It’s September now, and everything seems to be happening at once.  Tomatoes are coming on strong, and I’ve already canned 16 quarts and 4 pints that will be used this fall and winter in everything from chili and spaghetti to vegetable soup and pasta.  Peppers are ripening too, and so far I’ve sliced quite a number into quart bags for freezing.  They’ll be used in chili and various Italian dishes.  But there’s always some leftover vegetables, and while some can be converted into fairly ordinary, but tasty dishes, there are some excellent receipes that the adventursome might try.

For example, I always make stuffed peppers around this time of year.  I use a traditional receipe that mixes fried hamburger, rice, tomatoes, and such things as garlic, catsup, and oregano.  I remove the seeds, stuff with the above mix, and bake them until done.  They’re tasty.

But I was rooting through the web recently, and turned up a couple of interesting receipes from, a website that not only sells seeds, but has some interesting articles and receipes.  Her Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers was typical.

To make this dish, you’ll need six bell peppers, 2 cups chicken stock, 2/3 cups of orzo (rice shaped pasta), a half pound ground lamb, 1 1/2 tbs olive oil, some minced garlic and chopped onion and mushrooms, a cup diced zucchini, a couple of diced tomatoes, a half cup fresh parsley, and some spices from a little fresh oregano, basil, and ground pepper.  Add a cup of Feta cheese, two tablespoons lemon juice, a beaten egg, and a quarter cup roasted pine nuts.

You’ll pre-heat your oven to 350, cut the tops off the peppers and remove their seeds, then drop them into boiling water for five minutes, and cool.  Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan, add orzo, then reduce heat and cool until the orzo is tender.  Now heat a large skillet and brown the lamb, spooning the meat into a colander to drain off excess fat. 

Heat oil in the skillet, and add garlic, onion, mushrooms, and zucchini, sauteing until the vegetables have softened.  Stir in orzo, tomatoes, herbs, lemon juice, feta cheese and cooked lamb.  Heat thorougly, then stir in egg and pine nuts, and stuff the peppers, baking them for 35 minutes with a half cup of boiling water around them.  Does this sound like a lot of work?  It is, but I’m betting the result will be worth your efforts.

I love cornbread, and I make mine with a mix of commercial cornmeal and a couple of tablespoons of white flour to bind it together, adding some chopped onion for extra flavor.  Renee has a receipe for cornbread, that’s almost as complex as her peppers, but it sounds tasty, and you can modify as you wish.

She starts with a cup of unbleached flour and adds 3 teaspoons baking powder, 2 1/2 tbls sugar, a little salt, a cup cornmeal, 3 eggs, a cup of milk, and 3 tbls corn oil.  Then she gets serious, adding 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, 2 fresh jalapeno peppers seeded and minced,. 1/3 cup minced bell pepper, 1/3 cup fresh basil, and a third cup grated cheddar cheese. 

Mix together the dry ingredients, then in a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, and oil together before mixing the wet ingredients with the dry.  Spoon into a well greased 9 x 9 pan or ovenproof skillet, and bake 25 – 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 425.  It sounds good to me, a truly hearty cornbread.

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