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.
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.
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
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.