Tuesday, March 24, 2009


A picture says a thousand words...

I couldn't sleep last night (so excited about asparagus), so I woke at 4:30 and worked the compost piles. In the new "green" pile, I layered the leaves and twigs "brown carbon" with a fresh pile of mushroom manure "nitrogen". I got this pile about 16 inches high. Until now it hadn't had enough nitro to activate it and get it burning. I hope this mornings activity will fire it up. I also began the process of turning the older pile over onto the new pile. This older pile isn't ancient by any stretch. It has only been burning for about a month - a cold month at that. But I did dig down far enough to feel the burn. It was hot enough in the spot I touched to have to quickly pull back my hand. That made me smile. This pile was very, very heavy with twigs, leaves and wood chips. I did layer it with manure as well, but I was concerned that it might not heat up. Once I finish this project, I should have another empty bin and a very, very full hot bin. I'm hoping and guesstimating that I will be able to pull some compost out of this bin in early June. Might not be perfect, but passable.

With harvest already sort of begun, I took a look at our freezer a couple of days ago and tried to imagine how the heck we were going to eat all those hot peppers. We still have about 3 large freezer bags full of them. They are too hot for standard cooking. I've put them on pizzas and in soups and it really overpowers everything. The best way we have found to eat them is to can them with vinegar. That softens them up and gives them a really nice flavor. The vinegar thing got me thinking - maybe I could turn them into hot sauce. I cooked a bag of them with vinegar on the stove top for about 10 minutes. Then I put them in the blender with a little water. You know what? It looks like hot sauce. It tastes like hot sauce. I made some pretty good hot sauce! By the way - I eat hot sauce on everything. Remember the character from Forrest Gump who ate shrimp with every meal? Shrimp scampi, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp po boy? Well that is me with hot sauce.

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