Communion Of Dreams

The insane things I do.
November 1, 2007, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Gardening, Habanero, Health

Back in August I mentioned the First Habanero I got from my garden this year. Well, it wasn’t the last. Since then I have been harvesting some now and then as they became ripe, passing them on to friends and family, drying some to grind up to use in the place of black pepper (this is commonly what I do for most things I eat – yeah, I am that crazy.)

Well, this past weekend we had our first frost. So Sunday I went out and harvested all the remaining peppers, whether they were fully ripe, still dark green, or anything in between. This is what I got:

Habenero Harvest

There are over a thousand peppers there. No, seriously. I know this because I have been keeping a rough count as I have used them this week to make various and sundry hot sauces.

The first one was intended to be a jelly, actually. Using this recipe. But something somewhere went wrong, and it just turned out to be a delicious thick Raspberry-Habanero sauce, suitable for glazing meats, adding to other recipes, drizzling on a cream cheese or a salad. I made 6x the batch, and about doubled the amount of habaneros, using about 36 – one for each of the half-pints of finished sauce. It’s hot – these are damned hot peppers, as I noted before – but it is within the range of what I would characterize as “normal human food”.

Then there was the batch of stuff I made today . . .

No recipe, specifically, though somewhat similar to many such recipes you will find online. I’ve made hot sauces enough to have a ‘feel’ for what works, what doesn’t, what I can get away with, what is going too far.

And boy, did I go too far.

Usually, this kind of recipe would call for anywhere up to 10 or 15 habaneros per batch. I made what would be considered 4x a usual batch. I used 300 habaneros. No, that’s not a typo – three hundred. No, they weren’t all fully ripe, so they weren’t all at peak heat on the Scoville Heat Unit scale. But roughly one in five were. In other words, I used as many fully ripe, super-hot Red Savinas (rated about 580,000 SHU) as the normal upper limit for regular habaneros (rated between 100,000 and 200,000 SHU) per batch. And then four times that number of unripe habs ranging in heat from probably 50,000 SHU to almost full ripe heat. There are about 14 habaneros in each half-pint jar of sauce. Or something like almost one hab per tablespoon of the stuff.

This stuff is so intense that I put a drop of it on my tongue to test it and it took my breath away and sent me running for the milk (dairy products are the most effective way to cut the burn from capsaicin). This stuff is so intense that it gave me chemical burns on my hands. No, of course I wore gloves. For all the prep and cooking. The burns were from washing the dishes, for which my normal gloves are too short.  After rinsing the gross residue from them, the leftover bits of sauce added to the sink full of soapy water was still so powerful that the more sensitive parts of my hands got burned. When all that was done I went out and bought longer medium-weight chemical gloves.

Because I still have at least twice as many remaining habs to use. Tomorrow I make up a different sauce, using a different set of spices and tomato sauce in lieu of water . . .


Jim Downey

10 Comments so far
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Me, my eyes are watering just reading about it. And knowing you, too, I can hear your gleeful cackles with every word.

But then again, in our family, being nuts is a good thing…

Comment by Deotrich

[…] Article Pub : Article Pub for Everyone wrote an interesting post today on The insane things I do.Here’s a quick excerptNo recipe, specifically, though somewhat similar to many such recipes you will … No, of course I wore gloves. For all the prep and cooking. […]

Pingback by Cooking Recipes » Blog Archive » The insane things I do.

Hey, D Man, good to hear from you. You know me too well – Alix had to just shake her head when she read this. 🙂

Jim D.

Comment by Communion of Dreams

Deotrich, I thought it was a requirement in your family??? Although as a FOF, nuttiness does sometimes help me to keep pace.

You should see the labels I sent Jim for this – biohazard symbol and all. Need to figure out how to post it……

Jim, I will bet that the reason the raspberry-hab combo didn’t gel is the additional habs, which changed the acidic balance of the mix. Double the pectin might have helped there. Simple kitchen chemistry stuff.

Comment by ML

Ah, you’re probably right about the jelly, ML. I don’t ‘do’ jellies and jams, so don’t have an intrinsic understanding of what is going on there. Perhaps next time I try it . . .

Jim D.

Comment by Communion of Dreams

[…] Filed under: Gardening, Habanero, Health, Humor, MetaFilter, YouTube I like hot stuff. As noted in this post, I grew a bunch of extra-hot Habanero varietals this year, and have made several batches of […]

Pingback by And I thought *I* was insane . . . « Communion Of Dreams

Hi Jim,

Re: the Raspberry Hab Jelly. I’ve made this same recipe twice….once with courants and today with raspberries. The courant one didn’t gel, but tasted great as a glaze. I followed the recipe EXACTLY today, and this also did not gel (although, once again, it’s delicious – I’m dipping crackers into as I type :)) I think there must be a typo in the recipe. Perhaps ML is right – 2 packages of Sure Gel. Don’t know, but it IS great as a marinade for chicken and pork (my friends couldn’t get enough of the first batch). I’ve been online to see what else I can do with this and have found a Triple Chocolate cookie recipe and a margarita recipe. SO, not a jelly, but not a failure, either.

All the best…..and keep the heat!

Comment by Linda

[…] a wet and cool spring and summer. Good for the air conditioning bills. Not a good year for growing my favored hot peppers. At most, I’ll have a few dozen – enough to last me through the year as dried […]

Pingback by An early fall. « Communion Of Dreams

[…] not as big a haul as three years ago, but this is […]

Pingback by Habanero Happiness. « Communion Of Dreams

[…] Or three years before that: […]

Pingback by A good year for peppers. | Communion Of Dreams

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