Tune into this edition of Anastasia’s Fridge to learn more about peppers! From history to biology, Anastasia Cole Plakias dissects the pepper, and tells you how to use it in your kitchen! This program has been brought to you by Consider Bardwell.

FARMER FLANNER’S HOT SAUCE

The texture of hot sauce makes brilliant use of a pepper’s cell-wall pectins to form a thick, smooth puree naturally. For this one, we invite you to try your favorite local peppers and see what flavor combos strike your fancy! You’ll need:

Sweet peppers

Hot peppers

Celery

A white onion

3 sprigs thyme, destemmed

Carrots

¼ apple cider

¼ white vinegar

Salt

Optional: Sugar or honey to taste

To make hot sauce, you’ll need some rubber gloves, a sharp paring knife and a non-porous cutting board, as well as a brief lesson in pepper anatomy. First, you’re going to remove the pepper’s peduncle and calyx, the stem and the hard tissue around it. You’ll also want to ditch the bitter seeds, and placenta, which is also known as the capsaicin gland, and comprises the while, tissuey interior walls towards the bottom of the fruit.

Wash and roughly chop your other veggies so that they fit comfortably in a medium saucepan, then combine everything over medium high heat. Cook down for about twenty minutes till all the veggies are soft, making sure to stir the bottom to prevent anything from burning.

Then you’re just going to buzz in a food processor, but BE VERY CAREFUL HANDLING THE HOT LIQUID. In fact, if you’ve got the time, let it cool first. If it’s too thick, thin it with a little more vinegar or water, adding sugar, salt and more vinegar to taste.

And enjoy your very own homemade hot sauce! Pour into a sterile, non-reactive container like a glass bottle or jar and store in the fridge and this stuff should keep for months to come.

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