484: Bell Peppers

Molly 0:00

Guess what, everybody? We have a live show coming up on May 13. At 6pm Pacific.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:06

Yeah, we're doing it in a in a giant closed and closed airtight stadium and you're all invited and we're gonna cough on you. It's Guess what? It's online.

Molly 0:17

Surprise. Yeah, everything it's gonna be online,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:20

but it's free and you're you're welcome to come, you can register through the link in the show notes, or find information on the reddit@reddit.com slash are slash everything spelled melk. Or I'm going to make a little quick link that will take you right to where you can register, it'll be bit.li slash bill Belk live 21.

Molly 0:39

And for the show topic, we are going to be doing a lightning round, which means Matthew and I will not know ahead of time, what the topics are, there'll be multiple topics. Abby's going to pull them out of a hat or something like a hat. And we are going to have just a few minutes to do a show about that topic. And so we need your help, please submit topic ideas for our lightning round,

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:01

send them to topics at spilled milk podcast.com

Molly 1:03

and join us on May 13th at 6pm Pacific. I'm Molly,

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:13

and I'm Matthew

Molly 1:14

and this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:18

Eat it all and you can't have any and we're going to keep that whole intro right? Yeah, yeah. Okay. And today we're talking about bell peppers. Of course this was this suggested by anyone or was it like a thing that fell out of another episode?

Molly 1:33


Matthew Amster-Burton 1:34

I had recently a flashback to one of our earliest episodes, the bagel episode, because that was the one where I think where we were talking about like, like hot ooze coming through the bagel bagel hole because I toasted like a supermarket bagel half and spread it thickly with peanut butter and like this huge glob of peanut butter just fell right out onto the counter.

Molly 1:54

I introduced my child to pizza bagels last week.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:58

Oh, pizza bagels are so great.

Molly 2:00

Yes, I had some of you made this King Arthur crispy cheesy pan pizza recipe.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:07

I have no exact recipe but I do make pan pizza all the time. I think the recipe I make is pretty similar.

Molly 2:12

Yeah. And I think that the I think honestly the crust of yours is a little more flavorful. But I have made the King Arthur one a couple times in the last month and I have been doing it like the super cheaters way buying pizza sauce like Oh, sure by my grocery store. And so yeah, the other day June wanted something for lunch, and we had some bagels that Brandon had bought somewhere and given to us in the freezer. So we thought out a bagel. Split it put that pizza sauce on it some grated mozzarella. And all of a sudden I thought about our old bagel episode.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:47

Oh, that's so sweet. Like, there was just like, like a bagel of vibrating bagel wavelength in the universe. Yes. There

Molly 2:54

were bagels in the air last week.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:57

That's right. Yeah, I recently made an anniversary card for wife of the show, Laurie because it was our 25th anniversary. Oh,

Molly 3:05

congratulation. Oh, thanks.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:07

So I like made a list of like, like jokes related to like things happening in 1996. And like, you know, best things of the year. And one of them was the pizza bagel at bagel stop on Broadway a bagel place that we both fondly remember that? I think probably closed in like 1999.

Molly 3:24

God That must have been so what a good idea to spend that time like hanging out back in what was it January of 1996.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:33

That you got married? February,

Molly 3:35

February. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:37

We were hanging out in January. We knew each other by by the month before we got married. But like, we didn't know each other very well, to be honest.

Molly 3:45

I mean, obviously. I mean, you really don't know someone well, until you've been married to them for like 25 years.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:51

Yeah, yeah.

Molly 3:51

I mean, I would know. That's right. Anyway, that was really fun, though reminiscing about like the stuff that that you guys shared back then.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:03

Oh, it was really fun. I was gonna say like, I was gonna make a joke based on the concept of public service retirement, annual service credits, but maybe I'm rethinking that idea now.

Molly 4:13

Okay. Okay. Given that I got lost halfway through the phrase.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:17

Yeah, I don't think that's actually I don't think it has the word service three times in it. Anyway, what I was gonna say is like, you should get credit for four years that you spent in past marriages. Just because like, like the skills that you learn there, like the do's and don'ts, like you're using that in your current current marriage.


Molly 4:34

right. I mean, I'm like, I you know, I'm like, a year and a half into my second marriage, and

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:38

you should get to celebrate like your 11 and a half anniversary or whatever. I

Molly 4:42

totally agree. I mean, what like, Did that 10 years count for nothing? I don't think so. Right? Yeah. Okay, I've been I've been married for 11 and a half years. Does that matter? That is totally correct, Paul, but okay, Matthew. We're doing a show today on bell peppers.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:57

Yes. Speaking speaking of things that go great on pizza and can improve your marriage. It's bell pepper week.

Molly 5:05

It is and if you suggested this episode and we forgotten, thank you. Yeah, but anyway yeah Matthew let's talk about what's on your bell pepper memory lane.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:17

So like I had way more bell pepper a memory lane that I expected like is it is are they like a very interesting food? I don't think so. But they're they're kind of ubiquitous and

Molly 5:27

they're just like they're always there.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:29

Yeah it's like how bagels were in the air bell peppers are kind of always in the air. So okay, so here are my three bell pepper memory lanes. One is the show Iron Chef, where at the beginning Chairman Kaga always bites into I think a yellow bell pepper.

Molly 5:45

I don't remember what color but I do remember this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:47

Yeah. And it's, it's very dramatic and very funny and like makes me laugh every time. And like, I didn't know back when I was first watching like the Japanese Iron Chef, you know, with the hilarious dubbing that Chairman Kaga the host of the show was a it was an is a super famous like, like musical theater actor in Japan. And he starred in Les Miz and stuff.

Molly 6:11

Oh, no wonder he does such a dramatic biting of that incredible

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:15

singer. Yeah. Wow.

Molly 6:18

I don't even know where to go from there. No, no,

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:20

you know, you're right. But like in acting school, they spent a lot of time at dramatic fighting like months. I think probably like in acting school. You do learn like how to eat like on camera. I don't know. You know,

Molly 6:34

I always wonder when I see an eating or drinking scene in a show or a movie. I always wonder if they're actually eating and drinking or like what's actually in that cup? Or what's in that? cup. It's our new hit show.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:50

It's our new segment what's in that cup?

Molly 6:52

inside the cup. Wow, the show. correction. Yeah, yes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:59

I have heard actors say that they don't enjoy doing those scenes because they have to like keep putting food in their mouth over and over. And I think I think sometimes they do spit. I have gotten good. I feel like I'd noticing when someone is drinking from an empty mug, which happens a lot.

Molly 7:13

Oh, that's so dumb.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:15

Yeah, we know we know how to do this better than then professional producers and directors

Molly 7:20

even if they just put water in it. And let's say it's supposed to be like a coffee cup. Even if they just put water in it. You know, you'd wind up with like water on your mouth and you'd have to wipe your mouth like I guess I guess it there is a reason why the cup would be empty. Yeah. Are you a cup half empty or a cuff cuff? Wow.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:40

I'm a cuff half rolled up. A cop halflings kind of person. cufflink sleeve

Molly 7:47

cop half unlinked.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:49

Yeah. You're right. I'm more of a guy.

Molly 7:53

Okay. All right. What else is on your memory lane? All

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:56

right, that was number one. By the time you get to number three, number three, the show's gonna be over. Okay. Number two is that when teenager this show December with little little we used to read a picture book called serious farm about a farmer that was way too serious and needed to learn how to laugh with the help of his farm animals.

Molly 8:13

I think he told me about this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:15

Yeah. And it contains the line. I never laugh at Bell peppers, which I've thought always thought was a funny line. Until like, like, when I'm chopping up a bell pepper. I'll often say I never laughed at Bell peppers.

Molly 8:25

Nope. wouldn't do that. Okay, so

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:27

this was the one that came to mind that I have not thought about in forever. I think it was in eighth grade. I was invited like a whole class was invited to someone's you know, some rich kids party. There was like a like a dance party held at a like club or something. Like I

Molly 8:45

think this was like a bar a bar mitzvah?

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:48

I don't think so. But it's possible. I remember I bought like a cheap polyester suit because it was like a formal dance from you bought it or Judy amster bought it? Yeah, yeah, I used my own money to buy now, Judy Estrada. And then we returned it.

Molly 9:05

Are you serious? Yes.

Oh my god.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:08

Anyway, the thing I remember that happened that I don't know why, like, I remember this. Will you know, remember this my entire life is I was at the snack table eating green bell peppers. Raw is some dumb kid insinuated to me that like, what how can you eat bell peppers at a dance? They'll give you bad breath, which is not true at all. But like, at the time, I was like, Oh, no, like I like blew it like I'm not gonna get to fuck platonically or otherwise.

Molly 9:38

Kids are so terrible,

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:41

but I mean, he was like mean but also like Kodama like uninformed. Because Because like bell peppers, I'll give you like pepper breath. Do they?

Molly 9:50

I have already informed June. That garlic will make your breath smelling garlic and then if she you know like when pasta Sibel she should try to eat garlic with the other people she's hanging out with so that they think that's reasonable. You know, I feel like that's that's reasonable. Speaking of a cloud of scorn hanging over bell peppers, yeah. The thing I remember from my memory lane other than bell peppers, just kind of like showing up places.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:25

Just like walking by honor wise.

Molly 10:27

Yeah. I remember that my mother always kind of scorned green bell peppers.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:31

Yeah, when I was starting out as a food writer, that was the first time I learned that some people scorn green peppers especially and like I've never understood it because I've always liked them.

Molly 10:41

I don't understand it either. Like I don't is it that they're too common or something?

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:47

Are you people say they're bitter but that's true. I mean, coffee is fittings

Molly 10:51

that are there. Anyway, as a kid I most often remember encountering bell peppers, like on you know, like a plate of vegetables and dip. Oh, yeah. And they were always actually on a on a on a crudity plate like Yeah, I did

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:10

we were we did a crudity episode.

Molly 11:12

Yes. But I think bell peppers are one of the things that that holds up best. You know, like carrots get that weird kind of dry. Look. radishes get a weird dry look. snap peas can kind of look weird and like they like they got some sort of skin disease. You know, peppers look good for quite a while.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:32

Yeah, one of the best one of the best preserved crudities they take off they take on that award every year.

Molly 11:39

You know, the other place that I remember always encountering bell peppers was in like fajitas.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:45

Yes. Oh, I was so fun.

Molly 11:48

I was huge as looked so excited saying that. Oh, it's so fun. I was never the person who ordered fajitas I think because as a child, I was genuinely afraid of that sizzling hot skillet that came to the table. I was very risk averse.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:07

Yeah, you're afraid of dental emergencies. And I just eat a platter.

Molly 12:10

But I just remember being like ha ha like, Why is it always bell peppers and onions that comes with fajitas?

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:17

I mean, those are those are inexpensive ingredients that are widely available and like smell good when you saute them so

Molly 12:24

Oh, okay. All right. There we go. We just broke it down for ya know, like I am I'm Molly. Wait, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:31

was I supposed to give like a joke answer?

Molly 12:34

No, I was trying to do the end of the show. Cuz.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:38

Right. Our producer, his producer, Avi. And yeah, when you know when you said for heat is like I genuinely was excited because like, I haven't been to a restaurant in a really long time, like more than a year. And like, it seems like that might never happen. I can't even imagine what that's going to feel like if it ever becomes possible again. But I you know, it made me think like I love going to La cosina on Broadway, you know, classic, like kind of Tex Mex Mexican American restaurant. They You know, every time I go and don't order the fajitas then the sizzling fajita platter will go by and like landed in nearby table. And I'd be like, I'm such an idiot.

Molly 13:14

Yeah, yeah. You know, I also remember I think in the early 2000s, around the time that we first met Matthew. Yeah. In the early 2000s. I think Lynne rossetto Kasper had a newsletter or, or maybe the splendid table had a newsletter. And I remember subscribing to it. And it seemed very, like polished and fancy at the time, because it would land in my inbox with like, you know, the actual like graphic of the splendid table, like the heading anyway, but I remember one week she recommended, like a pork recipe where you take a pork tenderloin, not maybe not a tenderloin, maybe just a line, and you cut it sort of into strips. You saute it, you add, you know, sliced peppers, whatever. And some vinegar. I'm sure this dish good has has a particular name in Italy. Maybe. I mean, it seems like

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:11

Yeah, yeah.

Molly 14:12

But anyway, I remember making it I think I even wrote about it in the early days of the blog. I think I thought that it was fine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:21

That's not where I thought that was going.

Molly 14:24

But anyway, I do remember that from like, the years that I lived alone when I was in grad school and was just like doing a lot of cooking because I just,

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:35

I found, I found the post and now I'm gonna be quoting from it liberally. You can go ahead and hide your face now, Molly. Alright, so the title of the post is a Stewie stepping stone.

Unknown Speaker 14:49

God kill me now. But then

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:51

there comes a time in every young woman's life when she must learn how to handle large pieces of meat. I'll stop now.

Molly 14:58

I have Oh Always been.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:03

That's pretty funny.

Molly 15:05

It is pretty funny. Yeah. Honey, even No, it's not funny. I don't know what it is. I'm so embarrassed, right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:12

Yeah, like a double entendre isn't this isn't

Molly 15:15

Not exactly. It's not upon what year was that? That I wrote that? 2006. Interesting, huh? I would have thought it was earlier than that. Anyway, this is the thrilling part of today's episode. Can you believe that was 15 years ago?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:30

No, I can't I don't I don't want to think about it. Okay. All right. Did you know that the song Stairway to Heaven is turning 50 this year? Really? Yeah.

Molly 15:40

Oh my god. Yeah. Thank you for listening this bill. Okay. All right, Matthew, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:47

did the research for this show. And I want to get to use my research, I want you to get to use your research. So that's why I'm not going to interrupt for the rest of the show.

Molly 15:56

Okay, we have a whole bunch of sort of taxonomic names here. That I'm going to be leaning on you to pronounce.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:06


Molly 16:07

I mean, some of them.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:08

I mean, you can you can lean on me when you're not strong. Or when you need like some some Wow, what

Molly 16:13

is that song Matthew?

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:14

Oh, it's so even that's older. Okay, right.

Molly 16:17

Yes. So, uh, you know, this was mildly interesting bell peppers. Not the most interesting subject I've ever researched but mildly interesting, just like their flavor. There you go. Bell peppers are the fruit of the gruesome, gruesome, gross zoom. cultivars group of the species capsicum annuum.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:36

I guess I would say grasim Crossan? No, I don't know. Also, I have an important news. Okay, two things. First of all, when I said I wasn't getting interrupt, I had my fingers crossed, I saw that exactly. Lean on me is from 1972. So it's a year younger than Stairway to Heaven.

Molly 16:50

I was wrong. That's very surprising. I would not have guessed that. Okay. Um, anyway, so here's the thing. So all plants in the genus capsicum are native to the Americas. So that makes sense. Yeah. You know, I hate to I hate to bring up Christopher Columbus. But it turns out that he was the person or hit you know, his shipmates or whatever. They are responsible for getting pepper seeds from the Americas back to Europe. In 1493.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:25

There's probably a an emerging or like, we just need to know about it way to talk about what has been called the Columbian Exchange that that doesn't like start up make Columbus a hero.

Molly 17:35

Yeah, so basically, pepper seeds arrived in Europe in 1493. And the plants spread through Europe and Asia. And it was actually in Hungary that the bell pepper that you know, that the thing we know of, was developed. So, but otherwise, you know, that this whole capsicum genus, is an America's thing. Anyway, but the mild bell pepper cultivars was developed in the 20s in Hungary,

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:03

and you know, like, like, like the 1920s that's what I saw. Wow. Okay, no, I

Molly 18:09

believe it, because it will here we're gonna get to in a second, we're going to talk about why it is that they're not spicy. And so I wonder if that took a certain amount of like, sophistication and breeding

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:20

are they what paprika is made from? I might be like jumping ahead.

Molly 18:23

There are a number of peppers that go into making paprika. Okay, so botanically, these peppers, or peppers in general, are classified as berries. They're a fruit Of course, I think we all know that, right, everybody?

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:37

Yes, yes. Teacher,

Molly 18:38

okay. Anyway, that can be many different colors, of course, most commonly, like red, yellow, or orange and green. But then of course, you know, if you've seen them at the farmers market, or if you've grown them, you've also seen that there are many different shades of purple. Sometimes ones that are almost black, and then ones that are kind of pale yellow.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:56

Yeah, those are great when I go to the farmers market, and like the peppers have arrived like that, that always fleck just feels really good right

Molly 19:04

now. Well, it also means like, we're at peak summer and that was a good feeling. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:08

mean, just the peppers like the colorful pepper display itself

Molly 19:13

is very cheering like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:14

I've been reading this book you may have heard of, by Ross gay, and I just realized I forgot the title of the book. Oh my god. Look of delight of delight. It seems like the sort of thing that Ross gay might delight in is like a bunch of a bunch of colorful peppers laid out on a farmer's groaning Farmers Market display.

Molly 19:32

That does seem like something that he would be into.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:34

I Oh, what? Oh, my God.

Molly 19:37

I thought you said you weren't gonna interrupt anymore.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:39

But I mean, like, you could hear the sarcasm in my voice when I said it. Right, of course.

Molly 19:43

And I saw you crossing your fingers. Right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:46

I called you teacher and like, you know, like, first grader sort of way. Like like in a Japanese class, like, like at any age. You can call your teacher sensei. And then that sounds totally appropriate. Yeah, great. If anything, Unless you could just call your Teacher Teacher like at any age

Molly 20:03

as like as an

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:05

not a form of address

Molly 20:07

as a form of address.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:08

Yes. So I know you can talk about like my teacher, but I want to, like directly address the teacher Hey, Teacher Teacher. It's just it's just really fun to say. And also, like, I don't like being old and would rather be young.

Molly 20:21

Right? That has been the theme of today's episode. Yeah. Okay, so let's talk about words. Speaking of. Thank you, Matthew, for that segue. So, in different parts of the English speaking world, bell peppers are also called sweet peppers, or capsicum, which I find a little confusing given that, you know, there are many different types of peppers that could be called capsicum. Anyway, the name pepper was actually given by Europeans when when the plant arrived there, and at that time, black peppercorns, which are actually from an unrelated plant that originated in India, black peppercorns were a highly prized condiment in Europe in the you know, the 1400s. And the name pepper was actually kind of what Europeans called all known spices with a hot and pungent taste.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:14

Yeah, that makes sense. So like there's there are other vestiges of that because there's like long pepper and yes, you know, pink peppercorns, which are not related to black closely related to black pepper. That's

Molly 21:26

Yes. So yeah, basically, they kind of slapped the word pepper on the entire genus. Not to mention some things that don't even belong in it. Right. But the most commonly used name I think, around the world for this plant is of Mexican origin from the new model word Chile. And it would be the word Chile or Chile. Yeah, this was interesting to me. And maybe it won't be interesting to anyone else. But but there are like all the words even in in non English languages that are that are used for peppers, all kind of sound like the word pepper a bit. So in Dutch, the term paprika is used for both the spice and the fruit of Switzerland and Italy. There's pepperoni I don't know if I'm pronouncing that right in French. There's home Spain. pimiento. That is that I even say it. And then Matthew, what is it in in Japanese?

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:22

Okay, a red bell pepper in Japanese is Papa Rica. And in green bell pepper is p mon. Oh,

Molly 22:28

I love that. Yeah, it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:31

a great tempora item.

Molly 22:33

Oh, my God. Yes. green bell pepper. Yeah. And that sounds so much like the French word p Mo.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:39

Yeah. which I'm sure is where it comes from.

Molly 22:40

Right. Anyway, typically, the green ones that we encounter are unripe versions of the fruit. Of course, there are this before, there are some exceptions to this. There are some like, you know, varieties of green pepper that are green when fully ripe.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:57

But does that mean they're green, but they taste more like a red pepper?

Molly 23:01

That's interesting. Well, I'm really curious. I wish that we were together right now, Matthew, so we could do like a blind tasting. Because I'm here in my closet. I've got a green belt her and

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:14

get any?

Molly 23:15

Oh, yeah, I've got a cutting board and a knife. Oh, gross it with me. I've got a red bell pepper and a green with you know, Matthew, I can still do a blind tasting. I'm going to close my I'm going to cut them up. I'm going to kind of make

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:28

them with your eyes closed.

Molly 23:29

No, no. I'm going to cut them with my eyes open. Okay, I'm going to mix them up. And then I'm going to close my eyes and grab one and you're gonna know what it is. But I won't and we're going to do it a tasting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:40

What have you close your eyes and you grab something that isn't a pepper.

Molly 23:43

I'm going to move the knife well away. Okay. Anyway, but yeah, I have to say I didn't know that the green like a green bell pepper is just an unripe red one.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:53

Yeah, I think I this is like one of those like, like food trivia facts that I've heard. Yeah. From time to time, but do I really believe it?

Molly 24:02

Yes. No. Anyway, so yeah, bell peppers. You asked about the the spice paprika, and it is bell peppers are one of the peppers that go into paprika.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:12

Yeah, I know. Like I have like on my spice shelf, sweet paprika, and like sharp paprika or hot paprika. And so like one of them is spicy. And one of them is not spicy.

Molly 24:23

Yeah. And I'm guessing it's just that they're made with different peppers or different blends, if that makes sense. And in fact, so so bell peppers are the only member of the genus that it does not produce capsaicin.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:35

So a big old goose egg on the Scoville scale.

Molly 24:38

Correct. And it's because bell peppers have a recessive gene that actually I think it stops the production of capsaicin entirely. That makes sense. Apparently, there are there's a type called like mexi Bell or something, that the way the gene has been altered a bit. So It makes a very small it's a bell pepper that makes a very small amount of capsaicin.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:05

I that sounds pretty good.

Molly 25:06

I know right? I like the idea of a bell pepper but that has more heat to it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:11

Yeah it's way it's way better than when you get a jalapeno that has no heat to it which happens sometimes and it's very frustrating.

Molly 25:18

Yes. I wonder if it like gets a recessive JB of cancer I

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:22

mean like, because I assume there's like a gene that that expresses capsaicin and if that if that gene is not functioning then you get a non spicy pepper

Molly 25:41

Matthew, how about we go into talking about other things like you could talk about the Holy Trinity in Cajun and Creole cooking while I cut up my bell pepper and prepare for my blind tasting

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:54

Yes, okay. I found this so interesting especially in light of what we were just talking about with Stairway to Heaven and lean on me. So when you put up the agenda and we had a section for like, you know, what stuff do you do with bell peppers like I immediately thought of the holy trinity of Cajun and Creole cuisine, which is the the mirror pa base that goes into like, you know, crawfish, a two phase gumbo jambalaya, and it consists of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, sometimes red bell pepper, usually green bell pepper, and I knew like you know from from the early days of like me get being interested interested in food that this was known as the Holy Trinity. I looked this up to see like, you know, I first I looked like went on Wikipedia and there is a Wikipedia article about it. And then I did some more research and learned that that the term Holy Trinity for for the aromatic base in Cajun and Creole cuisine dates to 1981. That's all it first appeared in print in a Craig Claiborne column in the New York Times. He said he got it from Paul purdham who probably got it from someone else. But there is no evidence that people were saying it much before the early 80s.

Molly 27:03

That is so weird and surprising. Yes. Hmm. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:08

but now it's a thing like like anybody with an interest in food. I feel like like, has at least heard this term,

Molly 27:14

Matthew. So hold on. I've been cutting up, you know, chunks of this bell pepper. And God, it smells really good. And we're recording this. Right now. It is 1015 in the morning, I'm in my closet. And this smells so good. Like my mouth is watering. This is very weird to me because I don't I never buy bell peppers. Like I don't I never think of it. So anyway, okay, this is just this is what it's like to be in my mouth right now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:45

Everyone, every listener has been wondering that for a long time.

Molly 27:49

So I'm gonna close my eyes. And I'm gonna get one piece of pepper and and you're gonna know what it is. But I love this

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:55

is so exciting. I love this. And the listeners are gonna love it too, because they can't see anything.

Molly 28:01

Okay, so can you see what it is? Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:02

absolutely. Okay. I don't think you're gonna have any trouble distinguishing a green and a red bell pepper. Okay, so describe what you're tasting.

Molly 28:10

It's quite fruity tasting. It's very juicy. At the end, it gets a little like vegetal. so juicy. Okay, I'm going to grab another one. But you have to you have to tell me if it's the same one.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:25

Yeah, it maybe I shouldn't tell you. Okay, and you have to figure it out. This one? That's a different one. I shouldn't have told you. Oh, yeah, but I think it's gonna be pretty obvious.

Molly 28:42

Yeah. Okay, now. Wow, I get it. That is obvious. Do they taste good? The second the third one was green. And the first two were red.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:51

That's correct.

Molly 28:52

What I noticed first of all was the texture. The flesh is so different. Oh, really? Yeah. Like the red is like, a little bit softer. Yeah, it's softer and like bursting with juice. The green is more firm. It's just more firm.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:08

Do you think the red one is actually juice here? Or is it just that it makes you burst with mouth juice when you when you bite into it? succulents? No, I

Molly 29:15

mean, I can feel with the first bite I take into it. I can feel a spray of juice in my mouth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:20

Wow. Okay.

Molly 29:23

Wow, um, do they taste this different when they're cooked?

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:25

I think they do. Yes. Green

Molly 29:27

when this green one I gotta say I kind of wish I'd gotten the green one before the red one because after tasting that like cheese plated this all wrong?

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:35

Yeah, the green that is a risk you run when you when you do your ci CD do blind cheese plating.

Molly 29:44

The green one tastes much less like delicious. Yeah, you're getting a

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:50

red one. Like I don't mind snacking on a raw green bell pepper but I think it's better cooked.

Molly 29:55

Yeah, I yeah, I wish that I had them both cooked here to compare.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:59

Yeah. He might have like a hot plate in your closet.

Molly 30:02

I don't I don't. Anyway, that was really interesting. Thanks for playing along with

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:08

me dancing for me for me to to watch and not get to eat any

Molly 30:13

is your mouth watering? What's going on in your mouth right

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:15

now? Like, ya know, like a lot a lot of moisture like waves just sloshing sloshing from side to side in anticipation.

Molly 30:26

I gotta tell you the green one tastes straight up on right when eaten raw.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:29

I mean, do you wish you could go back to not knowing that it's an unripe red pepper?

Molly 30:34

I do. I think I would just see lands. Oh, I can't. I know. I can't unless What if I go into that movie? The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:43

Yep. Wow, I've had that movie. So tedious. People people have been begging for my review of that movie. And now you're gonna get it. Okay. But no, it would it would be great. Like, if you could wipe unwanted memories from your brain and definitely nothing would go wrong.

Molly 30:59

Oh, God. Yes. Can you even imagine our whole world would be so different.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:05

It would you

Molly 31:06

imagine how functional we would all be?

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:09

I think, um, I don't know. I think maybe not. Maybe we just be like sitting around like pressing the eraser button all the time or however that worked.

Molly 31:18

Okay, okay. Anyway.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:21

Has it been noticed that that movie is the opposite of Total Recall? I'm sure I'm not the first person to realize that I have you seen Total Recall Total Recall. Okay. So in Total Recall, you like go to Total Recall and they implant a good memory. Okay, so like, if you can't afford to go on vacation to Mars, you go to quote Total Recall. And they like implant a memory of your great vacation on Mars, where like, you know, you and your wife were having sex all day on Mars. But then something goes wrong. But but so so like, like, Eternal Sunshine, like I definitely do explain this much further hot. Because like everybody didn't already like get what I say. But like Eternal Sunshine, they take out the bad memories and in Total Recall, they give you the good memories it's one movies the opposite of the other movie.

Molly 32:08

All right, I'm gonna go check my email now while you okay great you. Okay, Matthew? All right. Okay, so let's talk about what we use bell peppers for Do you buy these things?

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:20

I buy them like for specific purposes like they're not on the like, you know, we have to keep these around like lately, we've been doing like an exceptional job of always having a large quantity of green onions in the crisper drawer. Oh like every time we go in there there's like three bunches of scallions and like you know, it makes me feel like a sense of abundance. You know yellow onions always got to be in there like it can have tomatoes. I don't know that that's not a produce item but similar. And I don't know like I always want to have cilantro around but it goes bad really quickly.

Molly 32:53

Your your

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:55

rapid This is what you asked, right? You want it you said list off all produce and kind of produce


Wow, I thought I was like ready to do the show this morning. But like the universe had different ideas. I went to that Eternal Sunshine place and I said like can you take out all of my, my memory of how to do a podcast and they were like Right away, sir. Okay, yeah. Sometimes I pipe up.

Molly 33:32

Okay. And do you? like do I assume you buy them because a recipe calls for them?

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:38

Yeah, I'm gonna make cheese steaks or like,

Molly 33:42

what do you buy?

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:44

I like a green pepper for cheese takes I don't think I've bought a red bell pepper in a while. Like there is some recipe that I make that I do put red bell peppers, and I might think of it.

Molly 33:54

I mean, I'd venture to guess that. So I feel like red bell peppers have had really an extended day in in the spotlight when they ripen well, because they were named like a superfood. Do you guys well yeah. I mean, like in all those those dumb ass magazines aimed at are those domestic diet culture magazine. Yeah. Like, they always have these lists of like 10 superfoods you should be eating all the time. And it's like blueberries and bell peppers and turmeric chemo. Ah, and anyway, it's always red bell peppers they talk about because I think red bell peppers do have the highest amount of whatever, vitamin C or

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:38

something. Or like red stuff, reds.

Molly 34:42

Anyway, so

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:43

I'm here 18 maybe,

Molly 34:45

maybe. Anyway, okay, so I think that a lot of people buy these things to eat raw, especially red bell peppers. And especially if you are concerned about health. I think that they pretty much always show up in salad bars, right like number one. Here used to be salad bars.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:01

Yeah, I mean, I think salad bars were kind of already in decline.

Molly 35:05

But now salad bars are firmly declined.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:09

Do you think do you think salad bars are gonna come back? I don't know.

Molly 35:12

I but I think people know pretty well that like COVID doesn't live on food for very long.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:17

Yeah, that's true. But like, I don't know.

Molly 35:20

Okay. Anyway, so I wrote here on the agenda that bell pepper sometimes shows up on pizza. And you wrote what? in all caps?

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:30

Who does that? You left out a key piece of information. I love pepper bell peppers on pizza.

Molly 35:36

Oh, I thought you're What was that? Like? Nobody does this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:40

No. Cuz you you wrote on pizza. Who does that?

Molly 35:43

Yeah, I don't want to bell pepper on pizza.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:46

I think like pepperoni and green pepper is one of the best pizza combinations. Hmm. I we used to order it on my French fried pizza at Pizza Express when I was a teenager,

Molly 35:55

I guess I only think of it on a supreme pizza. Yeah, like green shirts. Always green.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:01

Yeah, but like I love a supreme pizza and like it would be inferior without the bell pepper. Okay,

Molly 36:06

fine. You're right. I'm rethinking everything now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:09

Okay. Like, do I want a pizza? That's just bell pepper. No, I don't think so. Do you dine? But like I think like like a pizza with like, just some like nicely. Like, you know, seared onions sounds great. But like a pizza with just green bell peppers. feels like it's missing something.

Molly 36:25

Yeah. Okay. What about stuffed peppers? Do you ever make stuffed peppers?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:29

I think we had like on our like, episode tough you list for a long time. Like, Oh, wait, did we do this stuff foods episode? I think maybe we did. I think I thought I was gonna say maybe we never did it because like neither of us can really like like, we don't do anything. We get an edge just like couldn't get it up to stuff. I i like i don't think of stuff peppers as being one of my favorite things. On the other hand, I think I have had some that were that were quite tasty.

Molly 36:58

I think of them as having been a big deal when I was a kid like it was Yeah, it was a typical thing that would be on like the old week night rotation in somebody else's household. Not in mind. I remember in high school, there would be in the cafeteria, there would be stuffed peppers sometimes. And I think that was my first real encounter with them. And I was like, Oh, this is tasty. But I don't really know why Personally, I never feel motivated to do that. I just don't. Yeah, I don't tend to stuff vegetables.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:30

Yeah, no, I do. I tend to stuff anything. I mean, I guess I make terrible stuff.


but other other than dumplings? I don't. I don't think I'm much of a stuffer.

Molly 37:37

Okay, Okay, fair enough. I'm

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:39

fine with that. I like stuffing sleeping bag into a stuff sack. That's very satisfying.

Molly 37:44

It's very satisfying. But Wow, can you work up a sweat doing that? Why no. very tiring, especially if you're actually in a tent with like the sun shining on it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:53

Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, that probably happens to you. Okay. No, I mean, was the sun shining when we went camping? I think it was at some point.

Molly 38:01

Yeah. Yeah. I think the sun was shining. When we went camping member and we were kind of like near over that river. Sort of.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:10

It was nice.

Molly 38:10

That was nice. You want to go camping again? I think maybe I do.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:14

I mean, I slept terribly. And I got really cold at night, but

Molly 38:18

but I had podcasts. I love sleeping in a sleeping bag.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:24

I mean, I like the idea but like in practice I don't think I like it.

Molly 38:28

Well, and I like the I like the old school sleeping bags like we have that. Did you sleep in one of ours? No. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:35

think I brought one that was like borrowed from Cylons. W

Molly 38:39

RS are like the you know, the super like. I think of them as very 70s they're like, kind of nylon. Like very slippery nylon on the outside and they're lined with plaid flannel on the inside. Oh, yeah. And they're super bulky. I mean, you would never take that thing like backpacking, but anyway. Oh my god, I love sleeping in them. Ah the like flannel, the cushy flannel.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:06

I did does it have a stuff sack or do you like

Molly 39:09

okay, you roll it and then you put it in the stuff sack

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:13

because when I was a

Molly 39:14

kid stuff at your market with

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:18


Molly 39:19


Matthew Amster-Burton 39:20

When I was a kid we had like I think it might have been a downfield sleeping bag that you would actually just like stuff into the sack. You wouldn't roll it first. And like that was honestly that was that was a good workout. Like do you think we could market a workout routine based on like stuffing and and stuffing a sleeping bag? Probably.

Molly 39:37

I think that I'm not sure how you'd work legs into it but I think we can do it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:41

That is a good point.

Molly 39:43

Okay, Matthew, can we just keep moving? Oh my god. stir fries.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:48

Yeah, I think bell peppers are great and stir fries.

Molly 39:50

And you wrote here Matthew used to love pepper steak at Chinese American restaurants.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:54

Yeah, we just like a beef and green bell pepper stir fry like you know with brown browns. It's something I will still sometimes make at home. It's very tasty.

Molly 40:04

Is there anything else we should talk about that are that people do with bell peppers? I'm sure there's a lot of stuff that we don't have in our repertoire here.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:13

I mean, I'm sure we'll hear from people at contact at spilled milk podcast calm or on the reddit@reddit.com slash are slash everything spelled Belk.

Molly 40:21

Yeah, everybody tell us what you do with bell peppers.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:24

Yeah, like I'm still thinking about that. That fe heat up that sizzling fajita plate going by like, I keep I keep imagining like I can sort of get a whiff of it.

Molly 40:33

Okay, Matthew, how about we move into our segments? God bless him today hubby's gonna kill us.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:39

Let's stuff ourselves, like headfirst into these segments.

Molly 40:42

Okay, can I read this build mail today?

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:45

Please do.

Molly 40:52

So this one is from listener Lin. Was this in response to Oh, we did an m&m episode. Yes. Okay, so listener last

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:00

episode might have been our longest episode ever.

Molly 41:02

This one's gonna be a close second. Yeah. All right. So listener, Lynn says when I open a package of m&ms any kind, I have to arrange them in color order. I hadn't read this email before. So I'm experiencing it for the first time. As I shared with you listener, every experience is different. I'm usually at work. So I line them up at my desk on a piece of paper. In parentheses, I work in a high school office and arrange them like a rainbow or line graph. It depends on the number of each color, or if they are roley, like the peanut ones can be. I try to eat them mindfully and not to gobble them up in a few handfuls, which would be so easy to do. I'm right there with you. Oh, yeah, I take one or two Macs at a time and savor the moment, I typically start with a color that is poorly represented. That's so kind, the bar graph might turn into a triangle or square or some other random, weird shape, but the goal is to make them last. I love our listeners.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:01

I do too. This is great. And so then the question is, in what order? Do you eat your m&ms? And my answer is in the order. They come out of the bag, but I try. I think I need to try like eating them more like mindfully and mindfully. That's what the m&m stands for.

Molly 42:18

Yeah, I eat them in the order they come out of the bag. It never occurred to me to do this. This seems very visually pleasing. It was pleasing even to just like, read through this description.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:29

I know I wondering now like if I were like, like going into listener Lin's office at all times, which he have like some sort of geometric or like, like, like a histogram of m&ms, like just out on the desk, because I feel like that would make me very hungry.

Molly 42:46

I wonder if listener Lin works in like sort of an open floor plan. If she has an office where she can close the door? If she's an issue working from home, like do other people see this? And how do they respond? Because Wow, that's a lot of temptation for one's co workers.

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:06

Yeah, yeah, that is Yeah, I would. I would. I guess I would like live in constant low grade fear of m&m jackings.

Molly 43:14

Well, yeah, you me you would not be able to get up and use the bathroom the whole time. They're out there. Like, ah, gotta protect them. them m&ms.

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:23

Yes, yes.

Molly 43:24

Wow. listener. Lynn, thank you so much. I seriously am grinning. Alright, if

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:30

you want to send us a message contact at spilled milk podcast calm or ask it on the subreddit.

Molly 43:36

Matthew, what's your cute animal that we need to know?

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:43

So speaking of the subreddit, this was recommended by listener Susan on Reddit. It's the Rosie Maple moth is a pink and yellow moth, Ryo camper Rubik conda found in the eastern US and somewhere else I lost the rest of my agenda, Canada.

Molly 43:59

I'm looking at it right now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:01

We'll link to a YouTube video And guys, it looks like candy. It looks like candy. It looks like like like an outfit that someone would wear like on a kid show in the 70s maybe? Yes. Like kind of disco inspired.

Molly 44:14

Oh my the color pink that this guy is so beautiful. And it has this fuzzy yellow body.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:19

Oh my god, honey. Also,

Molly 44:22

hold on. Oh, it's a hold on. Wow, this video is long.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:26

Oh my god. Yeah. I don't ever watch the whole thing.

Unknown Speaker 44:30

Oh my god. It's

Molly 44:30

so cute. And it even has like pink legs.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:34

Yeah. Oh, my God.

Molly 44:36

This is the moth that we've all been waiting for.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:39

It is no Can you imagine? Like I mean, some people just we don't live in the habitat, you know, within the range of this moth. But like people who do this could just like land on your finger or something.

Molly 44:48

Oh my god listeners who live in the habitat range of the Rosie Maple moth. You are so lucky. Send us in your pictures of Rosie Maple moth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:59

I can't get Enough. And to be clear, that's dry. Oh camper Rubik kondeh. Like we don't want to hear about some some similar species.

Molly 45:06

Okay, and now

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:08

Oh, wait, wait. Quick another segment calling it quits.

listener asked if, if you could post a photo of your quilt.

Molly 45:21

Oh, I will. I will. I will post a photo of my quilt if I can figure out how to on our subreddit. How about Okay, everybody, if you can't figure it out, producer Abby and I can help. Okay, cool. All right, everybody. It's now time for my favorite new segment. Now. But Wow.

stuff we're into this week. And this week, Matthew and I have the same now. But Wow.

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:52

Yes, go ahead. Okay,

Molly 45:53

so we both recently read the book Memorial, it's a novel by Brian Washington came out in 2020. You may have seen the cover, it's this blue background with like a white plastic like grocery or takeout bag that's being held by chopsticks looks almost like a like a white flag.

Matthew Amster-Burton 46:13

Yeah, it's a really striking cover. It is like an unusual book that I enjoyed very much. I feel like I feel like it's sort of had a twist partway through that I wasn't expecting just in terms of like point of view. And it's about these, these two guys who are a couple they live in Texas. And when the book starts, like one of them, who is Japanese American, like goes off to tend to his dying father in Osaka. But simultaneously his mother has come to visit. And so the other the other member of the couple is left with his partner's mom like two and like, you know, who is a very, very vivid character and like a real personality. And he does they have to like figure out how to suddenly navigate their relationship living together. And there is tons of food in the book. Like the the way that like the neighborhoods are drawn is is just like incredibly detailed. And I love I love how the neighbors Yeah, even though the neighbors weren't, weren't really even characters in the book, like, you know, they felt like real people with just like drawn with just a few words.

Molly 47:22

Totally. I also really enjoyed that it was kind of an unconventional look at a love story. Like these guys were struggling in their relationship. And it was just really interesting what Brian Washington did with their story there was something kind of subtle about it even as they were really big emotional moments and shifts. So anyway,

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:44

that's a lot of food in the book. Like both both the food of Texas and the food of Japan are very well represented. Yeah,

Molly 47:53

so that's Memorial by Bryan Washington. Check it out.

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:55

All right, you can find us online at spelled out podcast calm reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk. Our producer is Abbey circuit tele

Molly 48:05

and what else?

Matthew Amster-Burton 48:06

I didn't know. That's that's probably that's probably as much as we need to reveal at this point.

Molly 48:11

Okay. All right. Thank you for listening to spilled milk. The show

Matthew Amster-Burton 48:17

that that makes your ears water in anticipation.

Molly 48:22

Hi, Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 48:23

And I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 48:33

Harry Styles was so adorable.

Matthew Amster-Burton 48:37

Oh my god. I like that song.

Molly 48:38

Why is he so cute? Oh my god. And he's so Mick Jagger.

Matthew Amster-Burton 48:43


Molly 48:44

Although I never found Mick Jagger very fuckable I would totally fuck Harry Styles. Oh, yeah, for sure.

Matthew Amster-Burton 48:50

Would you know, but I mean, like in in of, like, platonic way.

Molly 48:54

Oh. The only way Really? Yeah. Okay. I don't know. I was just riffing on that. But that isn't the only way.

Matthew Amster-Burton 49:04

That blood platonic isn't the only way to fuck. That's our new. That's our new slogan. It's our new it's our new motto for 2021 2021 platonic. It's not the only way to fuck.

Molly 49:17

I'll get busy making t shirts.

Matthew Amster-Burton 49:19

Yeah, you'll get busy. All right.

Molly 49:20

Okay. Okay.