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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fear in the Time of Yellow Peppers

     A Meditation on Waste~~~~~
done--a little more than one cup when dehydrated
As I was cutting yellow peppers to dehydrate for Charlie, I was cognizant of what I threw out. Well, it goes to the hens--the inner part which consists mostly of seeds. I am proud that I waste nothing. The connective part that is thick in several places, like ribs inside, is given to the hens. They love pepper seeds and innards. (Yes. These sat here a little too long and got wrinkly. Remember, I was stressed about hen security and also fell down.)

As I washed, dried, halved and seeded the yellow peppers, I wondered why I consider the ribs inside as inedible or worthy of discarding. Who told me that? Where did I see it discarded? Are the seeds edible? I imagine so. Yes, seeds and connective ribs are edible but maybe a little bitter, I read. Are they okay cooked in food or raw? Probably? Actually, yes, they can be eaten raw or cooked.

As I pondered my actions, my mind wandered. I imagined someone had small children to feed and few chances to get much food or nutritious food. Would she give them a soup with seeds and inside ribs/connective tissues? I imagined she would. Every calorie and every bit of nutrition would be eked out of what I had in front of me.  Imagine you are afraid. Imagine you have children to feed. Imagine that you have extreme food insecurity.

(The napkin with pink lilies is one I made. Surprisingly, it is the favorite napkin, chosen by men who attend picnics or parties here.)

Your turn
In any of these circumstances would you use the whole pepper except the green stem?  Do you already eat the seeds and ribs inside yellow, green, or red peppers?


  1. i de-seed and de-rib peppers too! but often while we are cutting up the peppers, jambaloney and i will eat the rib parts - they really are tastey! one thing though, since we don't have chickens to feed the scraps to - we do have a compost pile. i love bringing our little bucket of scraps out to the compost pile every day. all of our food scraps go to the pile and it is getting quite large. i can't wait to add that compost to my garden beds next spring!

    your friend,

  2. kymber,
    That's good to know someone does eat these. I really cannot stand red, green, or yellow peppers, so I don't want to taste them, any part. Peppers are for cooking at my house--rice pilaf, in soup, to season meat--and then for eating when cooked. Before I had hens, I had the compost pile for all scrap. Now, very little goes into compost.

    Peppers are added to others' salads at my house, just not my salad. If cut in very small pieces and cooked, I can bear to eat them, as in pilaf and consider them tasty. My daughter and granddaughter love raw peppers, especially red ones.

  3. Yup, I de-seed and de-rib too. I used to save the seeds to plant, but they stopped germinating a few years back. Pretty sure that's a genetic modification. I imagine you could dry the seeds for a spice, like chili peppers, though they'd be less spicy. Can't imagine having peppers if I was that far down on my luck. Too expensive around here. Chicken feed.

  4. I deseed but only derib for canning. My husband hates peppers unless they are hot ones so we sneak them into pasta sauces or soups where he can stand to eat them.
    I have a link for you somewhere that I will send along. Its an article about a book called Starvation Cooking I think. This is a Greek book that was compiled from WWII articles in that country. One tip-Save a jar of crumbs from the table. After a week or so you will have enough crumbs to feed your family.

  5. Hating peppers sounds like blasphemy to me, LindaM! : ) But, I can't get enough, sweet or spicy!

    Linda, I deseed the sweet peppers that we use, but I eat the ribs. I generally use the entirety of spicy peppers, minus the stem top which I trim off.

    This seems sort of related, and I'm planning to post about it, but did you know you can eat the giant stocks of broccoli? I just learned that (and tried it) yesterday. I'd been just composting the big stocks ( which are a large portion of their weight) because I thought you couldn't eat it. Now I know I can eat the whole thing! Crazy!

  6. Wendy,
    Yes, they are expensive. Someone gave these to Charlie because they did not want them. He has dehydrator. I could have half if I wanted them. People down on their luck can often come across nutritious food, maybe raise it. I was thinking of getting every ounce of nutrition. I should have saved some of the seeds. Some were wasted because of my procrastination. Maybe I will dig in the compost get seeds to plant.

    Blasphemy is about what my mother thought about my refusal to eat any sweet peppers. However, I gladly eat them if chopped small and cooked. .

    I will use the whole pepper next time, minus the stem!

    Yes, look in the store and find broccoli slaw. That is made from the stalks of broccoli. It makes very good slaw. Maybe you have some machine to shred it to eat fresh. I always threw mine away, too.

    You would have to hide them from me! I hide them from myself, seriously. I would like that link when you find it.

  7. Starvation Cookbook

  8. I usually chop and freeze peppers, and I leave in the ribs. The seeds usually get thrown into compost, but I am not meticulous about it, so if some seeds get frozen too, they are put into whatever I am cooking.

  9. GV,
    It seems silly, but I have been vigilant NOT to let any seeds get past me into the freezer or pot. From now on, I have a new mindset. Thanks.


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