"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday 14 June 2014

Preserving piquanté peppers and a give away :)

Last year one of my neighbours gave me some seeds from their garden. These seeds I have been unable to find anywhere so I was excited and eager to plant them.

Due to trade mark restrictions, I am unable to use the name for by which these peppers have achieved their popularity, so I will just say that they are piquanté peppers.  The photo's will easily identify them though ;)

They took their time to germinate, and to produce fruit, but I have finally been able to harvest the first of their fruit and set about preserving them this last week.
Piquanté Pepper bush
The recipe I used to preserve them is as follows:

500 -750 g piquanté peppers (red-ripe)
60 g coarse salt (kosher salt)
600 ml water
Piquanté peppers, salt, water (not shown) and bowl

Cut off (or like me just break it off with your finger nail) the stem side of the piquanté peppers, and carefully scrape out the seeds with a small teaspoon. Rinse. Try to remove all seeds.  I didn't wear gloves for this step as the peppers aren't that hot.  Also, I quite like the tingle on my lips and tongue when I accidentally touch either with the washed, but still capsiacin impregnated, fingers :)

Then, dissolve the salt in the water and add the prepared piquanté peppers. Make sure they all stay under the brine by putting a plate on top. Leave them overnight at room temperature.

Next day, using squeaky clean bottles and caps, put on a firm tin and into a cold oven. Heat oven to between 160 - 170 deg Celsius

Now rinse the brine off the piquanté peppers, rinse briefly with cold water, and leave in a colander to drain.
The ingredients are as follows:
garlic flakes, apple cider vinegar, water, sugar'
green chillies and an unpeeled piece of ginger.
On the top right you can see the piquant
é peppers
which have been soaking overnight
For the preserving liquid you will need:

375 ml vinegar (white grape vinegar preferred, not spirit vinegar)
300 ml sugar, white, granulated (I used brown as it is the only sugar we use)
250 ml water
4 pieces ginger, fresh, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled, whole (my garlic is still growing so I used dried garlic flakes)
10 ml peppercorns
4 bay leaves
2 small hot chillies - remove stem and keep whole

(I added more vinegar and water proportionately to cover the peppers properly)

The piquanté peppers in the preserving liquid -
jars warmed in the Rosie waiting to be filled
on the right hand side
Measure out all the above ingredients (except the little green chillies) and place into a large pot, and stir well over low heat until ALL the sugar has dissolved. Then bring to a rolling, foamy boil.

Add the piquanté peppers and chillies and boil them for about 1 minute.

Carefully remove the hot bottles from the oven. First fill the bottles with piquanté peppers, and then fill to about 1½ cm from the top with the boiling liquid.

Finally, carefully wipe the bottles tops, and screw on the tops.
Preserved piquanté peppers
If properly sealed these apparently should last indefinitely.

Ingredients:      Yield: 2 large or 4 smaller jars

You can use these piquanté peppers in a salad, on a pizza, in bread / scone baking, finely chopped and sprinkled on top of scrambled eggs, whole, and stuffed with cream / cottage cheese to which you have added chopped fresh chives, in a pasta sauce, toasted (piquanté peppers and) cheese, on bruchetta with cream cheese and grilled zucchini, etc.  Even in a tomato cocktail :)  For more recipes click here.

Naturally, I couldn't throw away the seeds which I removed from the cavity. They are currently in a bowl on my kitchen windowsill - given that we are in mid-winter, they'll take about a month to dry.
The piquanté pepper seeds drying on my kitchen
windowsill.  I give them a daily stir - and enjoy
the tingle on my lips / tongue yet again,
and again, and again... :)

In keeping with sharing is caring, I am now going to offer 25 seeds to two people who are followers of Eco-Footprint ~ South Africa and who leave a comment on this thread.  There is one entry per person.  This offer is open to anyone, anywhere - if there are local restrictions regarding receiving seeds from overseas I don't know of them.  That is your responsibility LOL

The entries close at 6.00p.m. Monday 30th June 2014 and the random draw, performed by RMan, will take place on at 8.30 p.m. Notification of the winners will be posted on Tuesday 1 July.  I have one request of the two winners. Please contact me via e-mail with your postal address.  If I don't hear from you by the 7th July RMan will pick another random name, etc until I have two winners with two postal addresses.

The seeds will be posted off to you as soon as I am confident they are thoroughly dry (roughly mid-July).

Good luck everyone :)


  1. I would love some. I've been wanting to try my hand at preserving peppers. think you could use them in pimento cheese?

  2. i would love for my friend DFW above to win some pepper seeds but after her - it's ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME! i want to win them too!

    your friend,

  3. LOL - For one of tge few times I've used the "schedule a post" function and I scheduled this to be published on Tuesday - maybe it is Tuesday already in Blogland?

    Ah well - guess that gives all of you an extra 3 days ;)

  4. i would also like to enter please. Some wonderfully different seeds would totally cheer me up, i cant wait for summer so i can get back in the garden again. Winter on the highveld is dry and dusty and im just about fed up. Roll on Summer ;-)

  5. Oh wait, I m not sure what do you mean by trademark concerns but these are the peppers we call "rose peppers" because of their shapes i guess if i am not mistaken. THEN I wish I win! My grandmother in Turkey grows them and they are so sweet (yes hot) to eat when they are green, we never wait for them to get this red. I like their taste of hot actually, it has some kind of nice flavor to them.

    This year we grew lots of scotch bonnet/habenaro/african chilli peppers (I am not sure which but they are very popular here in Tanzania and we grew them from the seeds we extracted from the peppers we bought from the food stands). Now they are off to produce second batch of peppers and cant wait to get more fresh peppers..

    We seem to like to pick our peppers fresh from the stem to eat and never tried to preserve them but I will keep your recipe for future when we have more..

    Did I say I hope I win, LOL :D

  6. I bought a pepper bush at our local nursery with the 'piquante' pepper name. I also understood that the pepper was TMarked. Anyway, would love some of your seeds to try, maybe I might have something to send to you in return. So I'll keep my fingers crossed!!

  7. I would be thrilled to be able to plant seeds from your beautiful farm in our next growing season. I've travelled to Southern Africa once and each time I saw the plants or ate some of the delightful peppers it would remind me of the beautiful people and places I experienced. My best to you regardless.

  8. Those peppers look great cant wait to try them...your preserved ones I mean. Maybe you will still have some if we ever come to visit.

  9. I had some of those peppers at a friend's house and loved them. Have been trying since then (without success) to find seeds/plants in my nurseries so would love some seeds.

  10. I just want to say how beautiful your jars look, with the colorful veggies and leaves tucked inside!

  11. please - would love some.

  12. How did I miss this? Yes I would love to be entered to win the seeds thank you so much for offering!

  13. I've only just come across this! I wish I had sooner! I love these peppers. I'm growing some called cherry bomb this year and they're meant to be similar but I would love to have the real seeds - let me know if you run this competition again!
    Love the blog by the way.


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;) I try and reply as quickly as possible so please forgive me if sometimes my response is delayed.