[gardeners] Hot stuff - read with care

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 26 Jul 2000 16:29:39 -0500

Just got through running about a gallon of fermented hot chiles through the food
mill. Got a nice slurry of liquid and pulp, no seeds or skins. Added about 30%
by volume of white vinegar to it and have sitting aside to mellow for a week
prior to bottling. While I was at it I ran about 6 quarts of frozen chiles
through the food processor and salted the chopped chiles down in the 1.5 gallon
crock (ex-cookie jar). Nothing bothered me until I started washing up, coughing,
sneezing, etc began. Forgot to put on my air-purifying respirator. Don't have to
worry about clogged sinuses anymore.

The chiles that were run through the food mill had only been fermenting for a
little over a month. Usually I let them ferment for a year but this batch was
ready to put up and then some. I've been washing and drying the fresh, ripe,
chiles and then putting them in a bag in the freezer until I get enough to
process at once. Evidently the freezing breaks down the cell walls well enough
that the fermentation process is speeded up. I like it better this way as I
don't lose a batch to mold anymore. Chop it, salt it, and store the crock in the
fridge. Works good for me as I don't have access to a salt mine as does Tabasco.
Oh well, time to start freezing chiles again for another batch.