Sunday, February 24, 2013

Finishing the harvest - HOT PEPPERS!

Last year, we planted hot pepper seeds in the greenhouse, tenderly babied the plants, put them in the garden, weeded them, watered them and finally harvested them.  At the end of the season, before the first hard frost, I picked every last pepper.  What do to with them?

I fermented a few of them - in fact, all of the pepperoncini went into fermenting jars.  I made a roast beef a couple of days ago, and there is just nothing better than some pepperoncini on the side.  Yum!

After selling many bags at a discount at Purple Porch and the market to those who wanted copious amounts for preserving, there were still an awful lot of peppers!  So I cleaned them, seeded most of them, and put them in the dehydrator.  I did many, many batches, and my dehydrator has nine shelves in it!

So now those bushels of peppers were reduced to just four bowls of dried hot peppers.  They have been sitting here ever since.  I move them from the desk to the dining room table to the kitchen counter, then back to the desk.  I've just been avoiding dealing with them.  Finally, this morning, after feeling a sense of renewal knowing that my income tax is done and on the way to the accountant, I decided to take care of them.  Frankly, I've gotten tired of looking at them.  I just finished grinding them up in my food processor.  I did three separate batches - larger peppers that aren't quite so hot, medium ones that will make you salute, and little tiny ones that are SCREAMING HOT!

All of those peppers, all of that work, is reduced to three small bags of ground pepper, a powder that I will use to make my own chili powder.  I hope it was worth it.  I will let you know how the next batch of chili turns out.

Mountains of peppers reduced to three small bags of powder!
Here is the recipe my friend Charlotte gave me for making chili powder - and by the way, it was excellent.  I used the least hot peppers, will try the medium hot ones next time.

6 tsp chili powder (cayenne)
5 tsp cumin
4 tsp oregano
3.5 tsp coriander
0.5 tsp cloves
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic since I didn't have powder.

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