Like the Chinese having a name for every year, this has to have been the year of the pepper at our house. Living in a woods we have no inch on our property that receives enough sustained sunlight to grow vegetables. So, the solution is to buy the seeds or plants and ask others to provide the dirt.
This year I purchased some seed packets and asked a local farmer to grow them for me and we’d split the harvest with him getting the portion. I also mentioned it to my brother in law and unbeknownst to me, he purchased several varieties of hot pepper plants and grew them for me. Since nobody in his immediate family eats peppers, the entire crop became mine do dispose of. Finally, my daughter and her husband’s garden produced a ton of peppers and several bags full found their way onto our kitchen counter.
So, in little time we’re eating peppers as part of most noon and evening meals and our freezer is about half occupied with bags of frozen peppers for the winter.
Yesterday we had one of our occasional family gatherings and it was requested I bring my deep-frying equipment and whip up some real French fries and onion rings. The reunion was held at the brother in law’s place where one of the fore mentioned pepper patches was.
After setting up and getting the oil heated to the proper 375 degrees, I walked into the pepper patch and grabbed a hand full of several types of sweet and hot banana peppers. I washed them, split them in half lengthwise, removed the seeds and veins, and tossed them directly into the hot oil. Having never done this before I just let them roil until they looked “fried.”
When they looked right I took them out, drained them on a paper towel, and sprinkled a little salt on top. I offered the plate to others but had no takers. I ended up munching them all and had a wonderful time. Only thing that may have made them a little tastier would be to roll them in a little flower before dropping into the oil.
A lot of people have misconceptions about peppers with the very word evoking visions of heat and pain. But, the heat in peppers is not in the flesh or the seeds, it concentrates in the membranes that the seeds cluster around. The more orange the membrane, the more hot the pepper. Remove the membrane and you remove much of the heat but leaving behind the flavor and sweetness. Additionally, I’ve noticed, when you cook peppers the heat diminishes even more.
So, to answer the question, don’t you ever get tired of peppers? All I can say is it remains to be seen. I’ve never had so many in my freezer and never had as much reason to find ways to use them. Ask me again in the spring.