Hot Stuff! (from the garden)

With a few nights approaching frost temperatures, the Chinese Five Color Pepper plants are starting to wind down. Their leaves are turning purple, and they've stopped putting up new blossoms and new peppers. It's time for the final harvest!

We started last year with drying them to make our own fresh pepper flakes. These are great for this purpose, nice and hot with a good flavor profile.

We put them on a cookie sheet in the oven on as low as possible overnight. I've done this during the day, the kitchen will have quite a spicy smell for a few hours as the peppers warm up and begin the drying process. It doesn't last for the whole time.

When the peppers come out of the oven to cool, they are crunchy. We then put them into TWO plastic zip-top bags, and crush them with the rolling pin. Bottle 'em up and they are ready to use.