30 August 2014

A Pepper Preparedness Party

Taking a break from the peaches and
heading back to the garden to see
what else is growing in abundance.

Hola, peppers!
(That's as far as my Spanish goes.  I don't even know if I spelled that right.)
Definitely in abundance, yet not very big
this year.  Odd, but hey, no complaints.

I spent Wednesday morning putting up peppers.
(Why do we say "putting up"?)
Jalapeños, green chilies, green chilies that had
ripened to red (and therefore became hotter)
and bell peppers:  red, yellow and green.

This weekend we'll be pulling out the smoker to
make chipotles out of the red jalapeños.
And I still have some poblanos to work on.
That's another new crop for me so I'm open
to suggestions there.

I'm really excited to be getting all of this pepper-ing
out of the way.  Typically at this time of year, 
I'm still cooking away with peppers, popping them into
our meals while they're fresh; 
I normally don't tap into my inner-squirrel for 
pepper-ing until the threat of frost comes around.

This blender/processor/smoothie-maker is put
to use on a daily basis.  I love it!

However, my kitchen will soon be off-limits so 
I'm staying way ahead of the game this year.
Have I not mentioned this?  
It's time for my 1988 kitchen to go away.
It just doesn't work well for one who is in 
there as much as I am.  

The cabinets are currently being built.
I've already purchased all new 
appliances, including a double-oven, a warming
drawer and a cooktop with 5--FIVE!--burners.
Oh, and a ridiculously expensive apron-front
farm sink.  I insisted.  Single-bowl.
I stole a pic from the site:

Isn't it beautiful?  
I have dreams of it filled with produce.

Should be fun to watch the progress so I'll
be letting you follow along on here.
We're a good month away so...back to the peppers.

This picture hurts my eyes.

Mostly I just dice them in the food processor 
and freeze, especially the green chilies.
Pretty big chili fans around here and we love
the flavor that the green chilies bring to it.
(By the way, the little snack-size baggies hold the perfect amount for many
recipes.  Because they aren't freezer bags, though, I just put them together 
inside a larger freezer bag.  I use these peppers quickly so there really is
no need to waste the vacuum bags on them.)

Lots of chowders and soups call for 
diced red bell peppers.

And I have recipes that call for roasted bell peppers. 
I can't see why it won't freeze well that way,
so I saved myself a step and roasted them first.

I froze these in little snack baggies, too, and then 
put them into quart-sized freezer bags.

I also saved myself time, energy/resources and dishes 
doing them all at once.  I'll try to remember to update
you on that when I go to use them.

I also froze some in strips for fajitas.

All of this took me about 3 hours, flash-freezing
time included.  This was definitely not one of my
bigger "pepper parties" but I feel like it's a great
start.  And if that's all I get done, well...that
will just be enough.

I'm all about pepper-preparedness, apparently.
You do realize that the more preparing one does now,
the more time one has for quilting later.
(I actually pulled a "to be quilted" out of the closet on Wednesday...but it 
just felt too hot to be working on it.  A lot like it's too hot to be serving 
Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Starbucks!  Anyway, we'll call that a start--a 
step in the right direction.  Now bring on the cool weather!)

Why, of course I have pepper recipes coming!

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