More Peppers

After making stuffed peppers on Thursday (click here to see that recipe), I was excited to see what an adventure making ajvar would be.  Ajvar is this wonderful red pepper spread that the people here eat as their primary winter food.  I had been told that making it is an all day process.  On Saturday I had the opportunity to help my landlady and her family make theirs.  It did take all day (I was there 13 hours and they started just before I got there and were still jarring it when I left), but I had a blast!  And I have never felt so Macedonian as I did that day.  I included the recipe below, though you would need to alter it for smaller quantities.

You start with fresh red peppers.

Then you grill them until they peel easily.

The whole family helps out on ajvar day (part of the family even came down from the capitol city to help).

Even the kids help out (and seem to enjoy it)!

I really like this picture.

After the peppers are grilled, they must be peeled and cleaned.

We had some fun conversations while we worked.

Can you believe that is peppers???

Next you have to grind the peppers.

Fortunately, our neighbor has a power drill. Most families have to grind it all by hand.

Then you have to stir it…

… for hours (we stirred for 4 1/2 hours).

200 lbs of peppers makes 2 huge pots of ajvar.

When the head honcho says it’s finished, you take it inside and begin jarring it.
(This is just a little bit of what we made.)

Then it’s ready to eat! Yum!

AJVAR

100 kilos (200 lbs) of red peppers
4 ltrs (1 gallon) of oil
Salt to taste
(We also added baked, peeled, ground eggplant.)

Grill peppers until mostly black and easily peeled
Peel peppers and remove seeds
Grind the peppers and pour into a large dish
— This is where we added the eggplant
Stir continuously for 4-5 hours adding oil and salt to taste
Pour finished ajvar into jars to be kept fresh for the winter
Serve on bread or with cheese

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One response to “More Peppers

  1. Mnogu mi nedostiga Makedonija… :/

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