Have you seen the price of non-green peppers lately?! It can climb as high as $2.99 for just one! That's truly, truly insane, and I've been irate about it for over a year now, because roasted red peppers are some of my favorite things in the whole world. I hate those nasty green ones and up until this summer, I bit the bullet and forked over upwards to $2.00 per pepper (!), but when the grocery stores crossed that threshold, I crossed them off my list. Bitterly and with seething resentment. Then July rolled around, and I could get all I wanted (and more, if my produce bin is any indication) from the farmer's markets, but now that abundant source, sadly, is shut down until next year. Damn cyclical change of the seasons.
My bitterness stems from the fact that last year, the price of red peppers went up, for whatever reason, and then it never went down. Surely whatever adverse weather conditions were affecting the price would: a.) abate, and b.) be irrelevant if the peppers came from another part of the world, which clearly they do in the winter time, and c.) you know, just be a temporary thing because who in their right mind would pay two bucks for a friggin' pepper? We're not talking fresh, wild mushrooms here, people, just your basic bell pepper.
So, I've been feeling taken advantage of and it just reminds me of the oil companies and their record profits, so let's not even get started on that one. Clearly, someone somewhere is getting rich while I go pepper-less into this harsh, cruel night of the culinary soul.
Fortunately, Costco came to my rescue with its abundant bags of tiny, sweet little peppers for only six or seven bucks, total (sorry, I have a hard time remembering numbers or locating receipts). And although it's slightly more work to de-seed and roast these little babies, it's the kind of minor effort that pays off big in the end. They're much, much cuter than the other kind, and when sliced in two, they look like little half-moons decorating your plate instead of boring old strips of predictable red and orange. They're packed with as much flavor as their bigger, more profligate brothers, if not more, and frankly, are just a lot more fun to have around (watch your dog try to eat one! give one to your rabbit and sense his gratitude! accidentally drop one from the bag on the way to the refrigerator and smash it underfoot without thinking!). Best of all, if you really get attached to them over the winter, Amy Hicks (and other local farmers) will have plenty of the pesticide-free, organically loved kind at the market next summer, just as she has in years past.