September 23, 2014
It all started with way too many ‘Santa Fe Grande’ chili peppers and a heat wave. Temperatures were 90-102 degrees for two weeks (with almost matching humidity).
When I moved to Point Loma, two blocks from the ocean I gave away the dehydrator I had used for our apples in Massachusetts. The humidity is so high here my attempts were futile.
But when temperatures were predicted to be over 100 degrees in the area of San Diego where I work, I decided this would be my chance to make my car the dehydrator.
I prepared the peppers at home and arranged them when I arrived at work. White car, black interior 8:30 am.
Peppers on my lunch break at 1:30 pm. Temperature edging toward 100.
I was somewhat concerned that capsacin (the compound that makes peppers hot) might vaporize in my new car. I checked online for the vapor pressure of capsaicin. My chemist husband assured me the vapor pressure listed was low so my car would be fine. It was.
Peppers at 5:30 pm. Temperatures outside reached 102 degrees that day.
At home, I finished them in a 175 degree oven for 20 minutes.
And now I have summer heat packed away for the winter.
What will be next, herbs? We still have heat.