The Straight Stuff

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

The pot full of Maui Purple Pepper plants I've kept going for years has been brought indoors for the winter. At this point they were loaded with ripe, red peppers that were just starting to dry up.

I picked the plants clean today, then tied them up and fertilized. I think doing this will cause them to start another round of blooms and peppers. In past years they've got full of blooms in January and peppers again about March.

Needing my capsaicin fix in many hot dishes through the winter, I pulled off the stems and ran these through an electric chopper - then I put the "mash" in a pint fruit jar for refrigerator storage. I chopped up about a thousand little peppers in all, and these will provide plenty of "heat" anytime I want it. Concentrated FIRE, but with very good flavor!

My 10 y.o. granddaughter helped with this project, and contrary to my advice she insisted on putting just one seed on her tongue. Twenty minutes later she was still complaining and guzzling ice water as I said "I told you that you really didn't want to do that". I guess experience is the best teacher. lol

Thumbnail by Ozark Thumbnail by Ozark
Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

great idea ! let me know how long the chopped peppers will preserve in the fridge

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

A long time I betcha, because I thought about it and put the jar in the freezer. The chopped peppers are pretty dry and they won't freeze together very strongly. I think it'll be easy to scrape out whatever quantity I need with a spoon.

I'm keeping a quart jar of refrigerator pickles going, using these hot peppers. I mixed a brine of half wine vinegar half water, and added pickling salt, garlic cloves, onion, and TEN of these little peppers chopped up fine. I add various veggies cut into bite-size - cauliflower, celery, carrots, whatever. Celery seems to work especially well because it absorbs the brine quickly and stays crispy for use on and with sandwiches and such.

I keep that jar in the 'fridge, and the pickles are good after a week or so in the brine. As they get used up I add more veggies and keep it going. Good stuff!

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Chuckl, milk USUALLY works a mite faster than ice water, but water is definitely a good thing for the body!

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

An update. That half-full pint jar of chopped up hot peppers is still in my freezer, and it's been used all winter in numerous batches of salsa, chili, and Mexican dishes. I think there's enough "heat" in that jar, along with good hot chile flavor, to keep us going for a lifetime. There will be no need to keep it going forever, though, since my indoor/outdoor pot of Maui Purple Pepper plants are now setting on a big new crop.

My wife laughs at my technique. The chopped hot peppers are frozen into a solid mass in that jar, and though I just need a small amount, it's hard to scrape any of that out with a spoon. The freezer they're in is next to my carpenter shop, and I've taken to cleaning a 1/2" paddle bit (used for drilling holes in wood), then drilling some holes down into the iced peppers. The resulting "shavings" are then easy to shake out and add to any recipe.

A carpenter tool as a kitchen implement - whatever works.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Usually it's the kitchen tool that becomes a gardening implement.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

yeah, my kitchen is full of screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, and the drawer is missing all the tablespoons and a few sharp knives...

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

All my measuring cups, cookie sheets, and so much more are used for gardening. Most people use them for cooking but I use them in the garden.

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

1lisac
Who needs kitchen gadgets when take out is just a phone call away, right?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Not where I live. I'm so rural that Dominos doesn't even deliver.

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

1lisac,
Horrors, how do you ever have anything to eat?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Good question! Maybe that's why I garden.

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