Hot Peppers

For the past couple of summers G and I have been selling produce grown in our garden at the local farmers market. We usually only sell for a couple of months when the tomatoes are producing at their peak. Once they start to slow down I don't have so much excess so we call it quits until the next summer rolls around.

Last year I also did very good business with hot peppers. Most of the vendors don't offer hot peppers because for some reason this area hasn't caught onto the love of hot foods, ( I mean the truly tongue blistering hot that some crave). And I will have to clarify this by saying hot is not my favorite flavor either but G loves it, so we grow them. I figure to each their own and with the turn over I was doing in peppers last year I decided to look into other ways to use and sell hot peppers.

Since the vendors at the market where we sell don't offer a lot of hot peppers I don't have a lot of competition. It's a niche market that I plan to explore more this year.

Once the tomatoes were finished producing the peppers where still going strong but I didn't really have enough of them or do enough business on peppers alone that I could justify booth rent, not to mention getting up at 4am to make it to the market on time for opening. But I couldn't allow my peppers to go to waste either. so I made 'pepper sauce' with some, pepper jelly with others and dried the rest. I plan to add these things to my booth and see how they do this year.

G identified the variety of Cayenne that were the hottest, I sorted them out from the rest and dried them. Once they were dried I cleaned the seeds from the inside and dried them a bit longer, until they were as crisp as old parchment. Then I ran them through a small coffee grinder I use just for herbs and made a powder for seasoning chili from them.

I can't tell you how pleased and impressed I was with myself. I planted those peppers and took them form garden to spice rack all on my own. But I'll admit I did "re-learn" some things the hard way. First of all, always and I do mean always, wear gloves when handling hot peppers. I got the oils from the peppers under my nails and in my cuticles and it stayed their for almost 10 days. Needless to say I also got it in my eyes and mouth.

1 comment:

Spice Rack said...

Your pepper are really great. Great harvest you have there. If I were the one who planted that pepper I'm really proud to put that on my spice rack.