Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Red Peppers, Broccoli, & Changing My Menus

I keep changing my mind.

I'm so happy when I make a weekly meal plan, but lately it seems fruitless...or perhaps fruit-filled veggie-filled????

I make the menu based on what's generally in season. But then when I go to the garden and find something either growing in huge abundance or at absolute peak, well, then...all plans go out the window. I'm changing my weekly menu to include the gorgeous, new lettuce growing at my parents' home. I need a couple more fixes of taco salad before winter. I definitely won't be buying lettuce then.

Gardening today? Red pepper and broccoli harvest. I left the green peppers to let them continue growing, but picked the red so they wouldn't get overripe. I've never had such an abundance of red peppers before. One was bigger than a softball.

Did you know that red peppers are just green peppers left to further ripen on the vine? I didn't until I started growing them. It's also the reason I've had trouble growing them...sometimes they rot before they turn all the way red. Or they don't have time to get fully ripe before the weather turns cold, which has NOT been a problem this year. If it stays this warm, I'll wish I'd planted a second garden. Here are the peppers ready for the freezer. I just slice and bag for pizza toppings, stirfry, etc.

With the broccoli, I cut into stalks and blanch (immerse in boiling water) for 3 minutes. Then plunge in cold water, drain, and spread on a towel to get a little more moisture off before bagging for the freezer. Great for stirfry or a quick side veggie.
Yesterday I planted one of our raised beds with lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, and bok choy, hoping that it grows all winter under glass. Still need to add kale, but ran out of seeds.

I came to a realization today. I have almost no recreational activities of my own. I occasionally read. I write my blog. But other than that, I think kids and gardening/food preservation are my recreation. A time for everything... :)


AmyP said...

Do you still have green beans? One of my favorite veggie sides is roasted green beans with red peppers. Just drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with S&P, and roast until the beans are tender. So delicious!

richmomma said...

Unfortunately, no. I never have them at the same time. My beans are ready in July, my red peppers in Sept. Can you roast frozen beans?

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