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Monday, September 6, 2010

9/6/10 Harvest - HOT Pepper


We harvested our first hot cayenne pepper this weekend, just to test its hotness.  Keith took a quarter inch nibble off the tip, thinking "it's still green and unripe, so it can't be that hot, right?"  Then he almost died.  His exact quote afterward was: "It tasted like firey death."

I just took the cut side of the pepper (after Keith took his nibble) and touched the tip of my tongue to it.

WHOA.

This was one hot pepper!  It tasted hotter than any other peppers I've tasted in recent memory.  I have read that hot peppers get a bit milder when they are ripe and red.  We'll have to do another taste test when the peppers are bigger and riper.  A question for any of you pepper growers out there: do you ever harvest cayenne peppers when they are still green, or do you always wait until they have turned color, either partially or completely?

The rest of our harvest was pretty wimpy this week.  We finally got the last of the cucumbers and pulled the vines.  The cucumbers were small, distorted and damaged by bugs; but they were still edible.  I also harvested two green onions I grew from seed.  These things really take forever to grow to a decent size from seed.  There are more in the garden, but we only needed two for cooking, so that's we took.


Since I didn't have much of a harvest this week, I wanted to share a few colorful pictures from our Labor Day barbeque.  The produce was unfortunately not from our garden, but Keith and I have high hopes that we will be able to supply our own vegetables for next year's Labor Day weekend barbeque.
 

We also grilled some chicken breasts and pork chops, but I don't have any pictures of those because I was already too busy eating my burger.  Priorities, you know!

Please visit Harvest Monday for other gardeners' harvests.

35 comments:

vrtlarica said...

I don't have any experience with cayenne peppers, but I think that peppers usually get hotter with time and that they are the hottest when red.
It looks like it was a great barbeque!

Emily said...

I harvest the cayenne pepper when green if I need a hot pepper for a salsa or something. I haven't compared the heat between a green and red one, but either way they are a fairly hot pepper.

Dan Owen said...

I always let my hot peppers mature as much as possible as I like to save some of the seeds for next year. At the end of the season, however, I'll take whatever is left on the vine and will place them, chopped up, in a vacuum sealed bag in the deep freeze for use as ingredients in winter chili.

kitsapFG said...

Never grown Cayenne peppers so I have no advice to give. That barbeque looks delicious! We had a grilled dinner yesterday (ahead of Labor Day_ as it was the nicest of the weather for the weekend per the forecasts. Today (Labor Day) is cool and wet - so I am honestly thinking about making braised beef or some stew for dinner.

Erin said...

love the bbq pic, I'm getting hungry!

Daphne said...

I've harvested cayennes before they are ripe. I don't dry and store them that way, but for using fresh they are fine. I usually only do it early in the season when I need some spiciness for something and they haven't started turning red yet. I usually use them red. I can't say if they are hotter or not when they are ripe though. I never eat cayennes except when they are mixed in something. They spice up a dish but aren't eaten on their own.

thyme2garden said...

vrtlarica - if you're right about pepper heat and time, then we're going to have some really hot peppers when these ripen!

* * * * *
Emily - I agree that they are hot!

* * * * *
Dan Owen - I haven't thought about saving these seeds yet, but you're right that I would need these peppers fully ripened to collect seeds.

* * * * *
kitsapFG - same here, yesterday was the nicest day of the weekend. Enjoy your dinner!

* * * * *
Erin - it's past lunch time! :-)

* * * * *
Daphne - yeah, I definitely would not want to eat these cayenne peppers on their own.

~Holly~ said...

I haven't had much luck with hot peppers. I grew some cherry bombs and hungarian wax hots this year. My cherry bomb died and the hungarian wax peppers look round instead of elongated. *sigh* Glad you got your first hottie of the season! LOL!

~Holly~ said...

Oh and I forgot to add that your BBQ looks yummy!! Good eats!

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

thyme2garden said...

Holly - sorry to hear about your peppers. If you're interested in our hotties, I can share these seeds with you!

* * * * *
Anonymous - thank you for visiting!

Dan said...

mm those pictures are making me hungry!

michelle said...

I almost always let my cayennes fully ripen before I harvest them. Occasionally I'll pick a green one if I want a spicy green pepper. Did you know that the hottest parts of a pepper are the ribs and the white core and they tend to be hottest at the stem end. If the pepper is too hot then just use the flesh.

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

villager said...

You are right about the green onions, it does take a long time to grow them from seed. Kudos to you for doing it though! I do believe the are better than ones from sets. And it's nice to be able to get just one or two when you need them, instead of buying a whole bunch at a time.

Y'all are braver than me eating that raw cayenne!

Shawn Ann said...

Hmm. I always though that red was hotter as well. I'd be interested to know if they weren't. I usually wait till my hot peppers are to their final color, red, orange, etc, for whatever variety I am using.

I grew green onions this year as well, and I grew way more than I could use! There are still a bunch out there and some are getting huge, and some are getting brown on top! I am gonna have to give some away or something. I can never use that much! I planted from seeds I think in March.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Oh my...whatcha gonna do with those hotties???

We planted all sorts of onions this year. 300 -Yellow, White and Reds from sets and then a few packages of green onions.

I know...why so many? Sigh...I chopped most of them up and froze them. Well have enough for the whole darn year! Worth it tho!

Your BBQ looks awesome! Now I am hungry...

Kaytee said...

With hot peppers, the more mature they are, the hotter they are. With sweet peppers, the more mature, the sweeter. So, looks like you're going to have some hot peppers! I haven't tried my cayennes yet, but I'm growing them for pickled cauliflower, and since there's no cauliflower yet, there's been no need to test cayennes! Hopefully mine are as hot as yours, since that's what I'm going for!

thyme2garden said...

Dan - we have lots of leftovers. Come over and we'll feed you. :)

* * * * *
Michelle - I didn't know that about peppers. I knew about the seeds being really hot, but I definitely didn't know about the different parts of peppers. Thanks for the info!

* * * * *
Villager - thank you for the encouragement! Although I am envious of everyone else's bountiful weekly harvests, I'm secretly glad that I don't have hundreds of lbs of fresh veggies to process during the summer. It really is nice to be able to go out in the garden and just pick a little of this and a little of that to use as needed.

* * * * *
Shawn Ann - Thanks for letting me know about your peppers. I'll have to wait and see if the red cayennes are really hotter than the green ones. Sorry to hear that your green onions are getting brown on top before you're able to use them. If they survive until next year, I think they will flower and produce seeds for you next spring.

* * * * *
The Apple Pie Gal - We'll probably freeze some peppers, too, if we end up with a lot. The rest of this partially-eaten (more like partially choked-on) pepper got sliced and went into our refrigerator pickle jar. The pickles were nice and spicy by this morning, and Keith and I really liked them!

* * * * *
Kaytee - your explanation makes sense about hot and sweet peppers. I'll have to figure out where I read that fully ripe (and red) hot peppers aren't as hot as their slightly under ripe counterparts. On a whim, I put the rest of the pepper in our refrigerator pickle jar, and it really spiced things up! I hope you get cauliflower soon, so you can have spicy pickled cauliflower - that sounds delicious!

Heather@myeverydaygraces said...

Love the hot pepper story:) My husband has a few of those himself; I don't dare second guess! ha!

thyme2garden said...

Heather - I'm glad you enjoyed! Normally I would not eat a raw hot pepper, but since Keith was brave enough to taste test our first pepper, I had to show my support. :-)

meemsnyc said...

Your cucumbers look like ours. I read somewhere that they grow like that when the plants don't get consistent watering? I don't know, if that is true.

We don't grow cayenne but we have habaneros. When they are green, they are not as spicy as when we let them turn yellow or orange. It's much much hotter!

meemsnyc said...

Your cucumbers look like ours. I read somewhere that they grow like that when the plants don't get consistent watering? I don't know, if that is true.

We don't grow cayenne but we have habaneros. When they are green, they are not as spicy as when we let them turn yellow or orange. It's much much hotter!

Angela said...

Heat stressed peppers also taste hotter than those that got lower temperatures and lots of water, so you might be tasting the effects of the unusually hot summer you all got back East. I am getting very mild peppers this year.

The good thing about peppers is that you can start harvesting when you want and still leave some to ripe on the vine. So suit yourself and experiment, both green and red chiles are valuable in cooking.

Rowena said...

I pick our hot peppers only after they've turned color. Apart from their hotness, I like the color that they add to a dish of say...italian aglio, olio e pepperoncini! (garlic and hot pepper with spaghetti)

balcony/paradise said...

I did exactly what Keith did with my first hot pepper! And almost died as well...
I think your cucumbers look cute. And the barbeque delicious...

ZZ said...

It all looks so delicious.

Now I'm hungry.

thyme2garden said...

meemsnyc - I'm not sure about the misshapen cucumbers, but you could be right. I just chalked it all up to the end of the summer woes.

* * * * *
Angela - maybe I got my facts all mixed up about green vs. ripe peppers in relation to hotness, but I did know about heat/water stressed peppers getting hotter than those grown under gentler conditions. Keith and I made sure that we properly "abused" our peppers so that we could ensure their hotness. We just had no idea that they would be this hot!

* * * * *
Rowena - I also think that red chili peppers are much prettier than green ones. I'll save some for garlic and hot pepper spaghetti!

* * * * *
balcony/paradise - Perhaps it's the first time pepper grower's rite of passage. :)

* * * * *
ZZ - thank you!

ZZ said...

- Thyme -

You're welcome.

I took a video of my mom and stepdad's potted plants that are on the side of their patio.

I hope it comes through. But it's of a nice big red chili pepper.

Hot!

thyme2garden said...

ZZ - looking forward to seeing that video!

ZZ said...

- Thyme -

I tried to put it up but it looks like it's not processing right.

*sigh*

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