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?

Saving Pumpkin Seeds

Well, here is a testament to my great housekeeping. I found 2 tiny, white pumpkins hiding on my kitchen counter the other day! So I decided to go ahead and save the seeds. Now, a word on saving seeds from anything. You will only get a baby that is a copy of the parent if you save the seeds from a fruit that is not a hybrid. If you save seeds from a hybrid, you never really know what you’ll get. If you have a Forrest Gump attitude about life, this won’t bother you. If you like to know what you are getting yourself into, only save seeds from heirloom varieties. I have no idea if these little white ornamental pumpkins are hybrids or not, and I am okay with that. It’s a bit of an experiment! If you want to learn how to save your own pumpkin (or any gourd) seeds, then keep reading!

First thing you need to do is gain access to the seeds. Gourds can be difficult to cut into because of their thick skins. Use a sharp knife and keep your fingers out of the way!

Now, you’ll need to scoop the seeds out. I like to use a melon baller because it kind of cuts through the slimy, stringy bits. Just don’t dig into the sides of the gourd. You won’t need all of the seeds, especially if you are gathering seeds from a larger gourd with a lot of seeds. If you are carving pumpkins, scoop the seeds out and save a few and roast the rest to eat!


You’ll need to free the seeds from the slimy stuff. I like to place mine in a screen colander and give them a wash.
This colander is from Ikea and it has adjustable arms on it to fit a variety of size sinks. I use my sprayer and clean the seeds as well as I can. I don’t think it’s vital to get them spotless.

I spread my seeds out on a paper towel to dry out. Newspaper works too. I leave them for a few days. You want them dry so they don’t mold in storage. On the second day, I’ll move them around to break up any clumps. This helps insure they are able to completely dry out.

You’ll want to store them safely for next year. I like paper envelopes because they can breathe. Just in case I didn’t get all of the moisture out of the seeds. Make sure you label the envelope. If you don’t know the exact variety of plant, just include some identifying characteristics along with the date you collected your seeds. Be sure you put the correct year. I put these up on one of the first days of 2018 and sure enough, I labeled them 2017. In keeping things real, this won’t be the only time I put the wrong year. Anyone else do that?

Now I just have to wait for planting time! I’ll come back and update you on if the new pumpkins look just like the parents. Seed saving is a great homesteading skill to have in your toolbox. Have you saved any seeds lately?