Friday, November 4, 2011

Hot-hot-hot peppers!

What a strange year in the garden it has been.  My hot peppers just kept putting out branches and flowers and baby peppers but hardly ripened any of the the little culinary firecrackers.  I couldn't let them go to waste, so they are hanging in my garage, finishing the job they started.

When the first frost threatened, I pulled the plants and shook the dirt from the roots.  I have some hooks in my garage ceiling, but needed more I scrounged around and spotted an unused shepherd's hook hanging  in a corner.  It fit perfectly into two of the hooks and gave me plenty of hanging room for all the plants.

I make sure the garage door is closed at night to keep them from freezing, and they are ripening their peppers.  I'll be able to start picking and drying more soon.  Cayennes:
Mystery peppers from a plant given to me....supposed to be VERY hot:

This should keep us in hot peppers for the next year, maybe two.  I'll dry them by the woodstove (I use the car in the summer, and a small electric dehydrator in damp weather) and store them whole.  They'll be pulverized with a mortar and pestle for pepper flakes (think adding a kick to pizza), or run through the food processor and sifted for cayenne powder.  Some will go into chili, others into Chinese food (General Tso's Chicken, my favorite!), and a jar of cayenne powder will live on the spice rack.  Soon.....we'll be making sausage with our homegrown pork and almost all homegrown flavoring herbs...can't wait!

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