Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eggplant, Peppers and Caladiums

What do you think of when you think of Summer? The Beach (no), Swimming (no), Tanning (this pale skin?, no). I don't like Summer. I hate being hot. Yes, I'm aware I live in the South...and I'm counting the days for cool weather.
What part of summer do I enjoy? Tomatoes!! Squash! Fresh Produce! So with that in mind, we made our first jaunt to Lester's Produce. It's a wonderful place in the country among acres of old farm land. lesters tree and flag
This huge produce stand is placed under 100 plus year old trees and has been in business for 42 years. Lester’s is so popular…it was featured in Southern Living in June 2008.
lester produce southern livinglester menu 2011
Huge, gorgeous caladiums are everywhere.
lesters caladiums
lesters caladiums2
It’s a place where you relax, enjoy the shade, the fountain and the scent of peaches. lesters fountain
lester peach
That’s Mr. Dumpling headed over to the potatoes. The sign says “The best baked potatoes anywhere”…and he believed them. We’ll see. lesters george potatoes
We loaded up on eggplants, squash, peaches, potatoes, cucumbers...and peppers! lester tomato berries
lesters tomatoes
lesters white eggplantHave you priced red peppers lately? Around here, $1.99 to $2.99 is a typical price. Just too expensive. I make do with green. BUT these...50 cents each!
So we bought red and yellow peppers...a ton. After looking at them for a couple of days...I started chopping.3 bowls peppers
and chopped.
and chopped.
Did you know how easy it is to put up peppers? Of course, they lose their crispness but are wonderful to cook with. Here's a few tips.
Chop the bellpepper and place in a plastic bag. Do you leave it like this in a clump? Oh peppers bags
After all are chopped, I get a paper plate. Flatten the bag, press the air out, seal and place on the plate. Continue stacking. red peppers 2 stacks
I freeze them like this and once frozen, stack them in the freezer. The joy of this is they are individually frozen within the bag. Just need a tablespoon? Voila. Need a whole pepper? Easy to cook and not in a frozen clump.
So that's what I do for fun in the summer. How many days until football season? Fall? Hmmmm. lsu driff roses

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Poppy @ With a Dash of Color said... Best Blogger Tips

I love how you wrote the first part of this post... you hate being hot and I hate being cold after 6 months of Lake effect snow... I adore summer but right now it's close to 90 degrees... too hot for us!(lol)... loving these gorgeous pictures... those Caladiums are looking so beautiful... I love caladiums... their color and texture is so striking! And those eggplants are looking sooo appetizing... fresh and crisp.. I've never seen white eggplant before! I loved your helpful tip about storing peppers... very useful! I'm gonna try it. Enjoyed your post. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Have a lovely week!~Poppy

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said... Best Blogger Tips

This looks like a wonderful place! I wish we had something similiar nearby! I love the fresh produce of summer too,. I used to be a sun worshipper but no more, now I get my tan with lotion:):) My "comfort zone" is now between 75 and 83:):) My hubby just shakes his head at me. Hope you have a good summer. Enjoy all the produce and thanks for the tips. LOVE the caladiums, we bought several this year too. XO, Pinky

Magical Mystical Teacher said... Best Blogger Tips

I saw brown crowder peas on the menu. Good grief! I haven't seen a brown crowder pea in person for many a year!


If you have a penchant for red,
Then scarlet will go to your head;
But if it is gold
You’d rather behold,
Then plant yellow roses instead.

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Callejon (Alley)

Glenda said... Best Blogger Tips

I love this beautiful place, too! So much color that's artistically arranged under that ancient sprawling tree . . .

Marianne said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm with you as far as summer goes, don't like heat, sun or the sand! But I do love going to all of the farmers markets with the fresh produce freshly picked from the vines. Your pictures are just gorgeous and all of those fresh fruits and veggies...just yummy!
Marianne :)

Jan@southernjunkin' said... Best Blogger Tips

Love visiting the produce stands and farmers' markets in the summer! Thanks for the tip on freezing peppers! I love the hot summer! I'm not a cold weather person at all!

The French Hutch said... Best Blogger Tips

hi Judy, I think you did have a dream job. I've been touring some of your post, and I love your pottery collection. I think I see some Blue Ridge Quimper. I had a few pieces and sold them on ebay. Your collection is beautiful. I'm with you, I am waiting for cooler temps, but we have a good six weeks to wait for that. Oh my, is that an LSU (oh no) flag I see in your last pic????? Ummmm, I live in T-Town, you know what that means.......

The French Hutch

Lori said... Best Blogger Tips

Were they selling the caladiums, just gorgeous. Ours look like peanuts compared to those beauties. Everything gorgeous, I would spend a ton and eat my way home. Geaux Tigers!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Judybug,
I don't like being too hot and I hate the cold! Living on the water like we Islanders do, it's a rarity for it to be too hot. Hate the winters!!

I'm so glad you stopped by. What wonderful pictures. The veggies look so good; bright and fresh! I love fresh tomatoes and peppers. I cut my peppers up just like you do. It sure makes a difference when cooking with them. And those peaches; I can almost smell them! Yum! Great post! Have a lovely weekend.


Katherines Corner said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh my goodness I love this post. First I hate hot too! How wonderful to go to the local farmer rather than the regular market. The peppers are a steal and the tips for freezing them are great too. We ate the first tomato from our garden yesterday. We've picked, shared and eaten all of the peas so far and now we wait,the beans are nearly ready to pick. The bell peppers, eggplant, lettuce,green onions,cucumbers and zucchini are on the way. Hugs!

Babs said... Best Blogger Tips

Your post just screams "Summer". Love local produce stands and Lester's looks like a treasure. I'm with you and the peppers and freeze mine, too. Love the caladiums. I see your LSU flag and it reminds me to get out my Georgia flag. :) Go Dawgs!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said... Best Blogger Tips

I hate it when it's hot here too except our winters are not any fun up north either. Great tip for freezing peppers!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

As a fellow Southerner, I know what you mean about the heat. Our humidity is horrible!

Your post really does scream summer. My family was surrounded by produce when I was a child because we had a greenhouse of tomatoes and gardens surrounding the house. Our neighborhood now doesn't allow gardens, so we just have a few tomato plants. Looks like I need to go shopping with you!

Obviosly, you know where to find beautiful produce. I've become your newest follower!

Rug Cleaning Santa Monica said... Best Blogger Tips

I love farmer's markets! I wish we had a better one that come to our area...