Red Pepper Palooza

Red Bell Peppers

See that pretty picture? That’s a very large bushel basket of peppers. I have used a couple. I sent some to the other house with girl child. I still have way more red bell peppers than I can use in a few days though. What possessed me? Was it an evil spirit invading me at the very last farmer’s market of the season that just happened to be Halloween? I doubt it. I think it boils down to the fact that I LIKE red bell peppers but know that the cost of them makes me cringe. Why pay one or two dollars for one in a week or two when I can get a HUGE basket of them for $10.00?

I haven’t sorted exactly what I will do with them yet. You see, I don’t often COOK with red bell peppers because the children don’t really like them. My mother said that she would chop them up and freeze them for use in cooking over the winter. Hmm. Note: no cooking with them. I put them in salads. I put them in stir fry (but frozen ones don’t seem to work right in my mind for stir fry) I put them in frittatas, but will frozen work there?

I thought to roast and jar them and not have to rely on the expensive jarred ones in the many recipes that call for them. I don’t know how to do that though and if it is possible without a pressure canner.

I ruled out a red pepper relish recipe because of the three cups of honey. I didn’t insist on the giant size on Sunday at the farmer’s market and honey prices-yikes.

So, I am thinking-roasting and freezing (does that work?) some. Making up some stuffed bell peppers for my mother and possibly us and freezing those. (Does anyone have a good recipe for stuffed peppers that freeze well?) and this recipe I have for Pepper-Onion relish.

Pepper-Onion Relish

4 cups chopped onions
4 cups chopped sweet bell pepper
1/2 cup honey
4 cups vinegar

Combine all ingredients and bring to boil. Cook until slightly thickened. (about 45 minutes) Pack the hot relish into hot scalded pint jars. Fill to top of jar. Seal. Cool. Store in refrigerator.

If extended storage without refrigeration is desired, leave 1/4″ headspace, seal and process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

I suspect I won’t trust it enough without refrigeration which leads me to wonder…what can I do with pepper-onion relish? Top veggie burgers? Does anyone else get quirky about worrying they will die from canning on their own? I know I shouldn’t. I grew up canning.

Quick Orange Marmalade

From The Modern Family Cookbook

3 large oranges, about 1¾ lbs.
2 lemons
3 tablespoons lemon juice
5 cups water
6 cups granulated sugar

Use sound, juicy oranges. They may be any size, but a large size is easier to prepare. Cut washed oranges and lemons into 8 sections each’ scoop out pulp, discarding all seeds, then cut up and put into kettle. Now slice the rind paper-thin and add to kettle. Stir in additional lemon juice and water; bring to boil, simmer 1 hour, uncovered. Then add sugar, stir until dissolved and return to heat; again bring to boil and simmer about 50 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat. Test for doneness by dropping a teaspoonful of the hot liquid onto a thoroughly chilled plate and place in refrigerator for 5 minutes; if jellied by the end of this time, the marmalade is done; if not, continue cooking for a few minutes longer and again test for doneness. When done, pour into hot sterilized jelly glasses or jars and cover immediately with paraffin. When cool add another thin layer of paraffin. About 4 pints marmalade.

Pickled Peaches or Pears

12 to 16 medium-sized peaches

Whole cloves

2 cups cider vinegar

2 cups granulated sugar

6 sticks cinnamon

Use firm but ripe peaches. Clingstones are best for pickles, but if Elbertas are used, dip in boiling wter to loosen skins, then remove skins and leave fruit whole. Pare any other variety thinly. Stick each peach with 4 to 5 cloves and drop immediately into boiling hot syrup, made of the vinegar, sugar and stick cinnamon. Bolil gently until peaches are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Pack into hot sterile jars. Add hot syrup to come to within 1/4-inch of top, then seal. Use same method for peeled Seckel pears. 2 quarts. Chill before serving.