Habanero Heaven

Hurt Family Enjoys a Harvest of Giant Habanero Peppers
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2010. It would seem nice if I could send everyone some picture POST cards, but I don’t have any. What do I have?

These Three Things:
1. Photos, below. I have grown habanero (HHOTTT) for several years. I keep setting aside seeds from the largest peppers, and the peppers keep getting bigger. My wife saw a 3” (7.5 cm) pepper and picked it along with the others before it got fully ripe. I took some photos as I processed them into pepper mash, the best way to preserve them. To make the mash, I remove the seeds and save for giving away/planting, weigh, pulverize with 3% to 6% sea salt, then set aside for a few weeks while it ferments. This one pound batch provided me with one pint of mash. I added mash from a previous batch to kickstart the fermentation. You can see an article about habaneros at http://bobhurt.com/articles.

2. Music. I recorded some songs when I lived in Germany back in the early 80’s. My sister got the tapes and put some on a CD. I posted the CD contents “An Afternoon with Bob Hurt” in wma form at http://bobhurt.com/articles. You may download for the listening by you and your family and close friends. Use the password jugito to extract the files from the archive. I hope you like music with a country-western flavor. 3. Book. I have studied The Urantia Book for nearly 40 years. You may download your very own Windows Help file version (compiled HTML) at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ubees/files/urantia.chm. I consider it a masterpiece of American language literature. You might also consider it a revealing of truth. I love its teachings and I believe you will too.

Bob Hurt ▪ 2460 Persian Drive #70 ▪ Clearwater, FL 33763 ▪ (727) 669-5511
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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

Bob Hurt holds a hot GIGANTIC, GARGANTUAN HABANERO pepper (about double the normal size). It would have turned fire-engine red when fully bush-ripened.

The Purpose of Life
The salty sage sat solemn, serene. We’d thought he’d tell what life could mean, Revealing its value for all to know, What we’d reap from the seeds we sow. Then he whispered in a voice soft but intent “I’ll tell you life’s purpose, that’s why I was sent – Take care to develop a personality Of balance sublime, and of majesty.” He gazed at us all and asked with a nod “What else can you do to become like God?” Then he hummed to himself, adjusted his cap And sauntered away with a bounce in his step.

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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

This harvest from a couple of bushes weighed a little over a pound (about 475 grams)

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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

I had never held a habanero as big as this “Hog.” Notice the cracks in the skin from absorbing excess water, possibly from over-watering. Habanero bushes seem to enjoy a wet-to-dry cycle – water it fully, then let the soil dry till the plant gets close to wilting before watering again. Over-watering tends to burst the fruit.

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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

I consider this Hog’s seeds precious because of the size of peppers they will produce. When I remove seeds, I try to extract the whole “pod” (veins and seeds together) by slicing off the top, then slicing the vein where it connects to the body of the pepper. The connective tissue (veins) carry enormous heat. Heat freaks will want to strip the little seeds off and keep the veins in with the peppers for the mash. I think habaneros have so much heat that we needn’t worry about removing the pod and drying it as a unit. I get the added advantage of keeping together all the seeds from a giant pepper like this.

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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

This bowl of de-seeded peppers weighed about a pound (454 grams).

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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

I processed the habanero flesh in my Vitamix blender with a rounded tablespoon of sea salt (about 4% by weight). The salt allows lactobacillus to grow (fermentation) while killing off pathogens that cause “rot.” I stirred in a couple tablespoons of existing fermented pepper mash, and set the jar of mash aside. It will bubble up in a couple of days and finish fermenting in a couple of weeks. Notice the seed pods which I put on the windowsill to dry in Florida’s winter sunshine. These seeds came from the largest peppers in the batch. They will grow into bushes that produce large peppers.

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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

My wife Maria tends to our pepper bushes. You can keep habanero bushes alive and flourishing for several years by following these rules:  Do not let them freeze.  Expose them to full morning sun and partial shade in hot afternoons.  Water them when dry and let them drain well.  Harvest peppers when fully ripe.  Repot them annually in a pot large enough to accommodate growth.  Plant in the ground if possible (will grow to 2+ meters)  Fertilize with fish/cow manure, and mulch well.  Turn up soil around roots annually.

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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

When you get time, run down to the beach for some winter fun and sun. I snapped this at Clearwater Beach, Florida, near my home.

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Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

Take a beautiful babe with you, or find one there. Sorry, this one’s already mine. Page 10

Habanero Heaven January 4, 2010

And enjoy a sultry sunset under pinkish buttermilk skies. # # #-

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