Thursday, October 20, 2011

Garden Leftovers

Not sure if I mentioned this, but I started a vegetable garden this year. It was a rather large feat (basically because I underestimated the time necessary for the scope of it. It took a few months to plan, a few days to prep the land, a few more to plant, a few to weed, and a few to harvest.

Now that it is the end of my first year as a gardener, I can look back with 20/20 hindsight and realize how much easier it could have been if I had done it completely differently. For the amount of stuff we planted, I wasn't too impressed with the yield. But it was only the first year.

We got green bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, kale, collards, chard, leeks (what the hell do I do with leeks?). What I was impressed with, however, was the cayenne peppers. I planted two plants from seed in May, and for a while I wasn't too sure if we were ever going to get anything. But all of a sudden about a month ago, the plants were bursting with peppers. So much so that I didn't really know what to do with them. I like hot peppers and all, but I only use like 3 at a time, once a week if I am lucky.

So what to do with all these peppers?

I happened to have a bottle of olive oil that was 3/4 empty. So I figured that would be the simplest way to use a lot of them. I put a bunch in (until it was probably about 1/2 full) and filled the rest with oil. Voila! I will have spicy olive oil shortly.

Cut the tops off before you put them in the bottle.
Did you know the seeds are the spiciest part of hot peppers?
You can also do this with any other herb or spice. I am eventually going to do a few different kinds just to have for cooking and dipping.

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Coriander 
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Peppercorns
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Sea Salt
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

I will report how the cayenne pepper oil turns out after it seasons for a few weeks!

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