The Pepper Problem

Well, it's not really a problem. It's just that our hot peppers are growing and fruiting like mad, and we have so many. Last year, I grew them in the South Garden along with everything else, because the North Garden didn't exist yet, and the crop was quite mild because the South Garden gets shade in the afternoon. Now, I'm starting to see what can happen in full sun all day!

I planted four kinds of hots, though all of them are on the mild side; Jalepeño (Jalafuego), Serrano (Hot Rod), Ancho Poblano, and Padrón.  The latter are especially interesting, because you never know if the pepper you bite in to will be mild, or hot. It's like the Russian Roulette of peppers. Something like 1 in 10 are crazy hot, and there is no way to tell until you eat it! I couldn't resist planting that.

I'm not a huge hot pepper fan; Tom and Adam both like them a lot and add them to sandwiches and hamburgers, etcI was surprised how often we used our homegrown jalepeños last year - as long as the seeds and ribs are removed, they're not terribly hot, and they add a brightness that is quite welcome in lots of dishes. But primarily we used them to make salsa. However, the tomatoes are taking their time. So salsa is not possible yet (though as soon as it is, I'm canning salsa - I think we could go through a quart a month). We're getting a couple of tomatoes every day, so it won't be long...

Since I'm not sure what to do with all these peppers (and it's a tough sell giving them away, frankly and surprisingly), I've been freezing them. I started out by roasting them, then removing the seeds and ribs, then freezing. I've cut out the roasting part. Now I just cut 'em up and put 'em in an ice tray and freeze them; then I transfer them to a mason jar the next day.

a day's harvest

into the freezer

then into jars and back to the depths of the freezer
Tom's found a recipe for hot sauce, so that's a project for the coming week. We'll let the peppers hang out on the vine a day or two longer than usual until we have a pound's-worth, and then get cooking and canning. That'll be a spicy day in the kitchen!

Meanwhile, if you have recipes for small, mildish-hottish peppers, please pass them along. I'm game to try anything!