Friday, August 31, 2012

Chilli Pepper Ristras

I've been really pleased with the beauty and abundance of the Aci Sivri chillis we grew this year. The plants are just loaded with them. They have all begun turning bright red in the last few weeks, and this week I harvested all of the red ones (there are many more still to ripen on the plants) and strung a couple of ristras. These are supposedly a charm to bring good luck, if you hang them in your house, and are also simply pretty.

Using a doubled thread, I sewed one string of the peppers through the stems, then made a loop at the top for hanging them by. The other string I did by threading them straight through the middle of the peppers, for a different look. 

The ristras need to hang somewhere warm and dry, with good air circulation, in order to dry completely without molding. At our house, the best place is under the front overhand, where we cured the garlic. Our kitchen is often too humid to allow things to dry properly.

They make a nice decoration, indoors or out! I'll be able to make plenty more as the rest of the peppers get red, and we'll give them as gifts and keep one or two. The dried peppers should be perfect for flavoring stews and chili this winter, and for making our own pepper flakes and chilli salt.

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