Farm Life: Preserving the Harvest: Part 6, Peppers

After making pear sauce for two days, Emily was happy to see me go to work on Thursday… Until the avalanche of the peppers occured…  Traditional garden plantings include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and various squash.  Most people pronounced tomatoesandpeppers as one word, such as the way Germans squish together two or more concepts into one complex word.  No wonder existentialism came from that part of the world… and pepper must be part of constructing your own destiny.

Peppers generally do not stand by themselves.  They are things that get diced into soups and sauces, sliced for sauteing with onions and meats, and chopped for salads.  In the south, peppers are dried into wonderful red and orange strings for use later the cooking process.  Peppers were ground into the 27 varieties of paprika that we saw many years ago in an open air market in Budapest.  Little peppers were the hottest flavor I ever tasted in a meal of rabbit hot-pot at a Chinese restaurant… hottest going in and coming out!  Peppers hold out until first frost, when all of your tomatoes are still green.

Emily Toiling over Peppers

So, what do you do with bushels of peppers that grow larger by the day as October approaches, with a hard frost and snow threatened?  Stuff them!  This requires the family size boxes of black beans and rice, and jambalaya mix (Zararain’s is our choice), and some kind of ground meat (for those who are adventuresome, bypass the beef and try goat or deer meat… oh, don’t have that in your freezer, huh?).  For extra excitement add tomatoes, okra, tomatillo, zucchini, and onions, or whatever ripe but not rotten in your garden.  I sprinkle a little Tony Chachere’s Creol Seasoning for digestive purposes, myself.

Ready for the Freezer

Make up this mess, stuff your peppers, and put them into zip-lock bags for freezing.  You are now set for a cold winter day, when you are sorting through the seed catalogue, deciding what variety of peppers to order for next year.  Red wine suggested.

Have more peppers left after this?  Chop those up for freezing*, or slice those up and saute with onions, to slide over the last of your sausage or

Still more Peppers

bratwurst before hog butchering comes along in another month or so.  Soon, you will be putting up the garden until Spring.

* A friend who helped chop up some really hot peppers, recommends wearing gloves.  After she spent an afternoon chopping with bear hands, she could no longer feel her hands.  Fortunately, this was temporary and she returned for more.

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About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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7 Responses to Farm Life: Preserving the Harvest: Part 6, Peppers

  1. Mother Suzanna says:

    Have you tried the red, orange and yellow “sweet” peppers? Looking at all those stuffed peppers made me wish Charlie liked stuffed peppers. He doesn’t.

  2. The Vicar says:

    It sounds like canning and preserving are the only way to keep the fruits and vegetable at bay. Without your determined efforts the plants would take over the mountain. Way to “subdue the earth”… in a sustainable manner.

    • Oscar says:

      I suspect that when we are dead and gone, those wild raspberries will take over until the fence no longer keeps the animals out. Nature has a way of erasing our activity with time.

  3. The Vicar says:

    When you are dead there will no longer be a need to subdue the earth. Hopefully the next steward of the mountain isn’t a developer from virginia with court order, a bulldozer, and a shortsighted view of the harvest. Besides, it might be a lot of work to remove the 12′ of topsoil that will someday exist on your property from the leaves and manure that you have so faithful spread around the mountain.

    You are creating an archeological nightmare for some poor Indiana Jones 2000 years from today who will have to surmise why this lush soil exists in the midst of the shale and clay, and what’s the correlation to the hundreds of jazz and bluegrass CD that have resisted decomposition.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      Just to confound future archeologists, I have collected various shells from the beaches in Rhode Island when we visit. I bring these home and turn them into the compost pile and garden. The “commerce” link between WV and RI will some day confirm the global warming theory… how else could quohogue shells get up there?

  4. The Vicar says:

    That’s fantastic! Of course you know someone on the other side of the archeological continuum will see the same shells and explain their existence as divine providence.

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