Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Drying Peppers

So The Man of the House loves himself some hot peppers. The hotter the better! On a recent shopping trip, he picked up a whole bunch of habaneros. For those who have never tasted a habanero, let me tell you, these things are HOT. Habaneros are generally considered to be about 60 times hotter than jalapenos... Yikes!

What this basically means is that we had a big bag of hot peppers that no one in the house except for The Man was willing to eat. And there were far too many peppers for him to eat before they went bad. Since we are all about Simplicity and frugality, we don't like to waste food, so we went looking for the best way to preserve those peppers so The Man could enjoy every last one of them.

We ended up settling on drying the peppers. I washed them all and set them on a baking rack, which I put into a very low oven. I do have a food dehydrator, but I didn't feel like taking it out since I had another project going on the counter that day. So the ol' oven it was.

I did notice that some of them dried faster than others, so if you try this at home, be sure to watch them carefully. I did pull some out sooner, once they seemed done enough, and left the rest in to finish up. Once they were all dry, I put them in a jar for storage.

The Man has been known to open this jar, and just bite right into one of these. Crazy, I tell you!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Garden Planning, and Indoor Potato-Growing Update!!

Preliminary Garden Plans
Typically, February is the time when we start milling through seed catalogs, making lists and planning out our garden for the year. Thinking ahead to the Spring in this way really helps us get through those long, dark, final days of winter. This year, we are a few weeks late getting started (January and February were a blur and we're still recovering) but, better late than never, no? This past week we pulled out our Garden Notebook, and we've started a page for 2013! We're making lists of things we want to plant, and drawing our diagrams of what may go where. When making our garden plans, we always look back at our previous years plans, so we can remember what did well in which beds, what didn't, and what needs to be rotated this year. 

While all this planning is going on... our Indoor Potato Experiment continues to thrive! These things are growing like crazy! I'm beginning to think that maybe I put too many in, and they are a bit overcrowded. Something to remember and learn from for next time, I suppose! 
Potato Plants!
I am hoping to start posting more frequently again soon, as we try to settle back into "normal" life. I'm sure I will have much to write about, as this is a very exciting time of year here at The Homestead.