Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Backyard Earthbox Garden - Jalapenos

The jalapeno harvest was tremendous this year. I planted 12 seeds in an Earthbox and ended up culling several to make room for 6 jalapeno plants.

I attribute the bountiful amount of peppers this year to the dry weather we experienced from early June to mid-August. The picture below was taken after the weekly harvests started to decline as the weather cooled here in the early fall. These covered about 1/3 of the large collander I use for harvesting. Throughout the year I lost count of how many overflowing collanders of jalapenos I actually harvested, but but it was at least 3 1/2 amounting to hundreds of peppers.

Jalapenos grown my backyard Earthbox garden
Jalapenos halved and ready for drying in the oven
We had a unique problem...what to do wtih all those jalapenos? A few Google searches later and we decided to dry them and grind them in a coffee grinder to make jalapeno powder.
It's a simple 4 step process:
  •  Halve them
  • Pop them on a cookie sheet
  • With the oven on the lowest setting, dry them for 4 hours or so
  • If they are not dry, put them back in the oven for another hour or so

These are not "exact" times. You would do best to keep an eye on them and pull them out early if they begin to develop a "burnt" look.

Homemade jalapeno powder
Caution: If you are going to handle jalapenos with your bare hands, be careful. Don't rub your eyes. Don't touch your lips, face, or other "sensitive areas". Surgical gloves make handling hot peppers much easier.

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