right now

right now

Sep 28, 2011

You asked for it...

I have had a few inquiries as to what I do with all these peppers I grow!  I really do use them all, and I don't see myself as being a pepper freak, but maybe I am - you be the judge...
Got Hot?

or sweet?

There's lots to see here, so don your mask and gloves and let's get started!

Sweet Bell Peppers are easy, no blanching, just chop and freeze.  They go into everything, all winter long - stir fry, soups, stews, sausage casseroles, anything goes here.

Even the frozen bell peppers will keep pasta salad lively long after the tomatoes are gone...

The old standard, salsa...


Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Garden Convenience Food - stuffed peppers, frozen and bagged... dump a few out and bake in oven with a bit of tomato sauce and cheese makes a quick meal...

Of course there are days when there are more than I can use at dinner...

ya think?

Canning keeps us in nachos (Garden Junk Food) and chili all winter long -

Hubby likes jalapenos on his pizza sometimes :)

I use diced jalapenos or green chiles to jazz up the chicken filling inside enchiladas -

But wait, there's more!

Jalapenos can be frozen whole for more Garden Junk Food in winter...

One of my favorites is Stuffed Baked Jalapenos -

I halve them, seed them, stuff with a mixture of cooked sausage and cream cheese, sprinkle cheddar cheddar and french fried onions over the top and bake, the ultimate!  I never said this was healthy :) (*you can also make ahead a few hundred and freeze on sheets then dump into bags, ready to go party food!)

Excess small hot peppers are dried for grinding later or making fermented hot sauce.  Larger chiles such as Poblanos can be dried and soaked later in the year to turn into stuffed Anchos.  (Fun fact - Poblano peppers are called Ancho Chiles after they are dried).  Anchos ground and mixed with other spices such as oregano, savory, salt, pepper, dried garlic, etc make a great steak rub, too!  Drying is the quickest way to preserve for sure!

If I have a little extra time on my hands, I'll roast and peel the Poblanos and pressure can so they are ready to go all winter for Chiles Rellenos.

Peppers are always welcome in tacos here -

Canned sweet or mild peppers or peppers packed in oil are always good on sandwiches or panini, stuff them right into jars with your pickles, don't discriminate!  It'll give those pickles some kick, too :)

Apparently I've made quite a name for myself as the pepper-chick, hence this gift that arrived a ways back from the lovely Apple Pie Gal....  :)

Now even my beverages are decorated in pepper style!

Party Fun:  host a dinner party, then stuff peppers of random heat into homemade sushi and watch people's expressions, this is good times!  Kind of like loading a bunch of .38's along with a randomly placed .357 in your gun just to keep you on your toes.  Come on, I know a few girls out there that have done that, usually courtesy of your laughing husband, right?

So there you have it, the most common pepper dishes at our home - 

Embrace the pepper!

Sep 27, 2011

The annual outing...

Nope, it's not ecologically "sensitive", green in even the tiniest way, "sustainable", or a celebration of any type of homegrown goodness, but it is our livelihood... the military aircraft!  This weekend was the annual air show here at the base, and we go every year, rain or shine.  This year it rained the whole time, and although we were a bit wet it was still fun.  For one day we enjoy eardrum splitting noise, sonic booms, flames, the smell of jet fuel and hydraulic fluid, and fuel consumption numbers that would make you cringe - that's our life and we're sticking to it, for another 8 years, anyway!

Finn taking a break from the rain...

How often does a kid get to stand here?

Finn loves helos, much to hubby's dismay :)

 Finnegan again...

In the evening the kids hooked up with their friends easily, since most of the crowd willing to attend in the rain involved the Navy families.  They are enjoying the fireworks...

After the air show out on the tarmac, we were treated to our own private one courtesy of hubby.  We walked down to his hangar where incidentally he had to actually work on real squadron stuff all weekend, and he was able to give the grand tour to my parents.  My brother flies C-130's so being in a hangar isn't new to them, but F/A-18 SuperHornets are.  It was nice to be out of the rain, although hubby is currently working on a few jets in there and the lovely chemical/fuel/hydraulic scent in there was a bit overpowering with the hangar doors closed.

The "non-air show" real deal - hubby's hangar! -

He got to work in here all by himself all weekend, instead of being out in the rain with us!

Kids love bombs.  You know it, even kids who say they don't like bombs, love bombs :)

You mean you don't let your kids play with bombs?  Hubby never gets the memo on these things.

Finn making his fist of fury... not sure if it was hydraulic fluid, jet fuel or testosterone I was smelling in there! 

All right, I won't subject you to any more of this, I'll return to my normally scheduled posts on the finer points of homesteading and family managing next time, I promise.  But if you are ever out our way and want to admit that you want to touch a bomb, I'm your girl and we'll hook you up! :)

Sep 26, 2011

Catch Up

My parents are on their way back to Minnesota today, and I'm back!  We had a good visit, but it rained EVERY DAY!  We are on our 6th or 7th day straight of rain, heat and humidity and I am so ready for fall.  I still have not planted the fall garden and the lawn is about 8 inches high, soggy, mushrooms sprouting all over, yuck!  During a few hour break in the rain mom helped me bring peppers in, I thought the end must be near, but I still have a lot out there ripening.  We did bring in quite a bunch the other day that needed to be frozen and/or canned.  All of the bell peppers were frozen, the Anchos hung to dry, and the jalapenos were canned.

I was lazy and raw packed them into rings instead of scorching and peeling since there were so many.  I got 7 pints of jalapenos to add to the rest of the stash in the pantry.  The verdict this year is that 3 plants is just not quite enough, so I'll plant 4 from now on.  If you remember, 9 plants was way too many, I was harvesting about 100 a week, 6 plants was still a bit of an overload last year so I dropped it to 3.  Yes, we eat a LOT of jalapenos, probably 2 pints a month LOL.  3 years later, I think I have it dialed in finally.  

We pulled the plants, so this brings the total of jalapenos for 2011 to 10 lbs, I think 15 would be about perfect, and of that I squirreled away 11 pints and 4 half-pint jars for the year.

Of course, we had to use up some of the bell peppers fresh! 

everyone knows of my favorite dish for the garden, stir fry

Mom also has finally decided I'm worthy of some family photos!  Really nice ones that I had never seen before, like this gem:

Isn't that cool?  That's dad on the right.  I also had him list a string of cars he owned starting with his first one, and wow - that's a fun list!  Needless to say, I have some good material to get me started on my next project - wait for it - 

- I have decided to (gasp) start scrapbooking, you know, in all my spare time :)  Yet another hobby I used to laugh at and say I would never do...what's happening to me?!  I also got filled in on a lot of family history I didn't know about, and random fun facts about the family and my parents specifically.  Of course it would be great if mom would pen a history for me but I'll settle for dumping boxes of "stuff" on my desk to sort through myself LOL :)  Hopefully one day I'll have some nice things put together for our family and my brothers' families to share, with actual captions so we know what the heck we're looking at.

Honest, someday soon I really will be planting my fall garden, but it has to stop raining first!  Next up I'll post about our annual air show fun, not interesting to everyone I realize, but it's our livelihood LOL...

I have gotten back into knitting the past week and have sorted through my seeds for fall, so I'm slowly making the change to the new season....