I'll be honest about stuffed peppers. I don't usually make them in the Winter. Normally I am waiting until August to visit my favorite local farmer's market and vendors for their delicious, in season, yellow Romanian sweet peppers . I sometimes make trays upon trays to fill up the freezer to get us through our cravings for these delicious treats through the Winter months. This was not the case this year as I was far too busy with family, gardens, hot sauces, honey fermentation experiments, and who knows what else! I felt like I had a finger in every pie!
This season I am dedicating individual gardens to certain passions and projects. One of them will be strictly for Romanian yellow peppers, herbs in another, hot peppers in another and then 2 or three mixed gardens. There's also tincture/tea healing gardens I am starting so that I can play 'mad alchemist' a bit more than I already am.
John loves my homemade stuffed peppers , so having an entire garden for them isn't a stretch, it's just good sense. We all love them, but truly I make them to see my beautiful man smile. I have a few different recipes I pull out for each of us when we need a pick me up. We're all different and we all have our favorites. I was taught very young that food is love and that has stuck with me in the healthiest of ways. I do not overindulge to replace love with food in unhealthy ways. I nourish myself and those I love with good food made with as much love in my heart as I can possibly muster. And the truth of the matter is that if you don;t put in the love it just won't taste as good. That might sound like nonsense but it's true. On those days I'm miserable, the food just doesn't taste as wonderful. It'll be good and tasty, but something is lacking.
My unsolicited advice is that you truly take the time and make the space within yourself to love the food you make. It's worth it.
My mother used green peppers from my memory and I always found them far too bitter for my liking. I began using the yellow Romanian peppers years ago, first to just test it out and now as some of the only peppers I will use. These tiny sweet peppers were just lovely though and I will definitely be using them again. They would make a fantastic appetizer for any dinner, a full meal or snack. I eat them cold, right out of the fridge the next day. I also do that with cabbage rolls.
NOTE: Cabbage rolls are very much made in the same way as stuffed peppers. The only difference for me is that I add extras to the tomato sauce. I will cut up a smoked debrizini sausage (or I will dice up some smoked pork hock), a few big spoonfuls of my fermented sauerkraut and top layers (I sometimes layer cabbage rolls in the roasting pan or crock pot) with butcher's bacon. I also freeze my heads of cabbage for 24 hours and then thaw the night before I'm going to make them. I am going to start fermenting my heads of cabbage in the future because after trying these types of cabbage rolls, I have to say they really are delicious.
Sautee onions, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper in oil of choice until cooked then let cool. I added two handfuls of rice to my mix ground meat. ( some people soak their rice for a few hours and I have done this before as well, but I don't do this as a rule. Preference)
Take cooled onion mix from pan and mix with meat and rice.
Stuff washed and cored peppers, place in pan and pour tomato juice over the lot.
I used one mason jar of my homemade juice for the mushrooms and peppers.
Cover and bake at 350° for 1.5 - 2 hours then remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Note: For this batch, I had extra meat mix and ran out of peppers, so I used two portobello mushroom caps instead. They were phenomenal and just gave me new ideas for more stuffed recipes that will be coming to this section soon enough.
Stuffed Pepper Pics
Are My Recipes Traditional?
I have lots of scattered ancestry through Europe. My ancestors hail from Scotland, Wales, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. There are other nationalities peppered through that I have never been able to confirm but one day, I swear I will do one of those DNA ancestry tests to find out. I learned how to cook from a handful of phenomenal culinary masters. There is very little that they would make that I am unable to reproduce.
That being said, in many respects I have gone my own way by combining what feel works best out of many versions of the same dishes that I've been handed. I really do take the best ideas from each recipe and they have served me well. Sometimes I'll switch it up and go overboard and other times I create really basic versions that are never any less delicious than the ones I pull out all the stops for. They're different and delicious. I take chances in the kitchen and I trust myself.
The way I look at it, I like to eat good food, healthy food, tasty food. If I don't enjoy the food I am preparing, there's something wrong. When I am able to prepare foods that my entire family enjoys it's a beautiful thing. Having friends call you up and asking to make a tray of 'this' or a pot of 'that' is a gift I appreciate more than words can say.
When I was a young girl, my maternal grandfather was not too keen on uttering the words, "I love you." Instead, when we would tell him that we loved him he would declare in his thick Slavic accent, 'Never mind! Just eat!" We'd giggle and walk into the kitchen to a stove that had something on every burner, a pot in between them all and something warming in the oven. It was always delicious and you know what? Sooner or later, with lots of persistence and many trips in my 20's with him to the local Farmer's Market in my little car he teased me about being a go cart, I was able to hear those words from him that I relate to food in all the best ways. "I love you".
Recipes are going to vary from meals to medicines. It's all about healing from the inside out because we truly are what we eat. What's the point? Well, gardening and foraging for your own foods, shopping local and no processed garbage or pharmaceuticals for what ails you? I think that's enough of point, don't you?
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