Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

What a great day we had today for this fine Fourth of July. My husband, being English, says the British call it Thanksgiving. I told him that he is not funny.

Anyway, we went to our neighbors' for a barbeque and other festivities. Our neighbor is over 1.5 miles away, but they are the next house on the right from us. Every year they invite friends and family for an antique tractor parade, games, and rides. Dinner this year was squeezed in at 1 pm. We didn't stay for the after dinner parade as we were having company ourselves and needed to get home. There were a little over 100 people there this year even though it was lightly raining (but the temps were in the high 60s/low 70s.....last year it was 96). Below are a few pics. Hope everyone had a great day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers

Last night was "pepper time" in my 1920s / 1960s / 2010s mishmash of a kitchen. In addition to the, chili, and jalapeno peppers, I also planted three each of sweet banana and salsa (hot!!) plants. They are doing unbelievably well this year. I put them right in the middle of all of the tomatoes in the "second" garden that has a very, very, small slope.

I have been able to pick a few bell peppers already this summer and have been watching the others grow like crazy. (I did put a little Miracle Gro-laced water on them when I planted them, but that is the only "chemical" help they have had). I decided yesterday that I better start picking before something else gets them.

Since I only have three tomatoes that are even close to be ripe, I can't make salsa or chili sauce. So I decided to chop and freeze the salsa peppers for a later use. (NOTE: WEAR GLOVES when you process hot peppers!)

I washed and removed the stems, seeds and white parts of the ribs and cut them into two inch pieces. I pulsed my little baby chopper until the pepper pieces were small enough to use in salsa or other recipes (a little goes a long way with these). I do not have a large food processor (although I would love one), so I chopped theses in three or four batches. Peppers do not need to be blanched before freezing. You can even freeze the little chili peppers whole if you like. I then spooned this into quart-size freezer bags, making sure to remove the air by rolling the bag before I sealed it. I like to flatten my bag out, evenly distributing the peppers. Some people like to freeze the chopped peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer before bagging. I so not bother, because it is easy "break" off small chunks of the chopped goodness when needed.

Next were my sweet banana peppers. I washed, stemmed, and seeded these babies fairly quickly. (I didn't cough constantly like it did with the salsa peppers. No hot pepper spray in the air!) I then sliced them all into rings and set them aside. I gathered my canning supplies and put the canner full of water on to boil.

I tripled this recipe. It is my first time making these, but it has good reviews. It is simple enough, and I have high hopes for yummy pickled sweet peppers on my sandwiches this winter.