Some like it hot….peppers that is!
There are many types of peppers used in ethnic dishes from Mexico, the American Southwest, India and Asia all have local varieties to compliment their national cuisine. The “hotness of peppers is measured according to the Scoville Heat Index . The mildest peppers such as sweet bell peppers and cherry peppers are at the bottom of the Scoville scale. In the middle are peppers like serrano, yellow hot wax peppers, and red cayanne peppers. At the top of the scale are the habamero and the Scotch Bonnet.
My Father-in-law has a strange love for hot peppers. Every Spring he plants his pepper seeds to let them start growing inside before it gets warm enough to put them outside. He usually grows Habenero and Scotch Bonnet peppers, and boy are they hot! He has a special routine when he picks them off of the plant. The peppers dry naturally for some time up in his attic where it is hot from the summer’s heat. Once they are shriveled, he puts rubber gloves and a mask on. He must do this to avoid getting burned because the inside of the pepper is so hot it’ll burn your skin. The peppers go into a chopper where the blades slice the dried peppers into little tiny pieces. Be careful! If you accidently breath any of the little flakes in…who knows how long you’ll cough. Once chopped, the spicy little flakes go into a glass shaker waiting the next meal. Normally, beads of sweat drip down my forehead when we eat dinner there, but I can’t stop shaking on the spicy flakes…it’s an addiction.
So this year for my Father-in-law’s birthday (Mr. Kleckner), I made a hot pepper card. I used a hot pepper paper punch (say that 5 times fast), some fun paper and glue to create a great birthday card.