Years ago, I took a writing class at New Orleans Seminary (NOBTS). Dr. Robert J. Hastings, then editor of the Illinois Baptist, was one of the visiting professors. I still remember his words, “You can write about anything!” He emphasized by repeating the last word: “Anything!”
If this post makes sense, it will certainly fall in the category of writing about anything. Recently, I’ve been thinking about my life. And the bell peppers I just stuffed, keep coming up in my mind. I even took several pictures as I considered the dilemma. They didn’t look like any bell peppers I’d ever seen or stuffed. The pondering came after a practical question: How can I cook these?
You must know, my husband of 51-years loves to eat. And early on in our marriage, when I learned he liked stuffed bell peppers, I learned to cook them. Then, before microwaves, and processed sauces, I spent quite some time, selecting pretty green bell peppers in the store, and parboiling them in my large water-filled gumbo pot before I stuffed them.
I remember exactly where I was when I learned about an easy way to prepare Stuffed Bell Peppers and this became my perfected recipe.
Attending a professional meeting for school librarians, we headed for a visit to the Historic New Orleans Collection walking on the uneven sidewalks in the French Quarter. Memorable because of the pretty Spring day and because a fellow librarians shared her easy way to stuff bell peppers.
Later she even laminated the recipe and sent it to me when we returned to our respective schools. I’ve had the recipe card, over twenty years.
Does everyone have a garden? In 2000, after we moved to Bill’s childhood home, Bill planted a garden in the same spot his Dad had gardened. I started having beautiful bell peppers to stuff. I haven’t kept count this year, but last year I stuffed 99!
“Why not one more to make an even hundred?” Bill asked. But I insisted, “Ninety-nine is enough!!”
This year has had the ups and downs of life but through it all; Bill planted and harvested a crop of bell peppers. But surprise! They looked different! Look at the pictures. How do I stuff these?
These peppers were bug free in gorgeous colors: bright green, yellow and red. But they were long and narrow, like fat hot peppers. There was no bottom to sit on. They weren’t squatty. I didn’t have dishes to accommodate standing them up to cook the usual way.” You don’t expect me to stuff these, do you?” I asked Bill.
How was I to remove the hundreds of little white seeds in order to stuff them? Challenging. Of course I wanted to please my sweet husband who had grown and watered them with much pain before his knee replacement.
I pleaded, “Couldn’t we just chop them for salads?”
But he complimented me, “I know you can figure out a way and your bell peppers are so good.” Flattery worked.
Trying to Stuff These Peppers
So here are pictures of my efforts. I tried cutting the tops, the sides, the bottoms, both ends.
None of this really worked. I tried various solutions. The peppers didn’t look neat and pretty. It didn’t take as much meat, so I made a meat loaf too. And the taste was the same. They just looked a bit strange! We had two meals and put two more in the freezer.
Are there Life Lessons?
“GOD is always at work around us!” Henry Blackaby taught me this simple but profound truth. This column isn’t really about cooking or recipes but about life. I’m still not sure what all I learned. But here are a few observations.
Lessons from Bell-Peppers
- We can choose to learn from one another and from life’s circumstances.
- We can help and encourage each other.
- Life isn’t always linear, one neat event at the time.
- Just because God works in your life one way doesn’t mean it will be the same way next time.
- Sometimes in life events or crisis, we have no human answers or explanations.
- Guard your expectations in Christ Jesus
- Be flexible. Be creative. Try new ways of doing things.
- TRUST GOD in and through everything.
Nanas continue to learn too and I’m praying for all of you busy Mississippi Moms!