During the summer, I ate more Pico de Gallo than one would think is humanly possible.

I love to dip chips into the pico, I put it on a sandwich, and I used it instead of salad dressing. I ate the pico like it was my job. And it was a job that brought me serious joy.

I found myself in a bit of a dilemma as the fresh summer tomatoes and cilantro dwindle down. I felt a yearning for a new condiment to light my world on fire.

So, I looked to an unusual source for my inspiration.

My Uncle Doug.

Uncle Doug is a man’s man… he can build anything, he hunts, he can tear up a dance floor, and he can make a mean hot pepper relish that we look forward to receiving every Christmas.

Now, I don’t know what recipe he follows but I found myself with a LOT of peppers, and my only reasonable idea was a hot pepper relish.

So, I searched for a good recipe and I found one on allrecipes.com.

This is super dee duper easy.

I will insist that you purchase some disposable kitchen gloves for this recipe. You are going to be chopping up lots and lots of hot peppers, and if you refuse the gloves you will have burning hands and eyes for the rest of your life.

Or at least for a day or so.

The kitchen gloves are found in the cleaning aisle of the grocery store. You can buy 10 pairs for about $1.50… well worth it!

So, don a glove and chop your peppers. Remove the majority of the seeds from the peppers. The seeds contain most of the heat, so unless you want to burn your mouth I recommend ditching the seeds!

Drop the chopped peppers into a sauce pan- there should not be any heat underneath the pan at this point.

Then add about 1 T. of salt (1 T. salt to about 3 cups of peppers).

And stir it up.

Now boil some water. My teapot was already full of water and sitting on the stove, so I just turned on the burner.

You’ll need enough water to fully cover all of the peppers.

Once it is boiling, pour it over the chopped peppers.

After the peppers have soaked in the hot water for 10 minutes, drain them.

Drop the drained peppers back into their pan. There is still no heat underneath the pepper pan.

Now take equal parts (I used 1 c. of each) of apple cider vinegar and sugar and add them to the peppers.

Finally, it is time to turn on your burner under the peppers. Bring it all to a boil then reduce the heat to low for the peppers to simmer. Allow the peppers to simmer for 20 minutes.

Then get out your clean canning jars.

Pour in the peppers with their sugary vinegary sauce.

Put a lid on it.

And you are done!

I am telling you.

These make EVERYTHING better.

They are a great dip, they are amazing on a sandwich, I included them in a taco dip… I’m certain you are only limited by your imagination on this one.

These are spicy, but the cooking of the peppers and the use of vinegar and sugar takes a lot of the heat and the intensity out of the peppers.

They are the perfect combination of sweet, salty, sour and spicy.

My favorite fall condiment!

Enjoy.

XO,

Leah

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