Jeremy and Julie Calvert, along with their 12-year-old son, James, grow fruits and vegetables on their farm in Cullman — including sweet banana, bell, jalapeno and cayenne peppers.
Julie’s favorite is the sweet banana pepper. She said she likes to mix it up and use banana peppers instead of jalapenos to stuff with cream cheese and wrap with bacon. The whole family loves them pickled.
Because Jeremy and Julie both work full time on the farm, summer months are busy, and Julie doesn’t have much time for canning, but she still wants peppers for hearty winter meals.
“I do more freezing than canning because it’s faster,” she said. “During our peak season, we are harvesting and selling six days a week, and we go to church on Sundays, so there’s not much time for anything else.”
If you’re like Julie and need a quick way to preserve summer peppers, freezing them is easy — simply wash them, remove the seeds and membranes and cut as desired. Spread cut peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for at least an hour or until peppers freeze. Transfer to freezer bags or airtight containers and return to the freezer.
As things on the farm slow down, Julie spends more time in the kitchen, and her family loves to gather around the table every night for dinner.
“When we have more down time in the winter, I love to cook with what we’ve frozen in the summer,” she said.