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I come from a long line of people who like peppers. Mum’s told me stories how when she was growing up, my grandfather encouraged them to finish eating banana peppers from the jar and they would dunk pretzel barrels into the jar, eating their pretzels that way. Growing up, I wasn’t terribly fond of banana peppers. I used to wrinkle my nose when mum would put them on her pizza and grinders. Then, one afternoon she split her grinder with me and I loved it. I didn’t know what that crunchy, tart, spicy thing I bit into was, but it was good. I don’t know when we started doing it, but every time my family goes to the Olive Garden, my sister and I will each pop the pepperoncini in our mouths (up to the stem) and eat it, seeing who can go longer without drinking something. Many faces have been made in doing so.  Just a few years ago, my grandfather introduced mum and I to szechuan wontons from the Chinese place down the street from where I work. It was a cold, windy, winter night and they were perfect. My nose was running by the time we finished them, but I had never, to that point, had something so good. At Chili Fest in February, I gladly devoured a bowl of my grandfather’s chili and then my aunt’s. My aunt’s chili had the ghost chili in it, or so they were telling us. This past summer, I tried Thai for the first time. When our plates arrived and I saw the Thai chili (I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time,) I boldly bit into it. It made my eyes water and my nose run, but just like that the heat dissipated. But I digress, my family doesn’t mind heat. And normally, I have to look for reasons to pick up fresh peppers. Not this week… or next week for that matter. 

For the next week and a half, maybe two weeks, I have to figure out what I’m going to do with all of the peppers my mate sent me. Funnily enough, it’s the same friend who writes Wednesday’s posts, 10 Minute Meals for the Single Parent. They’ve got a wicked farmers’ market over in Washington and he was kind enough to pick up some peppers for me. Although, “some” is a bit of an understatement.

Saturday, I had to figure out what could mum and I do with the sweet peppers he had given us. She had spaghetti and meatballs simmering away on the stove when I suggested that we ought to roast some of the sweet peppers and put it in the sauce. She obliged and I set out washing the peppers and setting them to dry.

 We didn’t roast only half the peppers, we roasted all of them and the roasted pepper purée that came from it was delicious, especially in the sauce. Yes, some are missing from the picture below.  Meanwhile, with the college football game on in the background and while the kitchen was fragrant from our roasted peppers, I set about cleaning the bigger bag of hot peppers and getting those into a decent container to be kept in. As, up until that point, the peppers had been sitting in the fridge, unwashed.

Feel free to comment if you can name these, we have… quite the assortment.

I’m also missing a picture of larger peppers, but you’ll have to excuse that, I washed em and put em away without even thinking about it. But regardless we have a lot of peppers to work with. I’m thinking salsa, hot sauce, crushed pepper flakes (if we can manage to dry some of the smaller ones out), a big pot of chili… but that’s where I run out of ideas.

Stay Hungry-

Xx Steffanni