Dish Drainer Maintance

I don’t know about you, but winter is rough on my skin. Especially my hands! I have to have some nourishment for my skin. Our wooden kitchen items are no different. Except they need love all year round. It’s not just from lack of humidity but water causes a lot damage too.

I have wooden cutting boards, spoons, and a bamboo dish drainer. My dish drainer was definitely in the worse shape of all of them. It’s kind of an overlooked item really. It is a bit of unsung hero of the kitchen. I have tried to go without one and it didn’t work too well. By just using a drying mat, my cups, glasses, and bowls wouldn’t dry because the air couldn’t circulate all around them. I’ve had plastic dish drainers before and was never happy with how they looked in the kitchen and they seemed to mold more easily. I haven’t had a mold issue with my bamboo drainer.

A bamboo dish drainer isn’t really an investment item for your kitchen but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take care of it and make it last as long as possible. That just means that money can be spent on something more fun than a dish drainer!

This time, I used mineral oil to condition the bamboo. Mine is from IKEA and I found it with the wooden cutting boards. You have to make sure that you use food grade mineral oil. Home Depot carries Howard Cutting Board Oil. I haven’t used it, but I have had really good experience with other Howard products.


I used paper towels to apply my mineral oil. I am going to use an old t-shirt next time. The paper towels just disintegrated and left some fuzzies behind. We use cloth napkins but I keep paper towels in the house for messes that wouldn’t wash out of a towel very well, or that I wouldn’t even want going into the washing machine. I think I’ll just use a small piece of cotton shirt next time and then throw it away. I also used a few cotton swabs to get into the small tight spaces. They didn’t last long either!

My poor, neglected, dried out dish drainer soaked up that mineral oil like a drop of rain water on the desert sands. The mineral oil will penetrate the wood grain and help to keep it from splitting, thus prolonging it’s life. It also looks so much better sitting out on the counter! After applying the oil, I left it out to dry for several hours. I did a quick wipe on it to get rid of any mineral oil that didn’t soak in completely.

This maintenance will need to be repeated but there are several factors that determine how often it has to be done. If you live in a dry climate or just use the drainer a lot, you’ll need to treat the wood more often.

Next up, I need to take care of my wooden cutting boards and my wooden cooking utensils. I am wanting a more natural alternative to the mineral oil though. I have plans to make wood butter! It’s kind of like a homemade lotion for our wooden kitchen items. I can’t wait! But that’s for another post for another day. Keep an eye out for that soon.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Can’t wait to see you next time!

Basket of Fire Pepper Sauce

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I vividly remember the pepper sauce that lived in my Nana’s refrigerator. I think my Papa may have been the only person I remember using it, but it was always there. It was a store bought bottle of pepper sauce that my Nana kept adding vinegar to when it would run low.

I have done the same thing on occasion with my own peppers or with store bought fresh peppers. It’s always been a fairly mild sauce, except that one batch we put a single habanero pepper in. That one had some bite! In a good way.

Well, look out world! Today, I made Basket of Fire Pepper Sauce! I bought this cute little ornamental pepper plant at a local nursery this summer. I love ornamental pepper plants because they look as good as they are functional. For a long time, I thought you couldn’t eat the peppers since they were called “ornamental”. I was wrong. The peppers I chose to grow are the variety Basket of Fire. They measure 80,000shu (Scoville heat units). Just a bit less than habaneros. They pack a punch for such a small pepper! I have used them in my Sweet Heat Jam with great success. I’m pretty sure they have a permement place in my gardens! I’ll gush over my pepper plants another time, right now, let’s get to the pepper sauce!I vividly remember the pepper sauce that lived in my Nana’s refrigerator. I think my Papa may have been the only person I remember using it, but it was always there. It was a store bought bottle of pepper sauce that my Nana kept adding vinegar to when it would run low.

I have done the same thing on occasion with my own peppers or with store bought fresh peppers. It’s always been a fairly mild sauce, except that one batch we put a single habanero pepper in. That one had some bite! In a good way.

Well, look out world! Today, I made Basket of Fire Pepper Sauce! I bought this cute little ornamental pepper plant at a local nursery this summer. I love ornamental pepper plants because they look as good as they are functional. For a long time, I thought you couldn’t eat the peppers since they were called “ornamental”. I was wrong. The peppers I chose to grow are the variety Basket of Fire. They measure 80,000shu (Scoville heat units). Just a bit less than habaneros. They pack a punch for such a small pepper! I have used them in my Sweet Heat Jam with great success. I’m pretty sure they have a permement place in my gardens! I’ll gush over my pepper plants another time, right now, let’s get to the pepper sauce!

To make my pepper sauce, I picked over what’s left on my plant. It’s currently in the greenhouse living out it’s last days. These plants are annuals but I’ve been able to prolong it’s life. The remaining peppers are starting to shrivel up and the leaves are starting to drop. I harvested as many non-shriveled peppers as I could and carried them into the kitchen. I gave them a bath and stuffed them into a 5 oz glass bottle. These bottles are great! I found them on Amazon. They came with a dripper insert, cap and shrink sleeve to seal them up. I have also used them to bottle up homemade vanilla.


Then I set some vinegar to boil on the stove. Once it came to a boil, I used a small funnel (this one is for a flask) and poured the vinegar into the bottle. Then the dripper insert goes on and then the cap.

Next up comes the label. After it had cooled down, I created one and cut it out with my Silhouette in vinyl.

Even though this bottle is for our own home and I’m not giving it away, I went ahead and sealed the shrink sleeve. I used some washi tape to put the date I made it. I want it to sit for a bit to develop it’s flavor. I’m not sure how long is enough, but it will keep us out of it for at least a little while. It’s hard to be patient!

I made my pepper sauce with Basket of Fire but you may use any peppers you like. Feel free to use a mixture of them too! This is a great way to use up some end of the season peppers before a frost gets them.

We use our pepper sauces on pinto beans, salmon patties, and even pizza! What do you like pepper sauce on?