Personal and undiluted views

5 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel - first dried chillies

The chilli bushes are still spitting off firey red chillies and so, as you can see below, I am still threading chain after chain to hang up in the kitchen, close to the aga, to dry. And after just over two weeks, the first chilis have dried. I bit one to taste and, gosh, one tiny nibble and my mouth was on fire.  Those dried chillies have now been put in an airtight jar where they will last a year. 


23 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel - the rapidly growing red hot Chilli harvest, my late father would have been salivating

As you can see below, there are now three strings of chillis hanging up at the Welsh Hovel to dry. The longest of the three was yesterday’s harvest and as each day goes by more chillies turn a fiery red and are ready to pick. I reckon that by mid October I should have as many as three hundred dried chillies in storage jars. And that will last us until next year’s crop is ready.


24 days ago

Photo article: Starting to string up the red hot chillies at the Welsh Hovel

They may be small but they are now turning red and fiery hot. I am advised that if they are strung up to dry for two weeks they can then be stored in a kilner jar so we have use of them right throughout the winter. And thus the first chillies were strung on a line using needle and thread yesterday and now hang in the kitchen in the old fireplace between the old bread oven and where the aga now sits, the place that the Mrs stores her booze. I will thread another line today and if I have time go pick another batch for threading. God willing we should have several hundred chillies drying within the next two weeks.


29 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - Drowning in peppers

What you see below is the yield from just one pepper bush and I have six of them in the garden. Plus another six producing normal shaped peppers and six more producing chillies which are now turning red and becoming fiery hot. All are dripping with fruit which we put in salads and stews but just cannot eat all of. I shall be threading my first chain of chillies for drying next week. Peppers, I am told, freeze well without any need for blanching so what you see below is now in a freezer growing fuller by the day.


61 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - the first pepper

I planted 18 pepper, chilli and sweet pepper plants here at the Welsh Hovel and the pepper ones are the most laggardly. The others are dripping with fruit including some devilishly hot chillies. But the first pepper has now been harvested as you can see below.


3217 days ago

New Year’s Eve Experimental Cooking Going Awry & Chilli festivals

For some reason some folks think that as a restaurant owner i am a professional chef. I have tried to disillusion them and I enjoy cooking but there are limits. Those limits will be exposed in about 90 minutes time as I have tried to recreate a Spanish/Portuguese dish but things are going awry. I thought I remembered the recipe but it slowly dawned on me as the process started that this was not the case.

Put it this way, I hope folks like their food spicey as I think I overdid it a bit on the chillies. I have now tried to offset that with a bit of red wine (heck the Spanish cook with sherry, but I could not find any of that) but as you balance and counterbalance earlier errors with items retrieved from cupboards you just seem to find additional errors creeping in. At this stage I can just hope that as the sauce reduces the chillies reduce with it and that the white beans and meats soak up whatever horrors I have injected. At least with a side dish of colcannon (well, as it happens, a slightly experimental version of that traditional Irish mainstay) I cannot go too wrong.

As for the cheeseboard, I have discovered a new West Country cheese (Afterburn) made with garlic and er…chilli. I am amazed to discover that there is an annual chilli festival held in Dorset each year and that this country has a thriving chilli production and products industry. I sense that a New Year resolution is to discover more about this and I may well be heading off to Wimborne St Giles (details here) for the next annual Chilli festival. It looks a hoot.

Now back to the unfolding culinary adventure.