Whenver I eat smoky, sweet roasted red peppers, a former neighbor comes into my mind and heart. She was an Italian lady named Nicolina. She was a widow who never had children of her own.
I was a young mother with two small children. We lived in a very poor neighborhood in a big city. Because it was a choice to remain at home with the kids, we lived on the tightest budget you could imagine.
Nicolina lived across the street from us in a light green house. I learned so much from her. Always willing to help out and give advice, she became a dear friend.
She taught me how to roast red peppers.
"It's easy," she told me. Pick a few big red peppers and wash and dry them. Put them under a broiler. You can use a big oven or toaster oven. Let one side of the peppers turn black. Carefully flip them over and let the other sides turn black. When the entire peppers are nice and charred, take then out of the oven and cover them.
Let them cool. Then, remove all the black skin of the peppers as well as the seeds. This is the messy part.
Once the peppers are peeled and deseeded, store them in a closed container in the refridgerator. Mmm mmm mmm They are sure good in a sandwich. And they are not too fattening!
Today I roasted red peppers. As always, they tasted delicious and they made me think of Nicolina.
She has gone to the other side of life, now, and for sure, she's probably cooking up a storm.
As for roasted red peppers, Nicolina taught me well.
Thanks, dear Nicolina!
DO SOME FOODS MAKE YOU THINK OF PEOPLE YOU LOVED?