Me, too. I’ve gobs of them. Thought it was a good idea at the time, until I realized, we don’t eat THAT much salsa, or chili, or…
Whatever else it is one chooses to do with super hot chili peppers. And while eating hot foods during hot months in other countries is the thing to do, apparently it’s not here. At least not for my family. Sure, a bit of salsa to go with the chips by the pool is appreciated, but not my super red-hot chili peppers — these babies are hot!
So I ask you, what do you do when you have too many hot chili peppers? You show them who’s boss, that’s what, and hang their hides out to dry!
Excuse me? Are we still talking peppers, here?
Yes Ma’am, we are! I found this perfect solution for my pepper surplus while browsing the latest edition of Organic Gardening magazine. If you can call leafing through the pages of the magazine while having a conversation with your children and husband, all while listening to the nightly news browsing — BUT — I am a multi-tasker, if nothing else. Not always great at it, but good. Passable.
I noticed this how-to column, didn’t I?
So here’s the deal. Take all those glorious chili peppers you’ve taken such pains to care for under the scorch of summer sun, and lay them out on a cookie sheet, preferably over parchment paper (keeps them fresh and clean).
Set your oven to 150 – 200* Farenheit and “cook” for about 3-4 hours, depending on how hot and fast your oven works (yes, we’re still talking oven here – not oven operator). Spicy humor never hurts when working in and around the kitchen.
Once dry, remove the tray and allow to cool. You’ll know they’re ready when they appear wrinkled and shriveled. Test one by pinching it to be sure. It should crumble apart easily. If yes, break off stems and crush pepper body to desired consistency. Store in an airtight container and use on pizzas, pasta, whatever your heart desires!
Note to my fellow Florida gardeners: don’t add super hot chili peppers to your fall crop. Wait until you’ve run through this supply before committing limited resources to something you can’t possibly eat enough of, quick enough! It’s a lesson I’ll be taking to my excel chart for crop rotation layout.