By Joe Cowan
Director of Operations
At the farmers market in Morgantown, West Virginia, I became known as “The Pepper Guy.” I even have a shopping bag with that moniker stitched on it.
That’s because I’ve been on a search for interesting and flavorful peppers, both sweet and spicy, for a few years, and I have come across some wonderfully delicious varieties.
Peppers are one of the easier fruits to crossbreed and to create an entirely new variety that exhibits the traits of one or both of the parents. For this reason, a tremendous variety of peppers is available. Some peppers are better for storage, some better for drying and powdering for our Pepper Salt, and some are best used in a pickled or lacto-fermented sauce.
I typically choose large, red, fleshy, and medium to very spicy types to use for my annual fermented hot sauce. About five pounds of cherry hots and red jalapeños will make enough hot sauce to last a year. Spicy hot sauce is such a treat to have in the middle of winter; it will remind you of your favorite farmer at the market and give whatever dish you are making a real kick.
6-quart fermentation crock
Is your ovenproof dish buried at the back of your cupboard collecting dust? If so, dig it out, blow away the dust, and give it a good clean; you will need it for this baked fish recipe. This super versatile recipe is a complete meal, especially if you pair it with mashed potatoes; more on this later. You will also love this recipe if you like to keep washing up to a minimum. Although this recipe is made with red snapper, it works equally well with any type of white flaky fish such as cod, tilapia, bass, grouper or haddock.
What pies are on your family’s Thanksgiving table? Are they the usual apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan? Why not change it up? After all, variety is the spice of life and cake reminds us of celebrations.
This celebration cake is packed with fruits, dried vegetables, healthy fats, and spices. It is similar in texture to carrot cake yet tastes like Thanksgiving. Due to the moistness, mini cake and muffin pans are used, as a standard-sized cake would crumble too easily during the filling and frosting stage. Mini cakes and cupcakes are festively fun and small enough to sample other desserts without feeling overindulgent. (Like that's not going to happen on Thanksgiving 🦃.)