No Celtics fans, I’m not talking about the domination that the 8th seed Miami Heat brought onto the Celtics, I’m talking Hot Peppers.
When I arrived back to Scituate from FL, I realized that I only had 3 ball jars of the Famous J Nap Hot Pepper Relish remaining. As a result, I spent Memorial Day weekend prepping my garden and getting 12 hot pepper plants into the ground.
I grow the hottest of the hots, including Carolina Reapers, Habanero, Ghost and 9 other varieties from Poblanos to basic Jalapenos. The combination of these with some traditional red, yellow and red sweet peppers makes the absolute best hot pepper relish that I’ve ever tasted. It is also the hottest relish that I’ve ever tasted.
The process of making it isn’t very difficult, but it does send some interesting air through the house. It is best done on a day when I can get the whole house to myself. The hot pepper fumes can get so strong that it makes people’s eyes water and throat tickle so that coughing is almost inevitable. It is important that all people sensitive to the heat are not around that day and that the windows can be wide open to get as much fresh air in the house as possible.
To simplify the process for you, the peppers all get ground up in a food processor. I do leave some seeds in the mix, and they add flavor and heat. Then the ground peppers are slowly cooked on the stove with some water, vinegar and a little brown sugar. I couldn’t imagine eating this stuff without any sweet additive.
It is best used on sandwiches, burgers or in with your next batch of chili. And if you’re really in the mood for heat, add it to your salsa to make it really spicy. Some hard-core pepper lovers have even tried the relish itself as a salsa, and they did survive.
If we get a lot of sunshine this summer and not a repeat of last year’s drought, this should be a bumper crop. I have been making a compost bin of soil for the past two seasons, and that was added to the soil to make for a rich, nutritious soil in the hopes that the plants will thrive. So far, so good! Stay tuned for a later September report on my progress and the results.