Archive for the ‘hot pepper’ Category

Cha-cha sal-sa Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Last week my sis, mom and I made quick work of 18 pints of salsa. Last year we hadn’t done any. It can be quite the chore, but with three (and a couple beers) it was quite a fun evening.

  1. Sterilized jars
  2. First we scalded the tomatoes in simmering water for easy peeling
  3. Peeled tomatoes
  4. Chopped onions, garlic, sweet and hot peppers (make sure to use gloves – I also made it a point to take my contacts out before starting this venture, nothing says, “youch!” like hot pepper in the eye)
  5. Threw it all in a couple stockpots to simmer with some vinegar, a little brown sugar and salt – upwards of 3 hours (we didn’t do it nearly as long as the recipe said)
  6. Just before ladling into jars we added some lime, fresh garlic and chopped cilantro
  7. Ladled to within 1/2″ of top of jar
  8. Topped with sterilized lids and rings, tightened
  9. Immersed jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes

I’ve been eating piles of it. We used a few long hot peppers and a couple jalapenos to two grocery-sized bags of tomatoes. We got an awesome medium heat and it is very smooth.

What a great way to spend an evening.

3 2 1 Acclimate! Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

My babied seedlings of tomatoes and peppers have had a rough go of making it to the garden. For weeks I did really well. Watering when slightly dry, timing their artificial grow lights, repotting when necessary. Then I try to set them outside to acclimate a little and boom! I let them dry out too much, then they get sunburned, the children water them too forcefully and the dog topples all of them over. Good grief! So now I’m attempting some resuscitation to see who will make it out of my 20-some little plants. That would’ve been too many for our garden plot but now I’m hoping I have a 1/2 dozen of pepper and tomato each to put out some time this week.

Seedlings you do at home need time to toughen up to the outdoor conditions: wind, sun, night and day temps, all are much more severe than the conditions in your home, garage and in some instances the greenhouse where you purchased them.

What I should have done to acclimate them:

  • Mimic the sun time they will have with my artificial lights a couple weeks out
  • Start setting them out in a shady spot during the day when the temp is 65 and above
  • Move them to a sunnier location where they will get just a couple hours of sun
  • Slowly increase their time in the sun an hour or two each day until they are staying in the sun for a full 8 hours
  • Plant them in the garden when the nights are only getting down to the high 50s or 60s (right now!)

Oh well, this is the most success I’ve had starting my own seedlings anyway so I’ll chalk this up to another lesson learned the hard way.

It’s ALIVE! Friday, March 19th, 2010

My sweet peppers that were planted March 6, finally showed signs of germination exactly 2 weeks later. It took a while, but now I have a little hope. There are about 3 mini red bell pepper sprouts and a couple Odessa Market ones. I’ve watered them every day, just a little to keep the top 1/4 inch of soil damp enough to allow for germination. As these grow I will adjust to heavier waterings so the tender roots don’t dry out. I did space out my TP roll pots to allow for more air circulation as they had been nearly touching and stayed wet enough to produce nice fuzzy coats on the outside. After separating them the fuzz is starting to shed some. As these seedlings grow, I will adjust the light levels to stay approximately 2″ above the top leaves. Luckily I have two side-by-side growing lights on string that can be adjusted as need. My timing of 12 hrs. a day under lights seems to be working well enough.

Now I’ll have to wait and see about the hot peppers that were planted 8 days ago. I’ll hold my breath until it’s been two weeks before I try something different. The next veggies to plant I believe will be tomatoes.

** Pardon for the crappy photography, my work camera doesn’t come with macro, I’ll have to get my in-house photographer (The Hub) to help me out with some better photos.