BELL PEPPER ROT?

During my routine garden check, I noticed that my brand new bell peppers looked gorgeous. But wait, what is that?  A weird whiteish/brownish spot? Two of my peppers looked like they were rotting. What could have caused that?

It turns out that this is actually called SUNSCALD. And funny enough, it is most prevalent on green fruits like bell pepper.   The sun-damaged areas can then be vulnerable to insects and disease.   Oftentimes a fruit that was previously in the shade and then exposed to direct sun will get sunscald.  To prevent this awful sunburn, cover the exposed fruit with a lightweight material to diffuse the light. In general, it’s important to keep the foliage healthy to give the fruit natural shade.

I cut off the peppers with the sunscald to prevent any bugs from moving in and wreaking havoc on the rest of my garden.  Since most of the pepper was healthy, I removed the sunscalded section and used the rest of the pepper in a salad. My next round of peppers so far look great. I’ll report back if anything unsightly occurs.

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Fried Green Tomatoes

When it’s time to pull out tomatoes, oftentimes there will be lots of green ones left on the vine. This is the perfect opportunity to make fried green tomatoes. I mix my green tomatoes with sweet grape or baby tomatoes for a combined taste of sweet and tangy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Green tomatoes of any variety (as many as you want to cook – ideally at least 1 pound)
  • Baby red tomatoes (use a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1, green:red tomatoes)
  • 1 egg (more depending on the amount you want to cook)
  • Flour (1-2 cups)
  • Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs (ratio of 2:1 white flour to bread crumbs)
  • Olive Oil (for frying)
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • 3 bowls
  • 1 platter
  • 1 plate
  • Paper towel
  • Large deep skillet
  • Metal tongs
  • Metal slotted spoon or spatula

DIRECTIONS:

Slice the tomatoes into 1/8 inch slices and place into a bowl. Scramble one egg and put into a separate bowl. Mix flour and bread crumbs into a separate bowl. Dip the tomatoes into the egg batter, then the flour and lay them individually on a large plate.  Make sure the tomatoes are fully covered with the flour mixture so that they are dusty (not wet) with flour. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in the deep skillet  (the amount of olive oil depends on the size of the pan). Heat the olive oil until it bubbles when dropping in a test tomato. Fry the tomatoes in batches for a few minutes on each side. Do not flip until one side is golden brown. If the oil is not hot enough, the tomatoes will be soggy.   Lay each batch of fried tomatoes on a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Add a layer of paper towel on the platter in-between each batch of fried tomatoes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve immediately and enjoy.

Note: Olive oil has a low smoke point- do NOT overheat the olive oil.

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