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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Red Peppers

Weekends have a rythmn and a routine, and it always includes looking ahead to the work week and making the menu and grrocery list. I am more compulsive about this than most people. Each day has the evening activities noted that would compete with cooking time so I know whether it is a slow food day or a 15 minute dinner. The cookbook name and page number is noted in the margin each day, if used. The category is next to the day - meat, meatless, fish, poultry - so that I keep our diet balanced.

In the summer, there is always the line "harvest" so I know what is coming out of the garden, not the market. This time of year, that line item becomes "thaw". This week, I am thawing famer's market beef, and from my garden, basil pesto and red peppers.

This is the last of the peppers in the freezer. This wasn't a good pepper year. It was a wonderful year for virtually everything else in the garden, but the peppers suffered in the rain. They were leafy and healthy, but slow. We ran out of summer before most of them ripened, so red was a rare color in the pepper bed.

So now I will pay the high price for fresh peppeers at the supermarket until mid summer. But I hope I will be smarter this year. For years, I never knew that peppers froze so well, so I didn't keep the harvest. For the past few years, I have sliced and frozen green, yellow, red, and an occasional purple bell pepper (my husband's diet doesn't include hot peppers). But I continued to pay high prices for roasted red peppers. Dummy! For less than $2, I can get a pack of seeds that will give me more peppers than I can pick. Throw them on the grill, and Bam! (thanks, Emeril), roasted red peppers for the year.

When the rythymn of the winter weekends turns to long, frenetic summer days spent outside, I'm hoping I will make the time to make next winter's grocery list a little easier, cheaper, and more organic by saving my peppers, roasting them, and capturing the warmth of the summer to be released in the cold of winter.  That can't be captured on any list.    

Copyright 2010,

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