Scotch Bonnet Peppers & My Shameful Love Affair

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Help me please, I beg of you.

I know this blog is about caribbean food but I have a true, embarrassing, confession to make – I am having a secret love affair, and it’s been going on for years.

What’s more, until now I haven’t been able to tell The Shrek (my husband). Those of you who’ve seen The Shrek’s picture on my About page know he is a tall, gallant, handsome beast and will scream “You’re mad for deceiving such a hunk.” You’re shocked. Aghast even. And demanding “How could you even contemplate such a thing?” Well, I’ve sweated, over many years, about confessing and can’t bare to hide it any longer. So here it is:

I am having a furtive love affair with scotch bonnet peppers.

I’m ravenous for them. I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help it. I can’t quench my insatiable need. The soft, delicate, curves of the fruit beg to be lovingly caressed. I bite and the flavour sets my pulse instantly galloping, such that I pant, my chest heaves and I can hardly catch my breath. I clamour to savour each and every sensuous mouthful, oblivious to the world around me. I stagger and swoon at the sweet, intoxicating, aroma as it fills my body until I think I will faint with wanton pleasure.

The truth is I have a track-record, as I’ve also had encounters with jalapenos peppers, affairs with sweet cherry peppers and even had flings with little bird peppers in my caribbean food cooking. But oh, none of them can compare to the arousing, spicy, fiery flavour of the scotch bonnet.

Such is my passion for scotch bonnet peppers, that I will secretly slip them into almost anything I cook: from humble, work-a-day beans and cheese on toast, to a full luscious caribbean chocolate and rum ice-cream. In fact, recently, I  sneaked a smidgen of dried scotch bonnet, together with ginger and sugar, into some caribbean-style limeade .

The Shrek, unsuspecting, tasted it smacked his lips together and remarked upon the ‘bite’ of it. The blood flushed to my face and i blushed like a teenager. I let out a high-pitch rapid laugh, nervously and quickly ushered him out of the room, away from the scene of the ‘crime’ so that I could have an intimate moment with my forbidden love.

I know i’m wrong. Help me. I beg you. I can’t stop. I need your advice, what should i do?

Whilst i await your advice, here is a recipe for fresh, fiery, scotch bonnets captured and steeped in spicy pickle:

pepperpic

Picture of Scotch Bonnet by barron

Approx 40 scotch bonnets — assortment of colours and making sure that fruit is as fresh and as blemish free as possible.
600 ml (1 pt) pickling vinegar (distilled, or cider vinegar will also do)
150ml (1/4 pt) water
1 teas pickling salt
2 tablespoons pickling spice
Sterilized jars and lid – I like to use the wide mouth ones with the attached snap down lids – they provide very good air tight suction.
stainless steel cooking pot, and stainless steel spoon.

* Sterilize the jars by pouring just-boiled hot water into very clean, grease free jars filling them to the top , making sure that the lids are also sterilized, I do this process a couple of times.
* Put the vinegar, water, and the pickling spice into pot, place onto a medium high heat and bring to the boil, once boiled, add the salt and stir until totally absorbed.
* Now leave to cool.
* Slice the peppers and stack in the sterilized jars. Pour cooled liquid over the chillies making sure they are wholly immersed in the solution
*Secure and leave in cool dark place for about a week before using.

If storing in fridge, then I recommend you put the pickle in the darkest place – usually the bottom shelf – I either put a clean tea cloth on the shelf above or wrap the jar in grease proof paper to keep it dark.

Well my fine friends, that’s it. My latest offering, this time on scotch bonnet peppers. Would love your comments and, erm, remarks on my situation :-O

Love, Laughter & Food For All

Angeli XXX

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Comments

21 Responses to “Scotch Bonnet Peppers & My Shameful Love Affair”

  1. Tammy Sassin on June 9th, 2009 2:20 pm

    I think we need an intervention!

  2. Dezblak on June 9th, 2009 4:23 pm

    you ought to be ashamed!! how could u do that to your poor husband? after all he’s done for you. lol…. nice blog loves it!

  3. Catherine on June 9th, 2009 4:24 pm

    I’m also addicted, perhaps we should set up a support group? ;-)

    Seriously, I add them to all kinds of things – it has to be scotch bonnets, for their fruity, spicy flavour. I’m forever explaining how exactly they differ from other chillies – for me, the flavour can’t be beaten. What I really miss, though, is their milder cousin, the seasoning pepper, which has all the flavour without the heat. Marrying them together in various things is revelatory. Unfortunately I’ve yet to find a supplier of them in this country, and my plants have yet to bear fruit!

  4. Monica on June 9th, 2009 4:26 pm

    Hummm… your husband’s Scotch I presume. You have a thing for Scotch Bonnet Peppers… Sounds like you have a thing for Scots.

  5. Jenn @ Pete Eatemall on June 9th, 2009 5:40 pm

    Loves it…I have had many affairs too! I always feel better once I get it out in the open…right now…its lemons…lemon anything!! Too cute!

  6. Sarah on June 9th, 2009 5:49 pm

    All you wanted was to spice things up, that’s ok, perhaps you can ask your husband to join.
    :-)

  7. Twitted by Foodbridge on June 9th, 2009 6:19 pm

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  8. Angeli on June 9th, 2009 6:50 pm

    thank you for that Sarah – but, if I do will the spicy magic disappear?

  9. Angeli on June 9th, 2009 6:53 pm

    I’m there with you Jenn, lemons, limes, peppers……They are underrated arn’t they?

  10. Angeli on June 9th, 2009 6:58 pm

    I didn’t think about that Monica – i must admit i find the scottish sense of humour very close to the jamaican sense of humour – can you help me?

  11. Angeli on June 9th, 2009 7:03 pm

    Thanx for that Catherine, I frequently add a whole green scotch bonnet to get the flavour without the heat – have you tried that way?. However, you are so right, it really does stand out from the other peppers, But my husband is suffering – how can I treat my brad pit lookalike so cruelly?

  12. Angeli on June 9th, 2009 7:15 pm

    Lenore, I tell myself that every night i go to bed with a jar of of pickled bonnets….

  13. Angeli on June 9th, 2009 7:16 pm

    Tammy, tell me what to do? meanwhile, i’m going to have some pickle, cold meat and a glass of wine…..

  14. Michelle on June 9th, 2009 10:03 pm

    Love the post! I would never suspect you to have something steamy going on in the kitchen except maybe with a pot of boiling water…LOL!!

    I never had a scotch bonnet and I feel completely left out!

  15. shellieartist on June 10th, 2009 1:01 am

    YUM….such a cute post! :)

    Hi Shellie, hope you try the recipe :)

  16. Vanessa on June 10th, 2009 1:23 am

    Angeli,

    I will have to try this recipe! I love cooking with scotch bonnet peppers, especially when I make a West Indian Curry. I don’t have the high tolerance for the excessive heat, so I moderate how much I put in recipes. Great post and great recipe!

  17. Chef Maxient Popejoy on June 10th, 2009 1:55 pm

    Angeli,

    Very creative & humorous writing! Great way to express your passion for food (scotch bonnet peppers) I have had similar affairs with my food, most recently Oregon fresh Strawberries. My wife just doesnt understand & gets jealous when I spend so much time with my berries. Enjoyed your post I am sure Shrek will get over it!

    Angeli writes:

    Are you sure he will recover? He’s been acting weird these last few months – wearing brightly coloured berets and doing little peculiar jigs, and growling “I Love You” every chance he gets….

  18. klunzzt on June 10th, 2009 3:44 pm

    ” If storing in fridge, then I recommend you put the pickle in the darkest place – usually the bottom shelf – I either put a clean tea cloth on the shelf above or wrap the jar in grease proof paper to keep it dark….”
    My fridge is dark as soon as I close it and I hope yours does the same: the light bulb, when burning, generates heat, will let the cooling element do overtime and you’ll have to defrost very often.
    I never eat Madame Jeanette, as they are called in the Netherlands and Surinam, they are too hot for me, although I did some ‘training’ in adapting and appreciating hot foodstuff.
    Angeli writes:
    Thankyou for that – angeli(?) – and what an interesting name for the peppers, they are called scotch bonnets in the caribbean because they look like a winter woollen scottish beret . Point taken about the tea towel. It something i’ve always done, as my family and I use the fridge a lot during the day and the door is constantly open – I keep all my pickles and jams on the bottom shelf. My coffee is stored in a ceramic sealed jar in the fridge also to ensure maximum freshness and so the light doesn’t get in :) ……. I think the wonderful thing about having a mother who cooked all our meals from scratch, is watching how she cooked with spice and peppers, and how the food has wonderful flavour without the heat which burns the mouth and, in my opinion, numbs the mouth which prevents you from tasting the food. What is the story behind the name ‘Madame Jeanette’ – i’m intrigued…..

  19. Elaine - The Gourmet Girl on June 10th, 2009 10:11 pm

    I too love Scotch Bonnets! For those unfamiliar with this little powerhouse, hopefully your article will open their eyes.
    My recipe calls for fresh ones, however, I’m looking forward to giving your technique a try.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Angeli writes:
    Thankyou Elaine, I use fresh, and pickled peppers, i think you will agree, each imparts a different flavour to whatever it is accompanying….

  20. Twitted by mycaribbeanfood on June 12th, 2009 3:53 pm

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  21. dotty dot on November 3rd, 2009 2:25 pm

    Cool blog………….i to like to cook with scotch bonnet peppers. But I always use a knife and fork to cut them so as not to burn my hands……that’s when i am not using them whole.