Preserving Peppers

My friend Melissa called me the other day and asked me if I’d like some green peppers. I don’t turn anything down, so I said, “Sure!” She asked, “How many do you think you want? A bushel or two?” I felt dumb as I asked how much a bushel is, “How many grocery bags full is that?” She estimated about four. I said, “I think one bushel would be good.”

Me and the kids hopped in the car and drove the country roads to our friend’s house. She really blessed us with a ton of beautiful fresh veggies from her garden! I walked with her to get the peppers from her “pantry”. As she filled the bags she explained to me that they don’t eat green peppers much, they prefer red, but they had to pick the peppers before they turned red because of the predicted frost.

I thought about what she said for a minute. “So, the green peppers will turn red if you leave them longer?” I asked. She explained that the green peppers were not ripened yet. When left to ripen they will turn yellow or red, depending in the variety. I didn’t know that! The red and yellow peppers are sweeter. That’s why these peppers are more expensive in the grocery store, they take longer to ripen, so they require more maintenance.

I swear, I learn something new every time I visit Melissa!

She ended up giving me 2 grocery bags of peppers, a bag of beautiful fresh picked lettuce, a bag of turnip greens, and a bag of sweet potatoes. She also gave me some of her handmade soap.

The next day I put up the peppers. I sliced up one bag of peppers and froze them. The other bag I dehydrated.

blog stuff 002 (Medium)

I was surprised that one full grocery bag of peppers dried to this! All of it fit in one small pickle jar. I read that one Tbsp of the dried pepper equals one half of a fresh pepper. I also read that you can grind up the dried pepper into a powder to use in recipes as well. That would be neat to try.

I hope one day that my garden is so bountiful that I am able to bless my friends and neighbors with some of my produce. Thanks Melissa!! We’ve enjoyed every bit of it!

9 thoughts on “Preserving Peppers”

  1. I love free stuff.. We have a joke in family between me and my Sib.. My mom would always start dinner by telling us what was free or how much she spent on the dent and bent can on pea.. Drove my Dad nuts and us too But now as grown ups with kids struggling to fed our own familys we say the same things. My Brother who is a pastor even preached about Mom always praising God at the table for all the free food he gave us.. What a blessing it is to have friends who share and a GOd who cares..

  2. Neat post-nice friend : ) I’ve never tried drying peppers before-maybe next summer. My girls like to eat them raw-so it’s hard to even save enough to freeze around here.

  3. Hey Kendra –
    Glad the peppers went to good use. And thanks for the idea of drying peppers. We’ve never done that and will try it next year. I learn lots from you too!
    With the colored peppers, we love to roast them. I’ll fill up a whole cookie sheet, put them under the broiler, turning after each side gets blackened. Then put them in a paper bag to “steam” them until they are cool enough. Then you peel them and get the seeds out of the inside. I’ll freeze little bags of them to enjoy later with fried eggs and in soups, on pizza, etc.

  4. Kendra,

    I chop and dehydrate our green peppers every year. When I am making spaghetti, I put the chopped up pieces in the noodle water as I am waiting for it to boil. They rehydrate and we use them in the spaghetti!

    By the way, thanks for leaving a suggestion on my blog to read your Butterberry Farm series. Little do you know that I have been avidly following that series since the very first post, lol!

  5. Next time you have a lot of green peppers, try this recipe. It has been in our family for a long time but is too good not to share. When we run out of this green pepper relish I have to make more as I cannot get my children to eat store-bought relish. (Of course, they won’t eat store jam either. I think I’ve spoiled them!)

    Green Pepper Relish

    24 green peppers (a few red peppers add color)
    4 lb. onions (peeled)
    3 c. vinegar
    1 c. water
    4 c. sugar
    3 T. mustard seed
    2 T. salt

    Core and wash peppers. Put peppers and onions through food grinder, using medium blade. Pour boiling water over ground mixture. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Drain and repeat. Drain fairly dry. Add vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seed, and salt. Cook 30 to 45 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently. Can in sterilized jars and seal. Process 15 minutes in boiling water canner (plus 10 minutes if high altitude). Makes approximately 7 pints.

    Notes: Use wide-mouth pints, they hold more!
    This takes 3.5 – 4 hours from peel & grind to jars when I work without a helper. You can split this up; peel and section onions and core and section the peppers to fit your grinder on one day and place in the ‘frig., then grind and process the relish the next.


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