Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hot regards,

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

La Latina - Salsa de rocoto

Sauces are interesting! Many years ago I had the whole fridge full with sauces. But these days, I have just a few. i call them my Greatest Hits collection.

One nice sauce that I have enjoyed lately is this rocoto sauce. I planned to take a picture of it when it was full, but I guess we finished it too fast. Anyway, I can recommend this one, though I usually try to avoid sauces with too many preservatives and E-numbers and things like that. This one was very nice.

Hot sauce regards,

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


My basil and tulsi are doing fine in the Zengrow. And the experiment with peppermint also worked fine. So today I picked the peppermint to release some space for salad (Lactuca sativa).

So this is the current setup. One basil, one tulsi and four "pots" with basil seeds.

 I have just dropped some seeds on the growing material. I wonder if it works...

I hope that you all have a good December with not too much stress before Christmas!


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Stockholm halo

Well, there is not much activity going on with my chile peppers for the moment.

I want to share this with you. This morning was pretty cold, around -6C. Looking out through our bedroom window I saw this fantastic halo.
Too bad there is a house in the way. But I think it's fantastic anyway.


Thursday, 2 December 2010

No chiles, but Stockholm

I need to warn you. This is a totally non chile related blog entry, so I hope that I don't bore you. But - I just have to share the beauty of our early winter with you.

It's been really cold for the season, with lots of snow. Today it's been around -10C, with high humidity.

Here is the bar/restaurant that is very crowded during the summers. Not many people there today. It's beautiful to see the reflections in the water, where the ice is forming.

I probably have 500 pictures of this bridge (Västerbron). Today I enjoyed the silence and peace that only is experienced when it's really cold.

Because of the high humidity, the trees get frosted. Have a look at this wonderful scenery at Långholmen.

One of my favorite spots that I sometimes go to when I have left Carl in school in the morning. Here is Smedsudden in a wintery landscape.

A closer look at the frosted trees.

Even the birds look cold.

Wishing you a nice coming weekend!

Hot regards from cold Stockholm,

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Going back to my roots...

Every second/third week I clean my Zengrow. I'm growing basilica genovese and tulsi. With the basil, I make a fantastic pesto, and with the tulsi I make a very nice tea.

Check out the roots! Aren't they "impressive"?!

Have a nice weekend!

Chacoense crispbread!

It's -5 C outside, but sunshine inside when I make a crisp bread with my Capsicum chacoense. One could say that the sunshine is stored in the chile peppers :-)

Monday, 22 November 2010

A word of warning - google account hijacked

Today I don't have a chile pepper story to share. Instead I want to alert you to check your privacy and safety on the Internet.

This message greeted me good morning when I logged into my google mail this morning.
First of all, I didn't really understand. But then I saw that my mailbox was full with returned e-mails. So someone had been sending out spam from my account. This is of course not fun for me, but it's also not fun for my friends receiving garbage e-mails.

I don't know how they did it. And actually I don't know how to protect me from future attacks. But I'm going to do this from now on:
  • Use more complex passwords. Longer, with a mix of upper and lower case, and numbers and so on.
  • Change password on a regular basis.
  • Think about which communities I'm participating in. And try to better understand how it affects my privacy on the Internet.

To my friends who got the spam. My apologies for that, but most of all let's see what we can learn from this in order to be safer in the future.

Any other ideas and tips are appreciated!


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Final rocoto harvest

Summer and the chile pepper jungle on the balcony feels distant. But I have had some plants left, waiting for the pods to mature.

Today it was time. To pick the last pods on my rocoto and rocopica.

The rocoto has been living on the floor in our living room the last couple of weeks. It was too big to move.

I was positively surprised. I picked 35 pods on one plant! Doesn't this look great?

So now we have 1,626 kg rocoto to eat.

Do you have any nice recipes to share?

Hot regards,

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Hot sauce

Inspired from a conversation with Rune a couple of weeks ago, and from Patrik yesterday, I decided to make a hot sauce of my tiny tiny chinense fruits.

It took me well over and hour to remove the stems from the fruits. Talk about mindfulness. One pod at a time. Just being there present in the now :-)

Here they are, getting ready to be processed.

These fruits have a very tropical flavour, so I added the juice from a couple of limes and some salt. And some water. I put it all in a saucepan and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

And here is the final result. A super hot, super good all purpose sauce. Great on everything!

I'm not sure for how long this sauce keeps fresh, since I don't use any preservatives. Except for the lime juice and salt. Thanks Marco and Patrik for bringing this up :-)

Have a hot week!

Ashwagandha "harvest"

It's funny. I have looked at the fruits on my ashwagandha, but I didn't think they contained any seeds or berries. They look like physalis and tomatillo, hiding the fruits inside.

Today I felt adventurous and picked the pods that looked ripe and opened them. And I was surprised to find small red fruits inside.

Here we have Carl helping me :-)

And this is how the pods and fruits look like.

I wonder if they are edible, and/or what they are good for. Anyone who knows?

Now I know. Don't eat the fruits. The seeds have some poisonous properties. Seeds and flowers are used in some medicinal preparation as diuretic and to
coagulate milk. Mostly the roots and leaves are used in ayurvedic medicine. Roots are dried and powdered.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Fenugreek harvest

This is the "harvest" from growing fenugreek this year. Well, not that it's a huge effort, but I must say that I expected some more.

Fenugreek is a great spice that I use in more and more cooking.

The seeds are used as a spice, and the green leaves are used as a herb. I use the green leaves with chicken and fish. It is commonly used in ayurvedic cooking because of its cleansing properties.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Refried beans from the crazy jalapeño chef

Friday evening, and I have cooked my favorite refried beans together with some nachos.

Here is a recipe that you can try instead of buying cans with refried beans.

Refried beans
2-3 hg beans. I use red large beans that I cook for about 1,5 hours.
1 medium onion
Chiles to taste
Cooking oil

I put the chile peppers, onion and garlic in my mixer, and chop it fine. I put the mix in a warm frying pan, cooking it until the onions are soft / transparent.

Then I put the beans in the mixer and chop them fine. I put the chopped beans in the pan, stirring, adding some water and let them cook for 20-30 minutes.

At the end I add salt to taste.

It's really easy to do, and they beans taste really great!

And - best of all, you can use any chiles you want. Today I used one of the yellow burkinas that we got from Kaili last Sunday. Super hot :-)


It is working :-)

Days like this, especially when we have early snow, the chile pepper growing season feels very distant. This is how it looked this morning...

So, it makes me extra happy to see the progress in my ZENGROW. My "test" basil, peppermint and tulsi are doing fine. I have added the first nutrition tablet, and the small plants are developing very nicely.

Have a hot weekend!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Closing "Het Höst"

Today was the last day of the "Het Höst" exhibition. We were a bunch of growers gathering after the closing, to either collect our plants, or just to pick the fruits.

Here we have Carl getting ready to pick our chilipiquin pods.

Patrik is in heaven. Like a child in a toy store? :-)


Kaili, Patrik & Carl.

I sampled a rocopica, and entertained my surroundings with a good attack of hickups. I never seem to learn :-) Or maybe, I don't want to learn!

Thanks to Kaili, Patrik & Mia and everyone who made this exhibition possible.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Capsicum chacoense

One of my favorites. Yes, I know. I say that about many chile pepper varieties. This one is a beauty.

Small pods with good heat and peppery taste. The pods fall off easily.

More pictures here:

Our Indian from Goa

My Indian from Goa was finally ready to be picked. I have to admit it, I'm not that fond of Capsicum annuum, but this one is special to me. Probably because I enjoyed Goa so much. We were there in 2008 for a two weeks yoga retreat.

I remember stopping at the road, asking a woman who sold vegetables for chile peppers. She didn't have any, but asked her son to run to their home and get some dried "house-peppers", and those were the ones that I bought. It's a nice story, and now they are growing in my home.
More pictures here:

And some pictures from Goa :-) Starting with a picture of a chile pepper. I think they bring luck!


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Olho de pombo

Olho de pombo stood out from the beginning this year. It was a beauty with dark stems, and it was severly broken during a storm in May (

But it recovered and produced lots of pods. Not very easy to get a good picture of the pods, since they are quite well hidden under the leaves. Here I got a shot of our house spider. We call him Janne Långben (Jan Longleg).

And here are some pods. The almost look like coffee beans.

A nice harvest. The pods were hot, with a typical chinense flavor.

Ay caramba! They were hot!

I'm writing this with my burning fingers. I have been in the kitchen taking care of the chiles today. Saving seeds and drying, making powder. Big fun!

I grew the prik dae luang for the first time this year. It's a Capsicum frutescens. Just looking at the pods made me suspect that they were how. Quite big pods, thin flesh, "juicy". Like big tabascos. They had that special kind of self confidence that some chile peppers seem to have.

Taking a bite was really painful. This kind of "mean" heat, that just doesn't let go. Massaging the tongue. Really hot ones.
Honestly, I don't think they had any specific taste. Just the strong mean heat, so I will make a really mean powder of them. They are drying right now, waiting to become powder. Powder is good, makes it easier not to not use too much of the good stuff.

Have a great week!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Twin dedo de moça

Some pods are more interesting than others. Here is my twin dedo de moça.

A new project

Yesterday I got my ZENGROW, a "tabletop garden".

So today my new project started. I took cuttings from my tulsi, basil and peppermint and placed them in the device. I have many more ideas what to grow in it, but in order to get some experience I think this is the perfect start.

I will keep you updated on the progress.

Have a nice weekend!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Thank you for these two years - Tabasco

I'm sort of half-panicking about how to reclaim the space in the flat... So after the dedo de moça and habanero, it was time to say bye bye to the tabasco.

It's really a very nice plant. But it was too big. So it had to go. But Capsicum frutescens is good. It has the "peppery" taste, quite high heat, and I love the way it attacks my tongue. It's not like any other Capsicum. This heat is in a way "mean", massaging your tongue, not letting go.

The question. What to do with the harvested peppers. I think I will dry most of them. The thin flesh of the tabasco makes it not so suitable for freezing, so it will be great to dry. But I think I will put some of them in vinegar and/or oil for future use. Nice problems :-)

Tabasco chiles on a tabasco tray :-)

Have a nice week!

Hot regards,

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Another day at Het Höst

We couldn't stay away today. While Patricia is on a business trip, Carl and I decided to go out to Bergianska. Here we are just outside.

Me and Apan (Monkey) outside, in front of the magnificent Capsicum pubescens.

We went inside to say hello to my good old chilepiquin. I'm sure it doesn't miss our home at all, with all the new chile pepper friends. Not to mention how well Kaili takes care of all these plants :-) Here it is, and I was happy to see some new ripe pods.

A basket with hot stuff.

Carl is tall, but this baccatum is taller :-)

 Here we are, Mats, Patrik & Kaili. (Yes, it's Apan in my pocket :-)

One of Carls favorites. He's becoming a good chile pepper photographer :-)

Maybe it's hard to see on this picture, but look at all the different colours and shapes. It's beautiful!

More beauty :-)

And a canario, one of my favorites. Yes, I know, I call many varieties for my favorite. But it's true!

More beauty!

And more ....

And more ... :-)

Carl checking the size of this pumpkin...

I don't remember what this is, but the light made them very special.

Our friend Apan taking a break on the way home.