Friday, August 31, 2012

My Therapist

I've been visiting my therapist a bit lately. She's an excellent listener. And when panic attacks started to overwhelm me recently, I rushed to bring her out of storage because I didn't have time to be debilitated by them. Good thing my spinning wheel is available anytime, day or night for ten minutes here, twenty there, no appointment needed for she has gotten a work out at all times of the day and last night. Last night it was until 1 a.m. as sleepy eyed, I waited for the last batch of salsa to come out of the water bath. Pedaling away, the soft fibers sliding through my fingers, the stresses of the day flowed away and I was ready to lay down my head and sleep, no list of To Do's running through my head. 

And though this takes time away from tasks needing done, I don't feel guilty, I'm being productive, producing yarn for warm woolen, socks, and scarves and hats for winter and I wouldn't get much done anyway with the stressed state of my mind.
Many of you, like me, are rush, rush, rushing to bring in the harvest for winter for your family and your livestock. This year, more than any in the past, we are scrambling to bring in as much hay, bedding, and grains as we can store and afford before snow flies, along with preserving food for ourselves.

Harvest's being way down across over 60 percent of the USA and prices climbing way up because of the shortage, we don't want to be without this winter. So though it will leave our savings account drained, I believe in the old adage of "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush." Or in other words, " Don't count your chickens before they hatch." Or don't count on things being there just because they were there before.   
And now that I've spread loom and gloom, I'll tell you what I learned this week. The pepperocini peppers I have loved because they are so.... mild, are hotter than .... at our daughter's house. She took a couple plants home to Colorado and put them in pots on her porch. Was mine a flook or her's. I'll have to try them again to see what happens.
Our daughters have turned me on to a few recipes on Pinterest lately and though neither batch of cookies, the lemon, nor the carmel, apple cider ones I tried will make it into my recipe file, this crock pot cordon bleu will definitely be a repeat.

Now those of you who know me, know that I did not follow the recipe given, after all it called for box stuffing and cream of chicken soup from a can and that just isn't going to happen around here. But I did like the basic concept and tweaked things a bit. Okay, quite a bit.

In the original, you put cream of chicken soup on the bottom of the crock pot, then chicken breasts, then sliced ham, then Swiss cheese slices, then box stuffing and a drizzle of butter over the top.

Me well, I decided to use some frozen home-made Alfredo sauce I had. One was my simple version and the other had home canned sun dried tomatoes in olive oil in it. A little more milk in with the Alfredo as it was a bit thick and then I was ready to butterfly cut the chicken breast to make them thinner and cook more quickly. On top the sauce they went. Some sliced ham went over the chicken breasts, then I let it cook for a while since we had to leave right away to go have some health tests run that my husband's employment runs for free. "After all one doesn't kick a gift horse in the mouth"

Home again with a package of Parmesan bread croutons, because I didn't have any dried bread, and an addition of few slices of home-made bread broken into pieces and I was ready to make the stuffing. A couple eggs, a little milk with some chicken bullion, along with fresh sage leaves, and marjoram and I had my stuffing ready to put on top the ham. There is nothing like fresh spices to make stuffing extra yummy.

No Swiss cheese was needed because of all that cheese in the Alfredo sauce. I'm pretty heavy handed with cheese in the sauce anyway. To add more flavor, I scooped some of the sauce in the bottom of the crock pot on top the stuffing and turned up the temp to hurry the baking time for supper time was fast approaching. 

The whole thing is to be cooked on low for 4 to 6 hours and that was about right for time. With success spurring me on, I can't wait to try another new recipe. This time it will be tamale pie and I'm trying it in the crock pot. I've decided I'm much, much too tired at night to cook. Especially since my hubby gets home so late at night to eat.


I'll let you know how it turnes out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Frozen Corn My Aunt's Way

Here as promised, my aunt's frozen corn recipe. But first I want those of you who haven't frozen corn before to know why this method is so... cool. I spent many an hour with my mother each fall freezing 12 to 14 dozen ears of corn. Then in turn, I did the same amount for my family after marriage. When I discovered my aunt's recipe, I quickly switched and the whole process, I'd guess, dropped in half for time.
No matter which method you choose my aunt's or the old fashion way, you have to first shuck the corn or in other words, take off all the leaves and corn silk. Then in a steaming hot kitchen from two large pots boiling on the stove and the summer heat, you plunge corn on the cob into the water for two minutes and then fish out each to plunge into cold water. Handling lots of hot, hot cobs is no picnic and you invariably get spattered a time or two with hot water. OUCH!! 

Next, we cut the corn off and put into freezer type plastic bags because though I like the theory of using glass jars, they just take up too much room for our available freezer space.

With Aunt LaRae's method, you skip the blanching of the corn on the cob and simply cut it off before blanching. The kitchen remains cooler and no boiling hot water to deal with.  

Unless you intend on using your corn soon, I highly recommend blanching for it is ecccential for it inhibits the action of enzymes within vegetables that are associated with the depletion of texture, flavor, color and vitamins.

Aunt LaRae's Frozen Corn
4 quarts of corn cut off of the cob
1 quart of hot water
3 teaspoons of salt
Bring to boil and boil 10 minutes then pour onto cookie sheets to cool. Bag liquid with the corn and freeze in appropriate freezer bags.

Another time, I'll share a cream corn recipe. I didn't make any this year but often I freeze some using goat milk instead of the recipe's evaporated milk.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Guys and Gals in The Corn Patch

Some of the girls on this little corn cob were conjugating with some of those boys from the wrong side of the garden. FOR SHAME. I tried once more to keep these two cousins separated by planting two weeks apart but alas, you take a tassel and a silky lass at the same maturity and you know what's going to happen, yup babies.
If you think I'm a bit prejudice, well, I am. I prefer my Painted Mountain remains painted and my sweet corn sweet and ner they join together. Hopefully, in the next couple years we will have some land and I can put these two kissing cousins far enough apart that they don't get any love sick ideas and I can begin saving seed.
Now mind you, most of the gals did me up proud and chose to flirt with the their own kind. The results being lots of babies.  

And some were rea...l busy in the back seat of the garden for the kernels stretch wa... y to the end of the cob.  These gals did exceptionally well.

But in every patch there are the wall flowers that aren't picked and remain old maids, never having nice yellow pretty babies. These gals did not fulfill the measure for which they were planted and should be ashamed.

Now sometimes it is the gardeners fault because she or he didn't see that these gals and guys were close enough together to entertwine but sometimes no matter what you do, there are some who refuse to step up to the plate and do their job.

This year I think I might of lit upon something. I didn't get my corn thinned because of family duties and most of the gals were pregnant. You'd think in our windy country that the guys would have enough rides to get to the gals but I'm wondering if their mode of transportation is going a might bit fast sometimes and doesn't get stopped until the raspberry patch and they certainly aren't having anything to do with them. Unlike beets who aren't too picky and are one of the fluzzies of the garden. So I'm wondering if the lack of thinning worked like a snow fence, slowing down the flighty pollen. The patch was too thick but I'm thinking next year fairly thick just might be a good idea.
Some of you are wondering just who are the gals and guys of the corn family. Well first of all you need to know they do not have a co-ed dormitory. They are housed separately and the guys are the tassels where all the yellow pollen is stored. The gals are the silks above the ear of the corn cob. Each silk is attached to a kernel of corn so each of the little silky ladies must meet up with some pollen or there won't be a nice juicy yellow kernel to eat.
When polleniztion is complete and the kernels, the babies, are well formed,  then the silk turns brown. That is one way you know your corn cob is completely formed for some cobs are skinny and some are short and fat and so that's no help.

 I'll share again with you new followers my aunts way of freezing corn. Beats to no end handling hot cobs so keep checking back and I've yet to tell you about our school clothes shopping trip but the grand kids will soon arrive for a sleep over and we've got to get the tent up for we have yet to have a sleep over with them in the back yard, something we did every summer with our children. We have awesome skies here at night, dark and full of stars. Sometimes even a Milky Way, the Northern Lights, or a shooting star appears. Sleep tight, I'm sure we won't tonight. LOL

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

T-post Remover

Thank you all for your kind words, I'm feeling a bit better. Some is just knowing what is lurking inside my half a thyroid. The ultrasound came back good and bad. Most importantly, the solid nodule I've had for some time has not grown. The same could not be said for the cysts I've had. And now joining them are multiple new ones.  In case you didn't know, misery loves company. 

When the ultrasound technician asked what thyroid medications I was on, she gasped. Yup, for years I've been on the thyroid treatment that is suppose to shrink these babies and keep new ones from forming but alas, my pony express rider must of lost the memo and it has never arrived. Tomorrow, I think I'll try upping my iodine for a while and see if that calms things down any.

For now, I'll just keep plugging away canning and getting ready for winter.
 One of the things I must do is clean the last goat pen and then put up a stretch of fence to block off access to the row of hay bales  in case someone should become greedy and think of helping themselves.

To take down the t-posts at the end of the goat pen, I'm going to use this. Don't get confused by the pipe at the top, Sorry, I didn't think when I snapped this picture. It isn't a part of the rectangular device.

You attach the hook on the end of a chain, the other hook attaches to the bucket on the tractor.
 Slip the t-post through the triangular cut out.
And make sure the bumps on the post are where the narrow end of the triangle is and lift the bucket on the tractor. Voila, out comes the post slick as can be. You don't have to have a tractor to do this. You can use a handy man jack instead to attach to the chain and crank away. Pictures of this little peice of metal in motion would have been better but I was on the tractor running the hydraulics Kirk was setting things up on the other end and was in a hurry to get the posts pulled.

So if you are using t-post, as most of us do in the USA, then  you've got to have this $14 dollar back saver. I wish I'd bought one years ago. I'd have far fewer bent posts and I'd of had fewer back aches.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hauling Hay

"If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all, gloom, dispare and agony on me." Hear the hilly billy twang, no, well maybe you aren't from around here, the United States that is. If you were, you'd know that for many of us rural folks, this silly song has an annoying habit of popping into our heads when trouble comes knocking. It never fails to bring a smile to my lips for in all honesty, I have never had a bad day but I've had some powerful challenging moments.  It never fails for when I count my blessings at the end of the day they always far out weigh the troubles. 

So as I tell this tale of woe, sing along and smile because though things have continue to be challenging today. (I won't tell you what I accidental did to the lawn mower.) more has gone right.
See this beautiful load of hay?  It and three other loads are safely tucked in but getting it there was an adventure I'd just as soon not repeat for it wore on our nerves and gouged a whole in our savings.

Maybe I'd best just tell you the story. The day before we started hauling, the diesel price shot up and I noticed the tread on one of the trailer tires peeling off. The diesel prices I couldn't change but as for the tire I considered it a blessing I saw it before we started out and  Kirk could fix it at home.
It wasn't our last tire to say bye bye for on the way back from South Dakota, farm country, we had another tire peel. We felt lucky we had this new dilly bopper for it made changing the tire easier. It's for trailers and with the two tires on one side close together you just pull up onto this with the good tire and the other is elevated for changing. I'd just bought this last week before we left thinking it would be handy. I didn't expect to use it so much in so little time.

Home again, we bought another tire and off we went  for our second load. Yup, you've got the story by now, another tire shred. All set up to change it with our handy dandy helper and Kirk grabbed the brand new spare and discovered it had little air in it. (If it weren't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all, gloom despair and agony on me.) Kirk figured it would get us to the next truck stop just a short distance and so off we limp.

Hoping that putting in some more air would get us to the next town, Kirk attempted the feat and was met with a loud hiss. Nope, not a bad tire, a cracked rim this time though of course we also had a bad tire. Abandoning the trailer, we headed off thirty miles away to buy a rim AND a new tire. 

We decided to stop for a short while and grab a Quizno's sandwich to celebrate. Not our gloom and woes silly, our anniversary for it was Saturday 33 years before that we were married. No time to reminisce, we had nearly five tons of hay waiting our return so back again we went on that now, very familiar road.

The final day of hauling Kirk went by himself and you got it, a flat. But whoo hoo, it was only a flat. No shredded tire this time. He managed to pick up a screw somewhere and it impaled one of the brand new tires.  

Yup, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to get a flat fixed I go. No more trips for hay let's shout hurray hi ho, hi ho.

Have you noticed, when the going gets tough, I start singing?  I'm not allowed to curse so what's a girl to do?

We did learn a powerful lesson about tires for the others were in pretty good shape when we left. We began looking at the rating on the tires and we had D range and it became apparent with the increased weight of hauling round bales instead of small squares that we needed E range with the increased load capacity. Lessons learned the hard way can be so powerful and well, expensive.

Thank you all for your well wishes, I am feeling a bit better. Probably all that sleep traveling back and forth for hay. Pour hubby, I just couldn't stay awake.  

Glad to hear that it isn't just me who thinks faded and half worn out jeans are not a good buy.   

How about hay prices, what are they in your area?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reason For Silence

 See that lump on my right side of my throat and the right side of the picture since this is taken in the mirror. Yup, that's Thyroditis which has been whipping my butt and the reason for the silence this week. No,  to all you nurses reading this, I do not have Hashimotos. I just once in a great while get Thyroditis anyway with all the aches, exhaustion, sensitivity to heat and cold etc. It grinds the work down to a slow turtle pace.

I've tried my best to keep going cleaning livestock pens but when in my brain cloud, due to a porely functioning thyroid, I tapped the shed with the tractor bucket, I decided I'd better quit before I caused real damage. So while I wait for the cloud to dissipate, I'll try and get some photos done to tell you about my trip to Casper with the munchkins and that fence pulling gadget. Plus I have a batch of cherry tomatoes drying in the dehydrator to make canned sundried tomatoes in basil and olive oil.

But I do have a couple words of wisdom my hubby picked up this month.
"Following the path of least resistance creates crooked men and crooked rivers."

"It is not a man's abilities but his choices that determines who he truly is." This has given us food for deep thought and self evaluation.
How about today you enlightening me while I run off to have an ultrasound on my thyroid and grab some more straps for hauling hay tomorrow. Tis the season to gather in the stores and prepare for winter so I can't grind to a complete halt. 

I have a question for you though. It keeps coming up unanswered as I stare down at my ripped jeans that now smell to high heavens of manure for I wore them two days in a row shoveling the stuff.

Why do people buy worn out jeans that have had acid and manufactured wear beat into them when a little hard work will create them naturally?  Okay, maybe I've answered my own question in part. Play, not work is coveted by many these days but they miss out on the rewards that comes after a great effort. The satisfaction and discovery about yourself that reaches down to our core  - that place play never quite finds.

So what triggers the want to buy partially worn out jeans? Why pay big bucks for pants that have a dramatically shortened wear life? Is it because money doesn't come easy that I have this attitude? Or is there something I'm missing out of emotionally from buying worn out? Age has personality but it also has quirks. Those holes in the jeans I've found is a good place for mosquitoes to bite and cold winds to nip. Am I just too practical? Convince me both sides of this question, to buy worn out or bran spanking new? 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Whirlwind Week

 Thought I forgot about you, hardly. This has been a whirlwind week of preparation for school and winter. Early on Wednesday I jumped in our daughter's suburban and off we went to Casper for a shopping trip with her four little ones 3 months, three years, six years, and seven years old - all girls. School is just around the corner and clothes, lunch boxes, and backpacks needed purchased.

 I was along for crowd control as shopping with these four children is no.... easy task despite a harness on the three year old who likes to run off. Just know that an unusual potty break, a blow out, a disagreement over lunch boxes and a stolen item happened within just two stores. Luckily we found all we needed because we couldn't handle any more fun, if you can call it that. I'll give you the details another day but just know my sisters are probably still laughing having heard the tale.

 When I got home, I went hunting for a used tire to replace the one we blew on our friend's trailer. The one we borrowed to haul the tractor on. It's a rule in our house that when you borrow something, you return in in at least as good a shape as you borrowed it, if not better. 
 Thursday I went with friends and we loaded up on livestock feed that was on sale a couple hours away. The drought has left us bone dry like 60 some percent of the rest of the country and with low yields on crops across the USA, we've got to save when we can for we've been warned that livestock feed prices will very soon jump sky high.

I worry about the wildlife who don't have hay and grain supplements to make it through the winter when the countryside is so.... dry.

In our panic we came home with 78 bags but with splitting the cost of gas and with so... much feed it means we won't be spending money on gas multiple times to get feed over months to come. It did mean aching backs unloading hundreds of pounds.

 But before we left for this long journey, we unloaded 56 bales of straw from their trailer into our horse trailer. Another savings as saw dust has become quite an expensive choice for bedding for the goat's sheds. 

Exhausted, Friday I cleaned out the fridge, did laundry, watered the garden, picked beets and beans and canned them, and generally rested. Kirk had worked over time 15 hours this week at work and he was also tired so we watch way too many Eurekas (television show on Netflix).
 Today was going to be my day to play with the tractor but first Kirk and I had to unload the straw from the horse trailer into the partitioned off section of the yaks shed. The girls, the yaks, as curious as ever had to troop in and out of the horse trailer to check the progress and in and out of the shed area to see just what we were doing in there. Then off they'd go on the run, their wide wide ails straight up in the air, a bucking and kicking with delight. Silly beasts!

Home again to grab a quick bite and Kirk went to work on a knife while I left again for the corrals, tractor key and cell phone in hand. I knew I'd have to call for help sometime. I figured out the slick working new t-post remover I'd bought when I bought grain. I'll have to show it to you another day because for under 14 bucks this puppy is one cool, nearly effortless, invention. 

It was when I tried to get the built up manure and old packed down hay that I ran into trouble and had to call in reinforcements. Kirk showed me a few tricks and it went better but I think we will need to change the bucket's position so it tilts backward a bit more for the stuff kept falling back out or not filling to capacity.  Partly because empacked hay sits in large sheets that you first have to break apart and partly because of the buckets angle. You are seeing the bucket at it's greates upward tilt.
 All went pretty good until I'd removed most of the hay build up and the ground naturally became really slick. Yup, I got the tractor stuck with both back tires spinning out. I tried all my stuck truck tricks but didn't know about the sticking the bucket in the ground to lift the tires or just how the two tire breaks worked so frustrated, I decided it was a good time to quit for lunch.

A tomato and cucumber sandwich of home made bread and veggies from the garden, along with a bit of advice from hubby and I was ready to try it again. That and Kirk  promise he'd come down to coach me. While he talked on the phone to a friend, I took his advice and got unstuck all by myself.

My job is extra tough because the goat pens are in lanes, not terribly wide ones and so there isn't much room on either side of the tractor making it impossible to go at the pile from different angles. 
 The small goats pen wasn't too bad for hay waste and manure build up so that's where I started my learning curve. But look at the pen next door. Oooh yeah, it is going to be a bear to clean.

It's what happens when you are waiting year after year for hubby to have time to borrow some one's equipment and run it. That is why the tractor is probably more for me than him. I've got lots and lots of chores awaiting it's use.

If you are wondering why this country hearted girl doesn't know how to run a tractor, well, it's my dad's fault. For some crazy reason he didn't believe girls should run tractors and swathers. No... it was much more lady like wrestling calves until your pants stood up on their own from being saturated from fresh manure and urine. And bucking hay bales weighing 65 to 80 pounds in the field onto to a flat bed trailer was much more lady like. If you are thinking WHAT, then you aren't alone. 

  It made no sense then and it still doesn't but at least my dad has admitted he should have allowed me to drive the tractors. I could have been a lot of help.

He did tell Kirk what ever he did, not to buy too small a tractor because knowing his wife, me, like he now does now, I'll be using it a great deal and he's right.

I'm the one who drives the pickup truck the most by far and it will likely be me that uses the tractor the most too for these are two critical tools for a critter rich lifestyle and a wa...y too busy husband to be of much help. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Avoiding Kicked Milk Buckets

 Flies this time of year cause havick with milking.  Kicking at flies is a norm and no matter how much you use flie sprays you can't eliminate them all. That means buckets go flying, excuse the pun. 

My solution, can't believe it took this long to come up with it, is a modification of how I usually milk. This morning I didn't save milk but fed it to Chicory and the cats since I was going to spend hours working getting ready to use the tractor us clean pens.

I'm not fond of miling from the back stradling the milk stand and so I do this modification. The goats like it too. I set the bucket to the backside of the goat since goats kick forward. That puts the bucket out of the way. I reach forward in the normal method with my right hand to latch on to the goat's left teat.
 With  my left hand, I reach around the outside and to the back of the goat to latch on to her right teat. In this way the goat is being milked pretty normally except her teats are being tipped backwards instead of forward.

This method works great on goats that squat badly too. Also with yearlings as they have a tendency to kick. Of course that can be prevented by working early as a doeling and before the goat kids.

One thing I can't share with you is Penney. She comes in each time I milk and has a very long conversation with me. One sided of course. Her doing all the talking.
With Penney is this yearling male cat that sits in the interest and just watches.

Trying to get this thing to publish on another day isn't working so know that I have two posts out, one for today and one for tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Feeding Livestock

 Meet The Prom Queen. Yes, apparently this 1960's International tractor is a girl. At least to the previous owner. As for me, well, I'm thinking more on the lines of Stan as a new name. What do you think? Oh yeah, by the way, we bought this lovely tractor last weekend. That is after a three hour interview and after the previous owner deemed us worthy of purchasing her.

Think I'm exaggerating, hardly, ask our daughter who was with us and heard the previous owner say exactly that. "I have been interviewing you to see if you passed inspection." And after the extensive interview, we now know each and every part that was replaced and like a teacher repeating something so we won't forget, we can't forget because it was told to us so many times. Not all bad because I now have engrained in my mind the unique way to start this tractor. All older vehicles and tractors have their quirts, even if they are rebuilt. 

But it was worth it. So excited was I at the purchase of this tractor that butterflies kept fluttering in my stomach. I couldn't help but laugh at myself. Not a diamond ring or a beautiful outfit trips my trigger. It takes a tractor to do so. LOL I'm such a strange bird but this tractor is going to make my life so..... much easier as it will be able to do much of the grunt work for me.

 We've been feeding hay on the ground, not a great way to do it since it means lots and lots of waste and an increase of the spread of worms. With hay prices and grain going through the roof, we had to spend money to save money. Luckily, I've been saving for the feeders for quite some time. The tractor will help me clean up the mess and the feeder will assist me in keeping the waste and mess from happening again.
 Before we bought this sheep feeder, we knew we would have to make a few modification to it. See all the hay that falls into the grain bunk? We are going to try adding two pieces of cow panel in a V, slipped into the feeder to create smaller openings to pull the hay through.

My father explained to me that animals should have to work for their food and I'm not talking about carrying large loads. When a animal grazes, it takes time and effort. The same should be mimicked in a feeder. We are told to eat slowly for optimal digestion; animals are the same. 

The other benefit is the psychological benefit. The animals are happily occupied eating, just like they would be for much of the time in a pasture.  Now with feeders, I can add the eating process to my feed program to enhance health.  

The wide spread drought complicates things. Crop failures and lower yields means hay and grains prices are going through the roof. I'm going to have to be creative to create the same level of health as before to keep a slick shiny coat on my animals. What I could afford to buy before will be out of my reach.

For now, the most important thing I can do is give them lots and lots of clean water. That is why I have these 10 gallon black rubber pans. I clean the algae out of them once a week. I can visibly see an increase of intake of water the day after.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pepperocini Peppers

Pepperocini Peppers
 I've tried Cherry peppers, jalapeno peppers, Anaheim peppers, and now pepperocini to find one that is a match for my taste. I don't like alot of heat. I think it masks flavor. I'd prefer a touch of heat with lots of taste. A snip off the end of one of my pepperocini peppers gives me great hopes. I've not had time to fully explore this pepper but more than any other pepper I've grown so far, I'm excited to see where they take me.

What tripped my interest was this information I found out about them. Pepperocini peppers are also called Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers, or golden Greek peppers. They are sweet and mild in flavor, not very hot although they can vary and be found up to a medium heat level.

The Greek varieties are sweeter and less bitter than the Italian varieties grown in Tuscany so I of course want the Greek kind.

 I started some seed under grow lights early this spring and the plants in the garden are doing very well. Lots and lots of peppers on each plant. For reasons unknown to me, I grow hot peppers quite well but bell, yeah, I've got problems. They are the peppers I'd really like to produce in large numbers. Alas, it's a uphill battle.
With quite a few needing something done with them and little time to do it, I decided to settle on a simple canning recipe that I could do tonight in a hurry.

Pickled Pepperoncini's
Pickled Pepperoncini Peppers
1. In a saucepan, heat to boiling a mix of 1 part water and 3 parts distilled white vinegar
2. Heat canning jars in the oven at 180-200°F
3. Prick or slash peppers
4. Pack peppers into hot jars with pieces on onion The Greek varieties are sweeter and less bitter than the Italian varieties grown in Tuscany
5. Cover with the vinegar/water mix
6. Seal and process in hot water bath for 15 minutes

This leaves my possibilities wide open for their use. I'm told they are used in sandwiches, salads, pizza, antipasto, and garnish but hey, why not chili too. My imagination is going wild after just a little taste from the end of one pepper.

One thing I do know is I definitely want the Greek variety since they are sweeter and less bitter than the Italian growing Tuscany.

But it isn't just the type of pepper you choose that determines the heat volume. Yes, genetics play a big factor but you can also change the need for a tall glass of milk by changing the growing conditions of the plants. In particular, temperature, moisture, and soil fertility.  

This is what I found out about that on the Internet but it is not surprising as I've found out the same holds true for radishes. 

The development of capsaicin has its roots in the soil and air temperatures. The higher the temperature the more capsaicin the plant will make. Clay soil stays colder than light ones and that is what I have, so if I wanted heat, I'd want good drainage and as much sun as possible. Growing the peppers in containers, particularly black ones, adds heat too but you need to make sure the sun hits the containers not just the plants. To raise the air temperature, think of growing them in a greenhouse or not if you want mild ones like me.  

Any plant will develop more of its flavor chemicals when it's grown slightly on the dry side. Hot peppers are no exception. After the plant sets fruit, allow it to dry out a little between waterings, just to the point of slight wilting. Do not allow the plant to go into a full wilt, or it may drop its fruit and any new flowers. So I've made sure my plants have had lots and lots of water to keep that capsaicin from developing.

The amount of fertilizer makes a difference too. A little boost when the plant is young is beneficial but not when the plant reaches full size and blossoms form. Though fertilizer will grow more peppers and larger ones it won't help in the production of capsaicin. You want your plants to be slightly hungry. So where do lots of peppers grow, in lean desert soils. Where am I growing them, in the cool north. Yup, my Anaheim and my jalapeno peppers were for milder also and I helped them along by giving them lots of water. No hot hot peppers for this gal.

What exactly I think about this new pepper I'll let you know in a few weeks when I've given a serious try but I can tell you about some other field trials I've had if only this post weren't long already. I'll just have to save that tid bit for another time.