Noe that your peppers and tomatoes have been harvested they need to be used, or preserved for later use. Here are some ideas of things that you could do.
1. Eat fresh
There is no better way to eat peppers and tomatoes than to have them as fresh as possible. Also try to make as many meals as you can that allow you to use your bounty while it is fresh. Most peppers keep for 2-4 weeks, and most tomatoes keep for about 1-2 weeks.
This one works good on peppers, and is an excellent way to preserve them. If you have a dehydrator, simply cut the the peppers in half, and set on your trays cut side down. Follow the directions that come with your dehydrator. We have found that the best results happen when the peppers are dehydrated on low heat(90° or so). If you dont have a dehydrator chop your peppers and put them in your oven on the lowest setting. Keep the oven door cracked open so that it does not get too hot. Another very easy way to dehydrate peppers is to simply leave them in your car. Make sure that the vehicle is facing south, and put your cut peppers on some tin foil on your dashboard. This time put the cut side facing up. This usually only takes a day or so if you have good sun.
Freezing peppers actually work extremely well. This is because of their skin. Peppers can be frozen for an extremely long time without getting freezer burn… im talking years. The down side is that once they are thawed, they will not be crisp. This does not matter for chili making, or cooking into foods such as scrambled eggs. Tomatoes can be frozen too, but the process is quite different. For tomatoes we run them through a food processor or blender. Once they are ground up, put them in Tupperware and try to remove all the air. They should keep for months if not a whole year.
Pickeled peppers are absolutely incredible if done correctly. They can also be added to other vegetables that are being pickled. They are great on hot dogs, brats, or burgers. They can also be added to pizza before it is cooked. However none of these uses can compare to simply having some by themselves as a side dish. Check out the recipes on the website for some great pickled pepper recipes.
A great way to keep your chilies at the ready, is to turn them into powder. Who dosent love cayenne powder? You can create your own custom blend of flavor and heat. First you will need to dehydrate your peppers (step 2) then grind them up into powder. I use a spice grinder that only cost me $10. Remove the seeds, if you want more flavor.
This is another great idea for peppers. Simply cut in half, lay cut side down in your smoker. I prefer cold smoke, then I dehydrate them. These smoked peppers can be added to any food to add flavor. I throw them into canned meats, pickled peppers, and other pickeled vegetables. But what I prefer is to turn them into powder, and shake them into many different types of food. A great one is hashbrowns.
This method is best for tomatoes. There are many recipes online to do this correct. I chop them up, throw them in a pot, and cook until a light boil occurs. I then ladle them into jars, add lemon juice, salt, (exact recipe comming soon) sometimes adding a smoked pepper.