You know me, I love my kitchen crafting and creating handy things for the store cupboard. My enjoyment is even better when I am growing one of the ingredients myself. That whole self sufficiency and happy harvester thing comes into play and I just feel good about the whole thing.
Back in March when I was trapped on the sofa with the botched foot surgery, Idgy was doing the shopping for me at the weekend with her father. She would go armed with my list and nine times out of ten I’d get back pretty much what I’d requested plus a few extra goodies that just happened to catch her eye in Tesco.
Normally these eye catchers were in the form of sweet nibbles and magazines for the shopper herself – payment for services rendered and all that. But one Saturday she brought back a slightly wilted pepper plant that was reduced to £1.15 as it looked like it was on it’s last legs/leaves.
“Here, Mum I thought you’d like this” she said as she plonked it on the table by the sofa. I was thrilled, this was better than any bunch of flowers of even a bar of chocolate. A pepper plant, maybe I could nurse it back to health.
That little plant sat by the sofa for the next two months till I was up and about again. It then moved to the kitchen windowsill and has sat there ever since.
It sports a stick on butterfly and produced a little crop of chilli peppers every single week.
I love my little pepper plant.
I have used the peppers fresh, chopped into sauces, chutneys and preserves and I have dried them on the Aga to crumble and store in a little jar for later use.
One of these uses is in making my own Hot Salt, another little larder staple that helps to save time when cooking.
Recipes don’t have to be long and convoluted with lots of ingredients to produce something tasty and useful. Just blending two ingredients can add up to something special.
Hot Salt is a case in point.
This is just two things, a simple sum really, almost a play on words as well.
Salt + Pepper = Hot Salt
So here is how to make Hot Salt;
You can use any chillis for this recipe. Just chop them as finely as you like and spread out on a sheet of baking parchment set out on a drying/cooling rack.
Now scatter on some coursely ground salt. Mix in some pink Himalayan salt and fine salt too. Any salt you like to give some extra colour, texture and flavour.
Leave all this on a sunny windowsill or on top of the fridge, by a radiator por in the airing cupboard for a couple of days till the chillies are dried out completely.
Now pack into a sterile jar or a grinder and you have your own hot salt to use for months to come.
Sometimes the simplest things are really the best.