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My 97+ Year-Old Nonnie's Pepper Relish

April 9, 2014
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My Nonnie grew up in a large extended family in the 20's and 30's, where they raised chickens, grew vegetables, and always had some cousin over to play with. In the 50's–when she started her own family–pickling, canning, and preserving was a way of life for many Italian-Americans. She was a progressive working woman of her generation, and creating this recipe was a way to bottle the goodness of fresh local peppers, that could be popped open during the long winters to enjoy with a cut of meat or in a sandwich roll. This past February my grandmother turned 97, so I wanted to share this recipe she passed onto me years ago to celebrate her longevity and good health.

4 red bell peppers, seeded and stems removed
4 green peppers, seeded and stems removed
1 large onion, chopped fine
1/3 quart white vinegar
2/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
5 8-ounce air-tight jars


  1. Chop bell peppers fine, using food processor.
  2. In a pan, pour boiling water over peppers (enough to cover them) and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain, pour more boiling water over peppers and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain water from bell peppers. Add in chopped onions.
  3. In a separate pan, combine vinegar, salt, and honey.  
  4. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add bell peppers and onions to mixture of vinegar, salt, and honey. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Pack in clean, sterilized glass jars. Seal.  

This recipe also appears in our SCD cookbook "Adventures in the Family Kitchen"