turn the banana peppers bright yellow and red, I decided to channel Aunt Marge and make her pickled peppers stuffed with sauerkraut.

Adds a Little Color to the Pickle Shelf

Peppers are easy to stuff.  You just cut off the top and clean out the seeds.  I put regular canned sauerkraut into the yellow peppers, and some red sauerkraut that Denise had in the cupboard into the red ones.  I cut up some cayenne and jalapeno peppers for a little spice and some color contrast.  I then used my cold pickle recipe and put them into quart canning jars.

The results are pretty striking, but the best is eating them.  The spicy-sweet-sour combination is great for a snack, or as a side dish for dinner.

Winter is Coming – But I’ll Have My Pickled Peppers!

And, my Aunt Marge would be proud.

Bonus Aunt Marge Story

When I was about 12 years old, I used to spend a week or two each summer at my Grandpap’s house.  I’d work in the yard, we’d have supper, then listen to the Pirate game on the radio while playing bizarre Italian card games.  He was dedicated to his garden which could feed a medium-sized third world country.  He gave away tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic to anybody who asked him.  Aunt Marge was too proud to ask.  One day I was in the yard trimming hedges when Uncle Woody drove up.  He came to the garden and told my Grandpap, “Pete, let’s go to the Legion for a beer.”  So off they went while I kept at it.  Not five minutes later, Aunt Marge drives up with three big brown paper shopping bags.  She quickly goes from plant to plant gathering all manner of produce, but being very careful to take them evenly, so at a glance it wouldn’t be obvious.  Quick as a flash, she packed up her booty in the car and drove off.  Sure enough, five minutes after that Uncle Woody dropped off the old man.  He walked into his garden looking intently.  I’m sure he had a sense of where every vegetable was, and came away shaking his head.  Well, I did it.  I ratted out my aunt.  He went into a unprintable string of Italian swear words ending with, “Margot!  I knew it!!  I knew she was taking them!!!”  Apparently this scam was going on for quite some time.

Aunt Marge and I never spoke of it.

13 thoughts on “In the Kitchen – Pickled Peppers Stuffed with Sauerkraut or Channeling Aunt Marge

  1. Amy Jo 10/27/2017 at 12:03 am

    Oh aunt Marge! Steve has a friend at work that makes sauerkraut stuffed peppers and he thought it was a German thing. I’ll have to let him know you have some!

    • Rick 11/04/2017 at 6:53 pm

      My peppers went nuts this year Amy. By the end, I was looking for anything to try with them. Then I remembered Aunt Marge’s stuffed peppers.

  2. Stella 11/01/2017 at 3:34 pm

    I must try the recipe.

    • Rick 11/04/2017 at 6:51 pm

      Let me know how it comes out.

  3. Nikki 11/02/2017 at 9:01 pm

    Well. I love the idea of sauerkraut stuffed pickled peppers! but that last story just tops it all! hahahaha
    🙂 gwingal

    • Rick 11/04/2017 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks Nikki. Having a big Italian family give me a wealth of stories like this. Great for blogging.

  4. Audrey 11/02/2017 at 10:28 pm

    Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing! And I love the stories about your family. My Italian grandfather and his Portuguese brother-in-law had gardens like that and could grow anything. I wish they were around for many reasons, but sometimes just so I can ask them what I am doing wrong in the garden.

    • Rick 11/04/2017 at 2:14 pm

      My peppers really like epsom salt mixed into the soil, so I put some in after the fall freeze. Pennsylvania hasn’t had a frost yet so my patch is still producing. The upside of global warming!

  5. Theresa 11/03/2017 at 4:22 pm

    This recipe looks so good. I might have to wait until next years pepper season to try it. But, it will be topping my list. Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight party @DearCreatives Pinned & sharing.

    • Rick 11/04/2017 at 2:10 pm

      These are really great to snack on. My wife Denise tries to keep us all off the carbs, so making the pickle with Splenda instead of sugar helps. I like to slice them into rings. A good savory snack.

  6. Miz Helen 11/07/2017 at 1:54 am

    This is a first for me, I have never had pickled peppers stuffed with sauerkraut, but it sure sounds good. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

    • Rick 11/07/2017 at 3:22 am

      I like to eat these as a snack. I cut the pepper into half-inch rings with a sharp knife so the kraut stays put.

  7. Marilyn 11/07/2017 at 6:41 pm

    Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #WonderfulWednesday this week. Visit me at https://www.marilynstreats.com on Wednesday evening and to see your feature and grab your badge! All hosts choose their own features from the comments left on their blog so be sure to return to my blog for your badge. I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please be sure to leave your link number or post title so we can be sure to visit!

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