Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Pile of Peppers

The peppers have been prolific this summer, but all good things must come to an end. To everything there is a season. Now is the time to clear away the remaining summer crops. Still plenty of peppers to pick, though. Let the processing begin!
SWEET Italian peppers for roasting and frying,  all-purpose Mexi-bells
HOT anaheim, poblano, jalapeƱa, cayenne
Fresh parsley and dill in the background, and two little green tomatoes!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

We're Feasting on Peppers, Too

Yesterday, I harvested all the ripe sweet Italian frying peppers - snatching them away from the leaf-footed bugs! I fried them in garlic imbued olive oil and served them with plain stoned - wheat crackers as an appetizer at suppertime. The thick, juicy flesh of these peppers is absolutely delicious! They would make a fine pepper sandwich on some nice crusty bread.
This morning I roasted two pans of sweet red Italian peppers and one pan each of mildly hot poblano and moderately hot anaheim peppers. Later today, I'll clean these peppers, removing skin, seeds, membranes, and freeze for future use. THAT will be a job!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Feasting on Peppers

I found these leaf-footed-bug nymphs all over my sweet Italian frying peppers. Related to stink-bugs, they are sucking insects. That's right ... they suck! They have long piercing-sucking mouthparts that they poke into leaves, shoots, and fruit (veggies) to suck up the juices. This can result in depressions or discoloration / mottling to the surface of the fruit (veggie) at the feeding site. The good news... the food is still good for human consumption.
I think I saw the parents of these young'uns making whoopie on my tomatilla plants a few weeks ago. I should've been more diligent removing them!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A full morning in the kitchen...

I found a new recipe for Dilled Green Bean Pickles. The recipe I've been using is too salty! Hope the ratio on this one is better.

Dilly Beans - WaterBath Canning
makes 6 pints

3-3/4 cups vinegar
3-3/4 cups water
1/3 cup pickling salt
6 cloves garlic, crushed or thinly sliced
3 teaspoons dill seed (or 6 dill heads)
3 lbs beans, trimmed and cut into jar-length pieces

PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
TRIM off ends of green beans and discard. Cut to length. Wash.
COMBINE vinegar, water, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve salt.
PACK dill, garlic, and beans in jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
REMOVE air bubbles. Wipe rim, center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fingertip tight.
PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
CHECK for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

from: Fresh Preserving website

Stevia Extract

It's been 2-1/2 days since I immersed the stevia leaves in vodka.

Time to finish the process.

375 ml bottle of vodka produced 54 ml, perfect amount for a 2-ounce bottle.




  • STRAIN liquid off the leaves.
  • SIMMER 30 minutes (do not boil!) to cook off alcohol and precipitate out impurities.
  • STRAIN through something like a coffee filter.
  • COOL
  • STORE in opaque glass containers.
  • USE to sweeten coffee, tea, etc.

See blogpost from July 2, 2014 for more discussion and pictures of entire process.



Friday, August 18, 2017

Okra Pickles


Okra Pickles
yield 4 pints

3-1/2 pounds small okra pods
1/3 cup canning salt
2 teaspoons dill seed
3 cups water
3 cups vinegar
4 cloves garlic
2 small hot red peppers, cut in half

from Ball Blue Book of Preserving

See posting from September 8, 2011 for discussion and photos of entire process.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Stevia Extract

Step 1  Harvest and wash the leaves. Spin dry. Submerge in cheap vodka. Cover and store in a cool, dry place. Wait a couple of days ...

See post from July 2, 2014 for what will happen next.

Still Life with Squash