“Pick a Peck of Pickled Pepper Peter Piper Picked”
I’m not Peter Piper who picked a peck of pickled peppers, but I do intend to pick a peck of pickled pepper or not pickled pepper this garden season. How much is a peck of Pickled Pepper? A peck is about 2 gallons or 10 – 14 pounds. I might eventually pick a peck of a variety of pickled peppers, depending how many peppers I plant. As a kid this classic tongue twister certainly had us going.
Peppers seem to have a lot going on for them. The claim of playing beneficial roles with vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, to name just a few benefits, I often wonder why we are not having pepper with every meal. We have the sweet varieties and the spicy ones that are on a scale of mild, warm, medium, and hot. Just recently I have been learning that peppers do not just liven up the food making it more satisfying to the pallet and taste buds, but that they play a beneficial role in the diet.
Year after year I look forward to growing a few varieties in my garden. Bell peppers in various color (red, yellow, orange, and purple), sweet banana peppers and sometimes the spicy banana. Each pepper adds its own unique taste, color, and flavor to the meal.
Scotch Bonnet pepper is said to have the health benefits of fighting cancer, boost the immune system, reduces inflammation and sinusitis with the aid of its antioxidant qualities.
I remember as a child growing up, in the Caribbean, my parents always planted this pepper in abundance. Our daily meal always consisted of Scotch Bonnet as an added flavor. Boil a whole Scotch Bonnet pepper in your red beans and rice to enhance its flavor and taste to the meal. Try it and you will never cook without having this pepper to compliment your culinary skills. It was common for us to pick a raw Scotch Bonnet pepper to eat with our meals. As a young child, it was more like ‘monkey see monkey do’. We would always pick a big yellow or green firm pepper for our older siblings, and a somewhat softer pepper for myself. The secret to that was the softer pepper is not fully mature and is milder in taste. Everyone had to have a whole pepper garnishing their meal. For us, it was a household tradition.
For the 2019 gardening season, I plan to add a few new varieties to the garden. I have already purchased the seeds of Jamaican Yellow, and Red (Capsicum Chinese) Scotch Bonnet peppers, not the Habernero cousin. I will be starting these seeds along with other varieties around March in my greenhouse.
Stir fry vegetables are never the same without a variety of peppers. Bell peppers also called sweet peppers are very flavorful and rich in antioxidants and boost immune system also good for eye health. It is just as flavorful and healthy in a bowl of salad with other vegetables. I love to cook with a variety of bell peppers to add color and flavor to my meal.
Whether cooked or raw I love it just the same. Homemade salsa calls for some diced peppers to add color texture and flavor. The end results of the salsa are dependent on the pepper used. For mild salsa, you should consider sweet banana pepper. For medium salsa, add one finely chopped jalapeno pepper. If you prefer it hot then add another jalapeno pepper or select a hotter type of pepper such as serrano pepper.
Salsa without peppers is like cooking without salt. If the salt has lost its savor wherein shall it be salted? The same goes if the salsa has lost its pepper wherein shalt it be flavored?
Stuff green peppers, one of my favorite dishes, is what I cook when peppers are in abundance in my garden. With the growing season ahead in Spring I’m hoping to have my garden buzzing with pollinators thus a productive crop of a variety of peppers. Writing about my garden plans, garden past, its benefits, and its planning brings so much satisfaction. This helps me to figure out what plants or seeds to get and even helps with my crop rotation. Blogging about my garden plans and interest helps me to get ready for the season ahead. Can you imagine picking a peck of pickled pepper? Despite the small garden space, I do plan to plant and nurture at least two plants of each variety. Some definitely will be pickled.
How much is a peck of pickled pepper? About 1/4 of a bushel. It’s said that Peter’s peck of pickled peppers amounted to the equivalent of 2 gallons of dry weight, or 10 to 14 pounds. A peck of peppers is certainly a lot of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked.