Thursday, November 1, 2012

Harvesting the Cayennes

    I can't get over how my cayenne pepper plant flourished this summer. Digging two vegetable beds in the middle of the lawn turned out to be a bright idea. There it's stood for the past few months, the peppers ripening to a glorious stinging shiny scarlet. A few have been given away for eating or for seeds for next year. We've only sampled one, and that was a couple of months ago.
    A Korean friend was staying and, as you probably know, Korean cuisine is known for its use of blisteringly hot peppers. She merrily chopped up a couple of inches of fresh cayenne pepper and sprinkled it over her salad. Meanwhile, I'd just tried the fork test where you touch the end of a prong to the cut side of the pepper--and taste--and suggested she did the same.
    She did, and carefully winkled out all the pepper morsels from her salad and moved them to the side of her plate. These super-strength cayennes won't go to waste but I'll definitely be careful how I use them.
  Here they are as of yesterday, harvested, threaded on string and hung beside the stove to dry.
       As a nation, French people are not too keen on piquant food. Out of curiosity, I Googled piment de cayenne and recettes. Lots exist but, in most cases, the instructions are to add a tiny pinch of dried cayenne pepper, and that's all.

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