Dehydrate super hot peppers for powder and long-term storage

super-hot-peppersI had a prolific super hot pepper season.  This was my first time growing some of the hottest peppers in the world.  I grew varieties like the Trinidad Scorpion, Bhut Jolokia, and Fatalii.  Along with those I had a good selection of Dorset Nagas, Trinidad 7 Pods, and Trinidad Douglahs too.  The end result of this bumper crop is a freezer stuffed full of vacuum packed peppers and a pantry stacked high with evil pepper sauce concoctions.  I’ve been lacking on drying peppers for flakes and powder though…time to remedy that.

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A Tomato Hornworm ate my Trinidad Scorpion pepper plant…and paid the ultimate price

tomato-hornworm-damage-1I walked down to check my super-hot peppers this morning and found that something had attacked my Trinidad Scorpion plant.  Nearly all the leaves at the top of the plant were stripped off.  Could slugs do this much damage in one night?  I searched around the base of the plant and found an old enemy…the Tomato Hornworm.

The Trinidad Scorpion comes in at 1,463,700 on the Scoville scale (a measurement of the heat in peppers) and currently holds the Guiness World Record for hottest pepper.  This being Mississippi, and not in fact Trinidad, the Tomato Hornworm had no idea what he was getting himself into.  It was obvious from the state of the Hornworm’s carcass that the pepper plant exacted a torturous revenge on its assailant.

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Happy Fourth of July from OutdoorBlogging

fireworks-fourth-of-july-outdoorbloggingHappy birthday USA!

I couldn’t resist driving the Jeep out to the fireworks stand at the county line.  There’s a huge assortment, but it’s just too hot and crispy around OutdoorBlogging HQ to shoot off any of these aerial fountains of fire.  I’m just going to get a few sparklers and some snap-pops to throw at the birds pestering my strawberries.

The Fourth of July really has a distinct feel.  There’s been a palpable air of contentment floating around everyone I’ve encountered today.  It’s an interesting mix of anticipation, excitement, and relaxation.

Time to fire up the grill for the second time and enjoy a nice cold beverage on the deck.  I think I’ll pick a few jalapenos to go on the burgers too.  It’s nice when you think of something you need and you’ve got in growing a few feet away.  This is a good day.

Chill your homebrew wort fast in the hottest summer temperatures

boiling-wort-homebrew It is hot!  There’s no getting around it.  It was 103F on my deck today.  Every activity has to be modified in some way to make it possible in this heat.  It’s Fourth of July eve and my home brewing procedure is going to have to be “modified”

In home brewing the time it takes your boiling wort (think beer soup) to chill down to a temperature safe for adding your yeast is a time of great danger.  Wort is a nice warm medium loaded with sugar.  It’s the perfect place for nasty, foul tasting bacteria to flourish.  The longer your wort hangs in the danger zone (below boiling and above 70F) the more likely you’re going to have an infected sour mess on your hands.

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One Man’s Wilderness–The Journals of Richard “Dick” Proenneke

one-man's-wilderness-richard-proennekeI’m reading two books on the journals of Richard Proenneke.  One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith covers Dick’s journals from 1968-1969.  More Readings From One Man’s Wilderness: The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke
follows the journals from 1974-1980.  They both give an excellent detail of the day to day life of a man alone surviving in the Alaskan wilderness.

“One Man’s Wilderness” covers the very beginning of Proenneke’s journey to Alaska, the building of his cabin, and his initial exploration of the incredible terrain in the Twin Lakes area.  Even though the book is in journal format it reads almost like a novel.  The descriptions of the scenery Dick encounters and the daily adventures he lives really draw you in.

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