While this was certainly not a banner year for me in the garden -- my cucumbers produced only for a short time, my tomatoes were terrible and my Brussels sprouts were devoured by bugs, but man, did my peppers do well.
I'm sure part of it was the heat we had this summer and this veggie loves hot weather. Even this past weekend -- in November mind you -- I'm still picking plenty of ripe peppers off the vines. I must have picked more than 100 over the weekend, a bit more that the missus and me can eat before they go bad. So the solution, canning them.
Now granted, I did plant a lot more peppers than two people can eat, but I just assumed they all would not flourish - and they pretty much all did. It seems my soil (and maybe yours) likes all kinds of varieties. I planted some Spanish padrone peppers, two kinds of Japanese peppers, shishito and fushimi, an Italian-American variety called melrose, some New Mexican peppers appropriately called Numex and then a variety similar to pablano. I bet about 20 plants in all.
So from August to the present we have not been without peppers in the house. And as long as we hold the temp above freezing overnight, these guys will likely last a bit longer. Here's one batch from weekend picking, these are a mix of padrone and melrose. As you can see if you leave them out there they do turn red.
And fortunately they don't become any hotter, because they are already hot enough. Sometimes too hot to enjoy. The milder ones, the two Japanese varieties are great for pan frying in oil. Just get them charred and drizzle some salt and soy sauce over them and they are fab. You're beginning to see this dish (shishito's) in some Japanese restaurants on the app menu with fancy salt. If you haven't tried them I suggest you do. You'll then want to grow them at home like I did.
Now you can do something similar to the melrose and padrone, sans the soy sauce, but you probably don't want to pop the whole pepper in your mouth at once. I recommend a knife and fork. You can also just fry them up in some hash browns or have them on the side with some eggs. But have toast handy just in case.
And the pablano variety are great for stuffing. I would char these guys under the broiler, let them cool, peel off the skin, seed them and then stuff them with whatever I had handy. This would always include some kind of cheese (goat works great), and then maybe shrimp, onions, meat, other veggies, you name it. After 15-20 mins in a 375 degree oven they are ready to devour. It does take a bit of work, but I have always been happy with the results.
So finally, after picking more than 100 peppers over the weekend, this is what I have to show for it. I hope they are worth it, because this was a lot of work. It was tempting to think I can drop $4-5 at the store and get a jar of these ready to eat. I know time-wise I spent a lot more than $20 getting these ready. But knowing I started them from seed, managed them as they grew, picked them and then canned will be worth it. And we shall see.