As a child, I cringed when my father would grab the bottle of pepper vinegar at the Cracker Barrel and douse everything on his plate with it. “Ewwww,” I would squeal in disgust. Many of my father’s eating habits — from olives to pickles to pepper vinegar — scarred me well into adolescence. While I still loathe olive and pickles, I’ve come around to the latter. Now I like to splash pepper vinegar in my green beens, my collards, and as of lately, fried okra. So very tasty.
Hot peppers are still in season down South, so get yourself to a farmers market (or in my case, the Mexican grocer on Buford Highway) and go gangbusters with all shapes, sizes, and colors. Or you can use just one type of pepper, with the heat of your liking.
To make the vinegar, place the peppers in a jar or bottle of your choice. Bring apple cider vinegar (enough to fill the jars) and a generous pinch of salt to a boil. Pour the hot vinegar over the peppers, seal, and store in a cool dry place. Allow to sit for at least a week before using in order to develop the best flavors. Sprinkle on everything.