The dehydrator has been going off and on since Saturday night. First I sliced the hot peppers that my dear friend gave to us when we went to pick up the tomatoes. These were left in the dehydrator until Monday morning to make sure they were good and dry. On Monday morning the dehydrator was unplugged and the four trays were emptied into the blender. DH and I had decided to make a nice hot pepper powder for use in cooking and seasoning this coming winter. The peppers smelled plenty hot and when they were ground into a fine powder, they still smelled hot. From the four round trays of sliced Anaheims and other hot peppers that I don’t remember the names of, I ended up with 2/3 of a pint of powder. That should keep us for a good while.
Next up was this bunch of mild peppers. Most were bell and pimiento peppers. The lighter green one in the center is not a banana pepper, but just another mild sweet pepper. All of these came from heirloom plants that I want to try growing next summer in my garden. I sliced up the peppers in 1/4-1/2″ slices and filled the four round trays again. These took a little longer to dry as the walls of the peppers were thicker. I put them in the dryer on Monday during the day and this morning I pulled out the slices to grind up. They made a little over 1/2 a pint of mild pepper powder to flavor with.
After the sun came out and dried any dew or condensation on my herb garden, I went out with my clippers and harvested the first round of rosemary, sage, and thyme. All of it was fresh and not going to seed or even blossoming yet. My rosemary has done really well after a couple of years of not growing. The sage grew well, just like last year, and the thyme also took off and produced quite a bit. I have one tray of rosemary, two trays of sage, and one of thyme. I am not sure how long they will take to dry, but when they are done, I hope to pick a bit more thyme and rosemary. My basil plants have already started to blossom, however since I have a fresh plant in my window sill in the kitchen, I’m not as keen on drying any. I have it for fresh. I also have not picked any mint or catnip as they are not used as much in our house. I just like how they look. My friend will be starting a strawberry mint plant and a chocolate mint plant for me in pots, and those I will most likely keep in the house and maybe learn how to use them fresh. I could cut some and put it in my chicken coop, but I just enjoy it right now.
Next year, I hope to finally successfully grow dill, oregano, cilantro (again–I’ve done it before back East), parsley, chives, and tarragon. However, I think I will start all of them as plants or purchase plants. I did have parsley in my herb garden, but it didn’t grow this year. I think everything else took it over. Time will tell what I do and as soon as these herbs have dried, I’ll decide what to put in next. Unfortunately, I can’t share the smells in the house right now as a result of the dehydrating!