• 4 pounds large carrots
  • 4 large jalapeños (or serranoes, if you’re brave)
  • 2 onions
  • 5 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 9 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Here’s a spicy gift for Valentine’s Day

Tales of the Dinner Belle

By Brenda Stanley

I love to give homemade gifts and this year my Mexican carrots were a real hit during the holidays. They were so popular, even my grandkids liked them. They are pickled but not dilled. They have a warm and savory flavor that is unique because of the Mexican oregano. It isn’t like regular oregano. I’m not sure why, but if you make these, make sure you find this special spice, because it really does make a difference. I made two different batches, because some members of my family love heat and others aren’t as brave. The serrano peppers are much hotter. You can store the finished carrots in the fridge, if you plan to eat them within a couple weeks or you can water bath them for 10 minutes in canning jars/lids.  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, here’s a hot gift that just about anyone would love!

Belle’s Mexican Carrots

4 pounds large carrots

4 large jalapeños (or serranoes, if you’re brave)

2 onions

5 teaspoons minced garlic

3 cups white vinegar

3 cups water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

9 bay leaves

2 tablespoon peppercorns

4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Peel and slice carrots into 1/4 inch thick chunks. Cut the onion into quarters.  Cut the stems off jalapeños and slice thinly into rings.  In a large stock pot add the garlic, vinegar, water, oil, bay leaves, peppercorns, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil.  Add the carrots, onion and peppers. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.  Cool completely and then divide the carrots and vegetables into sterile glass containers. Pour the cooking liquid over and then seal with a lid. Keep refrigerated, or water bath for 10 minutes to seal. This makes a lot, so you can halve this recipe (or double it).