We planted Hungarian wax peppers on a whim, they were at the greenhouse when we bought plants and we figured it was worth a shot. They are a hot pepper with a yellowish green color. They look a lot like banana peppers. We planted jalapenos last year and were hoping for a milder hot pepper.
Astonishingly, they set fruit almost as soon as they were planted and on June 30th, we picked a few.
The only problem is, we have no idea what to do with them! There aren’t enough to can, we can’t make salsa or pickles yet, and Jon verified that they are too hot to eat plain. They left his mouth burning for quite a while. It seems all of our garden hot peppers are 50 times hotter than grocery store varieties. Any ideas on how to use just a couple very VERY hot peppers??
We had a pretty good pumpkin harvest for the 2010 season. I planted heirloom sugar pumpkins and ended up with~20. Unfortunately, I lost quite a few of them after they were hit with frost. I didn’t cover the pumpkins and many came out of the frost rotten.
Before I lost my few surviving pumpkins I decided it was time to do something with them. I started with 7 pumpkins (1 came from my parent’s garden)
I washed the pumpkins and began the long process of peeling, gutting and cutting. I ended the process with a blister and a nice cut on my thumb. Pumkins are not the easiest thing to cut!
I cut the pumpkin in half and removed the seeds. I didn’t have enough time to separate and dry the seeds so the chickens got a nice treat.
Next up I sliced the pumpkin into manageable pieces and began to peel.
After peeling I diced the pumpkin into 1 inch cubes and brought the pieces to a boil for 2 minutes in plain water.
There were LOTS of pumpkin cubes!
I processed the pumpkin in quart jars with 1 inch headspace, at 11 pounds pressure for 90 minutes.
The seven pumpkins I canned produced 14 quart jars and a bit more puree that I added to apple sauce and froze. To use the canned pumpkin I just have to drain the water and puree. I am envisioning many pumpkin muffins, cakes, pies and breads in our future…
**Please note pumpkin can only be canned safely in chunks, in a pressure canner please refer to a trusted canning resource for detailed instructions prior to canning pumpkin!
After harvesting our sunflowers, it was time to put them to use! Roasting sunflower seeds was an experiment for us. We read a few recipes online and then decided to wing it. Over all I think it went pretty well.
We started by soaking our seeds in salt water. Jon tends to eat things very salty so we were heavy-handed when mixing up the salt water. I would say to consider your own preferences for this step.
After an over-night soak, we rinsed the seeds with fresh water:
And then laid them out on a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible:
Next up we shook the seeds in a bit of oil and salt just to make sure the salt would stay on the seeds.
We roasted 1/2 of the seeds in the oven (set to 250*) and 1/2 in the dehydrator:
The seeds in the oven were not roasting as we had hoped so we added them to the dehydrator to finish them off. I would recommend using the dehydrator the entire time. A day in the dehydrator produced nicely roasted, crisp seeds.
The final count is about 1 and 1/2 quarts of sunflower seeds. They were a lot of work, but a fun experiment none the less. The jury is still out on whether we will harvest them next year, or just feed them to the birds. Either way they will show up in our yard. They are beautiful flowers!