Dragon Thursday – Homemade pepper sauce

The garden this year has been amazing.  I have had a great time finding ways to use everything.  Since I I love all things dragon, when I saw a pepper named Dragon Cayenne, I had to buy it.  The plant is a heavy producer and the peppers are lovely.

I decided I would attempt making a Tabasco style sauce using the dragon cayenne and a few of the jalapeños from the garden.

I looked at several recipes online and decided to use this one from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

It calls for 1/4 pound of cayenne peppers, then jalapeños and hot cherry peppers (which I do not have) so I improvised.  I ended up using a little over 1/2 pound of cayenne and jalapeño peppers.  I then doubled the rest of the ingredients in the recipe and followed it as written.

Dragon Cayenne

I began by washing and removing the stems from my peppers.  I then added them to a medium size sauce pan with lid.  I used about a  1/2 pound+ dragon cayenne and jalapeño peppers, six large cloves peeled garlic – chopped, 2 teaspoons salt, four cups white vinegar.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat,  cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  

It was suggested that this be done outside.  The vapors can be very strong and irritating to the eyes and nose.  I did not cook this batch outside, but I did use exhaust fans.  I have cooked peppers before and had the fumes be extremely overwhelming.  You may also want to wear gloves when handling the hot peppers.

After boiling, I  carefully poured the hot mixture into a blender and pureed.

Then I poured it into a food mill which I had placed over the sauce pan that I had used to cook the mixture in.

I strained out the seeds and other solids and returned the pan of liquid to the stove. 

 I brought the liquid back to a boil.  Once it began to boil, I turned the fire off and set aside to cool.  

I had saved some bottles with shaker tops for making hot sauces and vinegars.  Use whatever method you prefer to clean and sterilize your jars.  I used a funnel to add the cooled sauce to my bottles.  Here is the finished product.  The recipe states it should last six months in the refrigerator.  (Keep refrigerated)

Thanks again to Bernadette at Rants From My Crazy Kitchen for posting this recipe.  I didn’t follow it exactly but it was a great place to start. 🙂

Gardening – Spring 2017

Late this winter I started seeds in the house.  I planted some of my favorite vegetables and flowers.  The seedlings were looking great, but as time passed, I realized that I had started them too early.  They did not get enough light and were just very unhappy plants. ( this photo is before their unhappy demise)

During this time we also decided to make a proper garden area.  This involved bringing in soil and installing fencing.  We are on limestone which made digging holes for the fence posts a challenge, but we persevered, and in a short while we had a garden site.  The soil is not perfect and we are adding organic matter to it as we go.  One area is doing great.  It was the old compost area and has our mystery squash growing in it.

I also decided to take a chance and get some plants in the ground early.  Historically, the last frost date is around March 20.  I planted the garden February 26, 2017.  It was a risky decision, but I was optimistic because we had a mild winter.  I also had very early spring fever and wanted to see growing things.

This is the first photo I took on February 26, 2017.  I planted seeds and plants.

This is a view from our porch.

We were lucky and there were no freezing temperatures for the remainder of the winter or early spring. The photo below is from April 09, 2017.

This is the garden layout. Click the image to enlarge the photo.  There are labels to indicate what the plants are.

We are already getting some vegetables.

Zucchini

 

Dragon Pepper – Cayenne

 

Bush beans

 

Sweet Million cherry tomatoes

Hopefully we continue to have good luck with this years garden.  Updates on the mystery squash next month.

🙂