One of the more common peppers to be found in western Pennsylvania gardens is the the Hungarian wax, or what we call banana peppers. This is because they are long, yellow, and typically curved a bit resembling a banana. They are also very not. Picking one out of the garden and eating it is not advised. What most people don’t realize is that a lot of hot peppers are only hot due to the seeds and membranes inside the pepper. The wall of the pepper tastes just like a sweet pepper, and isn’t hot at all. What this means is that you can control the heat of the pepper by cutting out some or all of the seeds and membranes.
Banana peppers are perfect for stuffing. The first thing you need to do is to cut off the tops, and clean out the seeds and membranes. This is to make room for the stuffing, which in this case is Italian sausage. I like to keep a bit of the membranes in the pepper to increase the heat, but this is entirely a matter of individual taste.
After you clean your peppers, get rolled sausage (without casings) and stuff the peppers. Try to leave room for air to escape as you stuff them so that you don’t blow out the pepper walls. After stuffing, place the peppers in a glass or ceramic baking dish and heat your oven up to about 425F. I like to put a jar of my home made tomato sauce over the peppers, and cover everything with a generous layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Cook them for about 30 minutes until the cheese is browned and the peppers are soft. Then spoon them out and manga manga. I have had several meals courtesy of my banana pepper plants and Jimmy Dean.
When my daughter Laura was young, I would pick and eat peppers from my garden being sure to bite the pepper walls between the membrane to avoid the heat. Laura would watch me and figure that the peppers weren’t hot. She would pick one and bite it on the end getting a full dose of the membranes. Things would end with her running off wailing about her moth being on fire to my now ex-wife who would be none-to-pleased with me. There is a happy ending in that my daughter now rivals me in her love for hot, spicy food. I’m still waiting for her to get me back, though.