Up and down the pepper patch


We went a little nuts planting peppers this year.

A few of our 48 plants, producing like mad right now.

We like to regard the bounty, as follows:

Starting front and center, you’ve got your bells. Aside from throwing these into any dish I can, I like to make them into pepper jam. (Basic idea: dice them super-fine in the Cuisinart, let sit overnight with salt, drain, simmer with vinegar and sugar, then can.) It’s tasty with crackers and soft cheese.

Behind those are the poblanos. We grew these because our Mexican cookbook calls for them often, and they’re hard to find in stores. The other night we stuffed them with cheese, battered and fried them, and served with a savory tomato sauce. Dios mio!

Then you’ve got your habaneros (left) and jalapenos (upper right, sharing colander space with the last of the tomatoes). We freeze both of these and use throughout the year in recipes, as though they were fresh, which works fine. Made some hot sauce from the habaneros, too. Both types are ridiculously productive, so we have way more than we can actually use.

Let’s not forget the hardworking cayenne pepper, far right, easy to dehydrate and indispensable when you like to make Indian food. Good-looking too.

(By the way, you’ll notice some black beans in the photo too. We ended up with eight cups altogether–not too bad for a 5×12 plot, we think!)

Then there are three Anaheim plants. We don’t actually know what to do with these. Anyone else have a clue?