a meal

I made soup last night – corn chowder (in response to the comment “do you any idea how many bags of corn we have in the freezer?”).  And I pulled, along with the corn, a bag of roasted poblano peppers.  I groaned:  the bag was not sealed well, and was full of freezer burn.  I remembered the tedious task of roasting a pail full on the grill of our fire pit (thinking it would be easier than the grill?  Or maybe we were out of charcoal?).  It took way longer than I planned, and then there was the peeling, and seeding, sliminess, fingers covered with sooty green skin.  And in the end, the bucket was reduced to one quart bag, now crunchy and white with frost.

So I sigh, and break off a big handful, rinse them under the kitchen tap and chop them up.  When they hit the soup, a smell emerges, smokiness, a little sour. What if they make the entire soup taste off?  But the smell settles and turns more pleasant, and I continue on.  The thread of memory stretches back, all the way to a year ago when I started peppers seeds.  The Anchos did not sprout, it was a risk trying old seed, but I had overplanted and hoped for the best.  No huge loss:  I’d just buy a few plants.  So later in the spring, at the market, I pick up several plants (this too is a fiasco, they were mixed on a shelf and I end up home with a weird variety, so I re-buy another the next day at a second market, spending in the end much more than a seed packet on three sturdy plants).  But these are hardy things, way bigger than my home grown peppers, and it’s not a good year for peppers at all: cold for too long, then too hot.  These manage to grow happy and tall, laden branches leaning against the garden fence for support, heart-shaped fruit hanging down.  They are the subsidy peppers—always available for dinner or batch of salsa, making up the difference when I’m low on bells or banana peppers.

So at the end of the year I have a surplus; a few days’ picking was chosen for roasting and freezing.  I came in, smoky (last night D says, “I remember that day, you were grouchy”).  I probably had other stuff to do, but I finished up what I had started.  And 4 or 5 months later, I stand in front of the stove, stirring in a big bag of sweet corn.  The string of thought stretches ahead; peppers will be planted later this week.  I have a fresh packet of seeds.

And the soup?  Fantastic. 

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  1. I usually don't fret much about freezer burn on the peppers. Good thing too as I tend to keep seeding/blanching and then freezing them into the same bag...never seem to have "enough" ripe at any one time.

    Corn chowder in any form is great. Mmm.

    love your tortellini tutorial!

    INCIDENTALLY my husband has something in this week's Isthmus. Go check it out.

    1. Yeah, freezer burn is nothing new here, but this was particularly BAD, ha.

      Thanks for the heads up on the artwork!

  2. The greenhouse will be great for peppers. I haven never been able to grow enough anchos, but the thought of that chowder is making my mouth water. And yes, I too have corn in the freezer....

    1. Will try a few plants in there, we normally do okay with peppers but last season was bad for everyone here.

      And you could make corn chowder with some of your Maine shrimp--that would be really good!


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