Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pepper Harvest Time

I decided to harvest the peppers yesterday.






I was trying to allow them to ripen and color up as much as I could before our first frost. But I was finding damage from insects and/or chipmunks:


I didn't want to lose any, so I picked them all yesterday (my off day from work). It was quite a harvest:



I had some help. Out of all the peppers Bradie could have snuck off with, she chose a Jalapeno:


Don't worry, after taking a few pics, I promptly took it away from her.

My plan was to chop, measure, and freeze the peppers in freezer bags in the amount used in my favorite salsa recipe. That way I can just take a bag out of the freezer and have all my peppers ready to use.

First I had to char the pepper skins on the Big Chili and mystery banana peppers so their tough skin could be peeled off easily. The easiest way for me to do this is on the barbeque grill:


With the grill on high, I laid out the peppers and let them sit over the heat until their skins began to bubble and turn black:



Then I used tongs and turned the peppers until all sides were charred. I had to do two batches to get them all done:


I covered the charred peppers and allowed them to sit for about 10 minutes so the heat would loosen the skins for easy removal. Then I put on some gloves, and ran them under water, and pulled the charred skin off. Sorry the pic is so bad, but I think you can get the idea:


When all the charred peppers were prepared, I began chopping, and chopping, and chopping. I have a small food processer, but it doesn’t chop consistently, it leaves some large chunks and almost purees some of the peppers. So I resorted to chopping by hand. It was a long day of pepper preparation, but I ended up with nine batches of mixed peppers for future salsa batches:

7 comments:

  1. Yum! They are gorgeous! I've never tried freezing peppers -- probably because I never have enough. Maybe next year...
    Ali

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  2. What gorgeous peppers!

    I used my food processor to chop my hot peppers, then spread them out on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and froze them. Once frozen, it was easy to "crumble" them up and bag them, so hopefully I can take out just the amounts I'll need for salsas and cooking. I started to dice mine by hand...it didn't take but one pepper to change my mind about that! Do you know, I've never charred a pepper before? I just use them "as is".

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  3. Wow, that's alot of peppers! If Jude grabs one of mine, i'll just let her find out for herself. Ha!

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  4. Henbogel: Welcome! I don’t like peppers myself, but can eat them in salsa. K likes them though, so we use a few for his salads and pizza topping on his side. However the rest are left on the plants to ripen to red if they can and then harvested at the end of the season and made into salsa. That was the plan anyway….this year I lost all my tomatoes to late blight too.

    AG: Thanks! Since I lost my tomatoes, I have to be happy with this wonderful pepper harvest. I may have to invest in a better food processor in the future though. As far as chopping peppers by hand, it’s not bad if you wear gloves and don’t breath. LOL!

    EG: Bradie did bite into the pepper, and it didn’t look like she was willing to eat it after that…but one never knows for sure what Bradie will do. LOL!

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  5. Beautiful harvest and the finished bags of chopped peppers look superior. I froze peppers earlier this season but did not do the roasting process. I have lots more peppers yet in the greenhouse and plan to do some roasted peppers as well. They taste so good when roasted.

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  6. Wow what a great pepper harvest! I love the pretty colors of lots of peppers!

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  7. kitsapFG: Roasted peppers smell so good. I like the added flavor and removing the skins since I have certain food issues. I don't like any tomato skins in my tomato sauce either.

    Shawn Ann: Thanks! I was pretty surprised at the amount once I laid them out on the bench. The yellow banana looking peppers were supposed to be Jalapeño, but I received the wrong plants.

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