Preserving the pepper harvest

If you're like me, you've probably been scurrying around in your garden lately, trying to pick and preserve as much of the harvest as possible. After all, it's hard to know how much longer our weather will hold, right?

Today, I've picked most of our sweet peppers. They can be tricky to preserve because, unlike tomatoes that you can turn into sauce, ketchup or juice, peppers are a bit more limited. They seem to be best when used fresh or in making dishes like stuffed green peppers (love those!).

The solution? We like to chop up our peppers and store them in the freezer. That way, you can pop open a freezer bag, grab a handful of them and add them to an omelet, stew, chili, casserole or rice dish. It's very quick and simple.

Photo 2

After washing the peppers, I slice off the tops, remove the seeds, and cut them into large chunks. Next, I use a nifty tool we've had for years that we refer to as the "slicer-dicer." We bought this gadget at Williams-Sonoma (no, we don't own stock in the company) and it's great for quickly chopping up or slicing veggies or fruits. I love it!

So that's what's in the background of photo #2. Now, if you don't have a gadget along those lines, you can always chop the peppers with a knife or pulse them in a food processor. If you do the latter, keep an eye on them because they can turn to mush very quickly.
Photo 3
Photo 4

Photo #3 shows the finished product, which is very easy to work with for different types of recipes.

The last step (photo #4) is to put the chopped peppers into freezer bags and pop them into the freezer. Easy as can be, eh?