Leggi questo post in: Italiano
Sewing is a super useful skill to have, but not only for making clothes or other fabric items. It can be used for other parts of life, for example gardening, because a very simple sewing technique can be incredibly useful for preserving your extra home-grown food! So today I’m going to show you how to string chili peppers on a thread to dry for future use!
In lots of cuisines, my Italian one included, spicy peppers are a must for flavoring meals, and every summer I grow chili pepper plants from the seeds of some of the ones from the previous year. The result? I always have lots of red pepper to use and give to friends!
With just a needle and thread, you can string and hang up spicy red peppers to dry and use throughout the year so that they won’t go to waste.
I also love how these peppers look when strung up! They look really cool on a string and give my kitchen a rustic look when hanging up.
So, do you want to find out how to string chili peppers in a really easy and quick way? Either watch the video below or keep reading for the full tutorial!
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- freshly picked red peppers, with the green cap still on
- a hand sewing needle*
- needle threader* (optional, if you have trouble threading the needle)
- thread* (it can be any type, even a cheap one that isn’t good enough for machine sewing)
- disposable latex gloves* (optional, but very useful to avoid getting spicy oils on your hands and then rubbing them on your face!)
How to string chili peppers
- First, pick the red peppers from your plants that have a nice bright red color. Cut them off, leaving the green cap on the top.
2. Thread the needle, but don’t cut off a length of thread yet. Just leave it still attached to the spool.
3. Stick the needle through the center of the pepper’s green cap and push the pepper onto the thread.
4. Continue sticking the needle through the other peppers, pushing them down the thread towards the spool as you go.
*Tip #1: If you leave a longish thread tail, holding it double as you string the peppers, it will let you push the peppers down the thread more easily with fewer tangles. Then, as the thread fills up with peppers, pull the thread so as to shorten the tail and lengthen the usable space.
*Tip #2: To save time, try sticking the needle through 2-3 peppers at a time before pushing them all down together.
*Tip #3: If you have trouble sliding the peppers down without the thread tangling up, you can let out a length of thread between the peppers and the spool, cut it, and thread more peppers from that end.
5. Once you’ve strung all the peppers onto the thread, cut the thread off of the spool, trim the thread ends if they’re really long, and tie the ends together with a double knot.
6. Hang the peppers up to dry. (It’ll probably take 2-3 months.) I like to hang mine from a light fixture in my kitchen, near a window, for a rustic look, but you can also just hang them from a bookshelf edge or from a nail in the wall.
What to do with dried chili peppers
Here you can see the difference in fresh and dried chili peppers. The ones in this picture have been hanging for about 2 years (I had so many that I didn’t need these ones, so I just left them hanging.), so they are a bit light in color, but this is normal.
Once your peppers have dried, you can use them in different ways. For example, you can just break one in half and put it in the pan of whatever you’re cooking. Another way is to put them in a food processor to grind up into red pepper flakes.
My favorite way, though, is to make the typical “olio santo” of southern Italy, a spicy oil that you can drizzle directly on the food in your plate. Read about how to make this spicy oil in my post! (link coming soon!)
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