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The End

September 26th, 2016

Well, we have our first frost advisory for tonight (Sunday night, which was last night). Luckily, I’ve been out all week harvesting all the remaining peppers, tomatoes, and beans. I’m amazed by the amount of green peppers I had on my plants, they totaled about a bushel. I had about the same amount of tomatoes.
first-frost-2
The peppers already made their way into the freezer, the green tomatoes are laying in wait till they ripen. I may make some green tomato chutney if I have the time.
first-frost-3
The hot peppers (cayenne and Korean bird peppers) are going to be dried for crumbling into curries and stews to add a little heat this coming winter. There’s actually something nice about having a frost, it’s a definite end to the season. Sometimes I need that to get me to finally rip out the tender plants and prepare for the coming winter.

When is your typical first frost?

Potting up Peppers

November 19th, 2014

I harvested all my peppers almost two months ago, they’ve been living in containers on the back porch. This time of year my back porch is like a walk in cooler, it keeps things fresh forever. We’ve been eating fresh peppers almost daily. The time had come for the rest of them to go into the freezer.
picking peppers 2
freezing peppers 3
So I chopped, and chopped, and chopped some more. I fried, and fried, and fired some more. Pretty soon all the peppers were prepped and ready to be saved for eating this winter.
freezing peppers 2
freezing peppers 1
I ended up with a nice little stockpile of peppers to enjoy this winter. No doubt they’ll be enjoyed in omelets, on pizza, and in fajitas.

What are you preserving from the garden this week?

Picking Pecks of Peppers

September 25th, 2014

This year I had a bumper pepper harvest. I could have left them on the plants longer, but I wanted to clear out that spot in the garden to move the strawberries. Thus I ended up picking mountains of peppers. Most of them will be roasted over a fire and canned, some will be stuffed and frozen (here’s my recipe if you’re interested).
picking peppers 2
Some of them were given to neighbors, others have already been used for delicious meals. There are still a good many to process, looks like I’ll be busy tonight!
picking peppers 1
The small peppers are the Mini Bells I talked about last week, I’m thinking I’ll make mass quantities of bite sized peppers stuffed with sausage, onions, garlic, herbs and cheese. I made a batch of ricotta earlier this week just for them. I think popping a few of these beauties out of the freezer for a quick breakfast or dinner will be so convenient.

Do you like green peppers? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

Baby Bells

September 18th, 2014

This year I grew baby bell peppers from seed thinking they’d ripen before the big one, I was correct in my line of thought. When I checked on the garden after being away for 10 days, there were beautiful red baby bell peppers.
mini bells
Look how cute they are, I’m thinking I might use them to make stuffed peppers because I always though big green peppers were way to big when stuffed. I have to admit, I didn’t used to be a pepper fan. The problem is more peppers from the store, I think it’s actually the preservative they put on them. When I eat store bought peppers I get indigestion, not so with homegrown ones. Now we eat them in the fall when they’re in season.

Did you like pepper?

Some Like it HOT

March 10th, 2010

I’m a big fan of hot food, and by hot I mean spicy hot. You’ll find me adding crushed red pepper to just about everything I eat. Because I like it so much I decided to grow some in the garden last summer. I ended up with quite a bounty thanks to the full sun conditions in my mom’s garden and the few plants I had here at Chiot’s Run as well. I dried the ripe cayenne peppers and have them stored in a big jar in the basement pantry.

Every so often I add a few to my spice grinder (which is a coffee mill only used for grinding spices, who wants spicy coffee?). I grind them a few seconds for freshly ground red pepper flakes. I’m sure enjoying my homegrown cayenne, it’s much hotter than the red pepper you buy in the store and has a great fresh flavor. BEWARE – don’t inhale too deeply when you open the grinder, you’ll end up in coughing fits!

I’m glad I like cayenne pepper because it’s health benefits are quite numerous, see references below. There’s even an entire book about it The Health Benefits of Cayenne, I must get this from the library.

I love spices because they make your food taste so much better and they really up the nutritional content by adding all kinds of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They’re a great way to layer on the flavor and the health!

So what about you – are you a hot & spicy kind of person, or do you have a more sensitive palate?

read more about the health benefits of cayenne pepper:
Organic Facts
The Worlds Healthiest Foods
The Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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