Mailman just delivered my seed order for the new pepper patch. Growing peppers in our northern climate has been hit or miss for us. One year there are bright orange Scotch Bonnets, red cayenne and yellow banana peppers enough to last until next year’s crop. The following year just a few Jalapeños that we used before summer was gone. Being a lover of peppers both sweet and hot, I want a consistent, bountiful harvest.
Since we cleared an area to expand our garden this year, I marked off a six by twelve foot space to designate as the Pepper Patch. I turned soil, digging out stones large and small. I added top soil, compost and cow manure. A blanket of snow is covering the pepper patch all winter so the soil can absorb all the nutrients and be ready for planting this spring. I’ll add phosphorus and calcium to the soil when the seeds are planted to promote healthy growth.
My Pepper Patch varieties will run the gamut from sweet bells to fiery Habaneros, with a medley of varying heat and flavor choices in between. I have Jalapenos that will go into chili and stir fries. My favorite pepper, cayenne, is a little hotter than Jalapeños, and will go into just about everything that calls for a spicy essence. They’ll become the heat in my salsa and chutney. Check out the recipe for Peach Chutney at the end of the post. A new addition to the Pepper Patch is a Poblano that can be used for chili rellenos. At a pot-luck recently, I was served the most delicious rellanos that Ihave ever eaten. This made me want to experiment to make my own. Once I get the hang of it, I’ll post a chili rellano recipe. Habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers are among the hottest around and should be used only for the most daring appetites. Bell peppers are the most useful of all and go into a plethora of dishes.
Even though the weather is cold, my taste buds are hankering for some peppery flavor and heat. I’m looking forward to the time for planting pepper seeds. I’m looking forward even more to pepper harvesting and spicy culinary endeavors.
8 large peaches, peeled and chopped
2 inch piece ginger root, minced
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1 cayenne pepper, minced with seeds and ribs
For milder taste, remove seeds and ribs
¼ tsp turmeric
Put all ingredients into a large pot
Bring to boil and reduce heat to low
Simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally
Use on just about anything. Bon appétit.