Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Last of the Peppers

   Rain has graced our area, however, it is not enough to end the terrible drought plaguing our land. Another crop to fall victim to the elements: the peppers. The bells were cleaned and frozen for later use; not the hot peppers. Our last harvest of chilies, jalapenos and banana peppers are preserved another way: drying.

   Way to hot for the dehydrator or the oven, our peppers were strung on cotton floss and hung around the kitchen to dry slowly; changing color and temperature as the do. I have found hot peppers to lend a slightly sweet-heat when left to slowly air dry; sometimes adding a hint of smokiness as well.
   Once completely dry, the peppers are generally left hanging- readily on hand for any cooking adventure. The year our home suffered intense tornado activity we placed our peppers in airtight jars and sealed bags to prevent moisture from ruining them. During our intense hurricane year the peppers were frozen instead of dried due to the wet soggy conditions.
    All methods work wonderfully, but my favorite way to save the last of the peppers is a beautiful string of peppers; changing colors and textures while decorating the kitchen.

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