"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

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sorting out my excess harvests

I had some fun this past week.

Even though our drought continues, due to the mountains of mulch we scattered everywhere, plus the neighbouring shadecloth veggie patch offers plenty of protection against the drying southerly winds, my 2017 piquanté pepper harvest is beginning to roll in.

The only problem is I still have preserved peppers in my cupboard from last year.  So, what to do with them all?

Why, dehydrate them, that's what 😃
Washed, de-stalked and halved - let the dehydrating commence
So, after the stalks were removed and they were given a quick rinse, they were cut in half and were laid on the inner drying shelf in the Foothills DryAway.
Chopped piquanté peppers - to speed up the dehydrating process
As piquanté peppers, like green peppers, contain a lot of water, dehydrating them was taking too long.

So, plan B.

I roughly chopped them and spread that on trays in the Foothills DryAway.
The dehydrated piquanté peppers were ground down to a
 powder in my food processor
When they were dry (later that day) I placed them once again in the food processor and blitzed away until I had piquanté pepper powder.  I purposely left the seeds in - for that little extra "bite" on the tastebuds.
Dehydrated and bottled - these piquanté
 peppers will last for ages 😂
I can taste the piquanté pepper sprinkled roast chicken that I am going to make in the Rosie this winter already... 😂

For info on how you can obtain your own Foothills DryAway solar / wind food dehydrator please click the link.


  1. Dani - first off, i have to mention again that i love coming here and seeing that beautiful sunflower in your header - it always makes me smile. secondly, you will be wowed that we have managed to overwinter 3 of your pepper plants - 2 bird's eye and one piquante that we brought in the house in september. we got many peppers off of all during the season and the plants have held out fairly well over the winter. we have overwintered several pepper plants for a few years now and they always come out like gangbusters the second and third years. i expect that your peppers will explode by may when we take them back out to the greenhouse!

    we ate all the peppers from your plants last year and used some for pickling - here's hoping this year that we have such a glut from your plants, and ours, that i'll be able to dehydrate for powder,too!

    sending much love to you, as always! your friend,

    1. kymber - Oh, lucky and clever you :D I know the flesh of the piquante pepper is quite mild - the seeds have all the heat :D There again, you have the bird's eye chillies to keep you warm too...

  2. I still have some of the piquant pepper seeds you sent me, must have been 2 years ago. The ones I planted at the time grew but didn't produce any peppers. I kept some of them, I don't know if they are still any good but will plant them and see.

    1. Chickpea - It's CAN'T be 3 days since you posted your commebt. My apologies, my friend - things are pretty hectic here with work, and with major problems in the community...

      Yup, think it was about 2 years ago, but I reckon those seeds are still viable ;) I look forward to reading about your bountiful piquante pepper harvest this summer... ;)

  3. I figure, just preserve and store whatever you've got! A several year supply of one thing will certainly come in handy the year is doesn't do as well. :)

    1. Leigh - I prefer dehydrating as I am more confident of it's shelf life. Canning - since I had tomato puree go black at the top of the jar even though the seal was still intact, has made me super cautious...


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