Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kitchen Plenty

Cajun Bell and Sweet Banana Peppers
If you wonder what I've been doing lately, I've been tending the garden and making good use of its fruits. I almost have enough of the sweet yellow banana peppers to make another batch of sweet pepper relish. I got the recipe from Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening Cookbook, along with the recipe for the bread and butter pickles you see in the jar. I like to add pink peppercorns for the light flavor and the pretty pop of color in the jar.

Bread & Butter Pickles with Pink Peppercorns
Refrigerator Pickled Peppers
2 lbs sweet or hot peppers
12 black peppercorns
6 to 8 tsp coriander seeds
3 or 4 bay leaves
1 small red onion, thinly slices
6 to 8 garlic cloves cut in half
2 1/2 c. vinegar
2 1/2 c. water
1 Tbl. salt
3 Tbl. to 1/3 c. sugar, to taste.
Leave small peppers whole, cutting a small slit near the stem for flavorings to penetrate. Cut large peppers into strips. Remove seeds and ribs. Pack peppers, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves, onion and garlic into 3 or 4 clean glass  pint jars. Heat the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a small saucepan; cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Pour the vinegar mixture over the peppers, top with a lid and ring. Refrigerate for at least 1 week before using. The peppers will keep for several months in the refrigerator. Makes 3 to 4 pints.

I like to use mustard seeds and pink peppercorns also - I like the extra flavor they give. And instead of plain white vinegar, I like rice vinegar, for a slightly lighter taste.

Small Loaves of Butter Pound Cake
 Last weekend I baked 3 small loaves of pound cake. There are only 2 here because we ate one already. We used it as a substitute for shortcake with strawberries, to make strawberry shortcake-like breakfast bowls. Instead of topping them with whipped cream, we used some homemade greek yogurt. YUM!
Homemade Sunflower Seed Bread Loaf
I also baked a loaf of french sunflower bread. As soon as it came out of the bread machine, we had to cut into it and add butter and honey for a mid-afternoon Saturday treat. There's nothing like homemade bread with local honey spread all over it. 

We are eating fresh, and homemade wherever possible. Lots of vegetables and salads, batches of green beans from the garden, and home pickled and baked goods. There's nothing like the taste of fresh home grown, baked or pickled foods!


marymc202 said...

I can tell you are a great cook as well as artisan. That stands to reason since the creative process is the creative process no matter the medium. Isn't it great to enjoy all the fruits of your labors? Everything sure sounds delicious and thanks for the recipe, too!

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Thanks for the compliment - I've gotten back into making things in the kitchen recently because of all the garden goodies!