The garden is coming along nicely. We had a bumper crop of strawberries this year because we let the runners go wherever they wanted last year. They're winding down now, but the tomatoes are just getting started. We also have this crazy cayenne pepper plant on the deck that has half a dozen good-sized peppers on it. I need to figure out how to dry them when they're ready. And then what to make with them...salsa?

crazy twisted pepper


yellow finch
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To dry them just leave them on the plant until they shrivel. Then wedge them into a bottle and pour in olive oil. Use the oil on anything and everything.

On a side issue - when do strawberries usually crop in California? Here in UK it's strictly Wimbledon fortnight and no later.
Thanks for the advice, jon, I'll give it a shot. Those are some nice pics--you've got a hot garden, there. (I can't imagine eating those raw.) The strawberries started early this year, in late April or early May. Much earlier than yours, it sounds. But they peaked a couple weeks ago. The strains I have are Fern and Tristar--both everbearing.
Gorgeous strawberries! The ground at my great-uncle's nearby farm is covered with blueberries right now, but I wish we had some strawberries to go along with it.

And the "pepper oil" really is the best route for the peppers. Cayenne peppers aren't really the kind of "heat" you'd want in salsa (I'm guessing--I like salsa to make me sweat but not scorch my tongue), but keep them in some oil and mix it with a little lemon juice and garlic and you've got an amazing dressing for salad and seafood. ON a less-gourmet-sounding tip, my parents always keep a cruet of homemade "pepper sauce" (a mix of dried and fresh homegrown peppers steeped in olive oil) on the table and put it on pretty much any vegetable dish they serve.
The bird photo is absolutely sock-knocking, Paul.
Thanks, Paul. Those yellow finches are great. They've been swarming our back deck since we put up that feeder. At first they were shy, but now some even stick around the feeder while we're out on the deck; especially if we're just hanging out and not moving around too much. Lately some brown finches have discovered the feeder, and it's even more crowded. And some red-headed finches. It's finch central, really.
Paul, (Sock knocker)

Technically those are "grit"- berries as you haven't put straw under them.

My boat is well and truly "pushed-out".
Paully, dry them, age them, and then make a cayenne pepper hot sauce. Just add the peppers, some vinegar and some garlic and grind it into a liquid. Mmmm. <a href="">Frank's RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce</a> is the best example of how good that stuff can be. Get some.
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