Hot peppers

Credit: Carolyn Herriot

The seeds and placenta of peppers contain varying degrees of capsaicinoids, that can give hot peppers mouth-searing pungency. Use hot peppers with extreme caution and, if your head is about to ‘blow off’, eat dairy products or starchy foods such as bread or rice. Don’t drink cold water, which actually increases the effect of heat. Handle hot peppers and their seeds with respect, and don’t rub your eyes or inhale too deeply around them, or you may regret it.
Cayenne pepper
Peppers range in heat scale from mild (1) to ‘blow your head off’ hot (10).
This year I grew habanero (10) Scotch bonnet (10) and cayenne (8) peppers in 2-gallon pots. Seedlings of hot peppers take longer to germinate and mature and produce best in good summers.
Habanero pepperBasic Hot Sauce
(Using rubber gloves)
Cut the stems off a few hot peppers and blanch them in boiling white wine vinegar for three minutes. Put the peppers with half a cup of hot vinegar and a teaspoon of salt into a food processor and puree. Put into a sauce bottle for three days before consuming. The longer the sauce stands the hotter it will get. Optional: Add sliced ginger, sugar, lime juice, or minced garlic to the sauce before processing.