The red cayenne peppers are ripe – the green ones still need a little bit more time.
This picture was taken about a month ago. By now, all of the peppers that are going to mature have been picked. A few weren’t quite up for eating so I might save the seeds for next year just to see what happens.
These are really easy to grow, at least if you’ve got lots of sunlight and lots of rain. This one sat in a little pot that I moved every week or two to maximize sun, and each plant in a five gallon bucket yielded about twenty spicy peppers.
And don’t be fooled – that small red cayenne does pack quite a hot punch. I made the mistake once of cooking a sauce without removing all of the seeds, and I don’t know if my girlfriend will ever let me forget it. From now on, I make sure that the seeds are long gone unless I’m planning to cook for one.
Since these peppers did end up coming in all at once near the end of fall, you might need a little plan about saving them. I just bagged ’em up and threw ’em in the freezer, but you can also try drying them out for a pepper grinder; blending them in to a red pepper paste; or even blending with a bunch of vinegar to make your own home made hot sauce. Dried ones should last a season, ones in the fridge are good for a month or two, and anything frozen will probably last you until long after the next crop has come in.