Monday, October 8, 2012

No rest for the wicked.

Yesterday was chilly and windy and overcast. And all I wanted to do was stay in my pjs all day lying on the couch watching football. But sometimes Mother Nature nudges us in the most annoying ways. I still had peppers in the fridge from Pepperpacalyse 2012, earlier last week. Since I have a busy week lined up for this week already, I had to do something with them or risk losing them--which I did not want to do.

Last week, I chopped some of the remaining peppers into rings for pickling. I've got Italian peppers in tomato sauce, pepper jelly, frozen diced peppers, so I figured pickled hot peppers would be a way to add to the variety. Chopping them ahead of time was a huge time saver when it came time to can them. Also, the Hubs volunteered to help me can them. If you've ever canned, you know how invaluable an extra set of hands are in the kitchen. It makes the processes exponentially easier. This time, he did most of the work, with me supervising and guiding him. He's helped me maybe one other time before, but this time he pretty much did the whole thing start to finish.

And the results are gorgeous!

I think these will be great on pizza or salads, or maybe tossed in with some pasta sauce for a little extra kick. They were all hot peppers, not a mix with sweet, but I think the pickle brine will mellow out the heat a little bit. I can't wait to try them.

As if canning a batch of peppers wasn't enough yesterday, I also made soup for dinner from a recipe from the Closet Cooking blog. This guy has an astonishing talent for food photography, on top of his creative and simple-from-scratch recipes. The entry for bacon double cheeseburger soup caught my curiosity, and the weather yesterday could not have been more perfect for soup.

The croutons were made from toasted hamburger buns, and I almost didn't make them. But they MADE this soup. They were the little something extra that made this soup even more hearty. I took a little break from the kitchen toils to enjoy soup and salad made from fresh spicy greens mix I bought at the Monroe Farm Market.

Then it was back at it for the rest of the night. Yesterday, I also made 3 quarts of vegetable stock from accumulated vegetable scraps I keep in a zip lock bag in the freezer. I also made pumpkin scones to eat for breakfast this week with the last of the pureed blue hubbard from last year, and I used the remainer of the puree to make butternut squash lasagna rolls from a recipe in the Beekman Heirloom Cookbook for dinner tonight. I know neither of those recipes call for blue hubbard, but I think those are interchangeable, and blue hubbard has such a bright orange color (its probably higher in beta carotene for that matter).

After all that, I was completely worn out and sick of cleaning up my various messes and standing at the kitchen counter. But I had dinner ready for Monday evening, breakfast for the whole week, and another batch of homemade vegetable stock in the freezer. I gave myself a little pat on the back for all that work.

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