Saturday, July 21, 2012
Cayenne Pepper Story
Last summer (2011) I planted 2 cayenne pepper plants in one of my raised beds in my garden. Sometime around the end of October, I managed to pick a bunch of flaming red peppers, about a wal-mart bag full. Over the next couple of weeks, I strung them up with a needle and thread and put them in my kitchen to dry. I was hopeful they would be completely dry by Christmas. My plan was to grind them and find some nice spice bottles and give as Christmas gifts to my family. (Cayenne peppers are excellent for digestion as well as boosting your metabolism) So, a couple of days before Christmas, I went to make my now very dry peppers into spice. I have a mini-chopper that I thought would work and sure enough, it did a fairly decent job. I took out most of the seeds that I could, but some managed to work their way in. I didn't think I would need gloves, which was a really bad idea. Also, the lid to my mini-chopper had a small hole in it, which I did not notice immediately. Of course, I inhaled some of the cayenne dust. I washed my hands and used cold water to try and relieve the burning in my nose. (Cold water does NOT work by the way) After that failed attempt to put the fire out, I'm trying to think of what to use and all I can think of is milk and fat. Aaahhhhh....butter!!!! So I dove my fingers in the butter and smothered my nostrils in it. Success! It quit burning after a few minutes, and actually, I forgot all about it as it was time to get dinner ready. But, later that evening, I began to smell something bad...it wasn't the kids....hmmmmm... oh my goodness! The butter had soured that was up my nose! Next thought: how am I going to get melted butter out from inside my nostrils? Answer: warm water on Q-tips. So, my cayenne pepper spice was a success and I got three large bottles to give away. The peppers are quite hot, but they have a marvelous flavor. A little dab will do in alot of dishes and a good shake in chilli or Mexican dishes. Advice: ALWAYS wear gloves when dealing with hot peppers; wear a mask when processing them; if you can, process outside or close to an exhaust fan; and if you have safety glasses, it couldn't hurt. And, even with the mask on, after 40 or so peppers, I still sneezed repeatedly! Lastly, don't forget to save a few seeds to replant for next season.