Monday, October 23, 2006

Dorset Naga update...

I just received word that a show has aired on the BBC in England that announced the results of an HPLC test done on Dorset Naga peppers grown by BBC “Gardeners’ World”. The group took to the airwaves on Friday to announce the results live.

According to Joy and Michael's Website, the peppers grown by Gardeners' World scored a whopping 1,598,227.

The results of the test as published on the BBC Gardeners' World website read as follows:

Gardeners' World's hottest chillies

Over the course of this year, Gardeners' World has grown a variety of chillies to find the fieriest fruits. The chillies were all tested at Warwick Horticulture Research International (HRI) and the results are shown below.

The hottest chillies

1. Chilli 'Dorset Naga'
2. Chilli 'Caribbean Red Hot'
3. Chilli 'Orange Habanero'
4. Chilli 'Fiesta' (grown outdoors)
5. Chilli 'Scotch Bonnet'
6. Chilli 'Fiesta' (grown indoors)
7. Chilli 'Apache'
8. Chilli 'Paper Lantern'
9. Chilli 'Etna'
10. Chilli 'Adorno'

I have to say that at this point, it's relatively easy to state that the World's Hottest available chili peppers is still a C. Chinense, but I think until someone comes up with something close to this incredible heat level, the Dorset Naga is going to be competing for the Guinness Book of World Records' title very soon.

For those interested in growing these chilies, you can contact Peppers by Post. According to their website, the seeds will be available for sale beginning in 2007. And yes, you can get them shipped to the US.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

There and Back Canada...

I drove out to Cornwall this morning to set up our Christmas show taking place this weekend and on the way back we saw the oddest looking thing. A man was trudging along the highway dragging a cart behind him. He looked for all intents and purposes like he'd been walking for a while, and indeed he had.

We didn't initially stop as I was in a hurry to get home and we still had to pick up Mike's dog. Needless to say, after picking up Pepper, we turned out onto the highway and I spotted the odd looking man and his cart, and I told Mike were going to take a bit of a detour.

I figure if God puts such things in your path once, it's for a glimpse, if it's twice it's for a more important reason and should be investigated... So, investigate we did.

It turns out that the man's name is Trevor. That's how he introduced himself. He didn't give me his last name. He did post his name, almost as an after-thought on his website. Trevor Redmond is taking steps for cancer prevention and boy is he stepping.

This is Trevor:

He started on his journey in British Columbia, back in March, 2006 and has been walking now for seven months. He expects to end the "there" part of his journey in Halifax when he will stop and plan the "back" part.

I asked him how he was doing the trip and he said that he was using a combination of camping, in a tent, staying in motels and taking advantage of some of that good old Canadian hospitality that we are all so proud of up here. He choked me up. Mike gave him our business card and suggested he look us up on his way by. I'll gladly cook him a meal or give him a bed depending on the time of day he goes by.

On October 9, Trevor passed through Kingston. He wrote on his website:

"In challenging myself, I have now taken 6,586,353 steps as of Kingston.

In challenging Canadians, I have received over 11,000 dollars towards my efforts.

This works out to about $2.20 per kilometer over the 5000 Km stretch I have already walked.

I am looking for a dollar a step. Help us to take those steps.

Catch me!

I would also ask that you get your friends involved in this effort. The more we step, the further we will come.

The more we move...the more we move others.

To all... I'm still pulling for you."

I read Trevor's website after returning home and it choked me up. I had asked Trevor if he was taking donations and all I had in the car was $1. So I gave it to him. I felt really good coming home to discover that I had taken one of Trevor's steps. I challenge you to take one as well, he's got a lot of them available.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tellicherry Black Pepper

Every time we introduce a new customer to our
Tellicherry Black sauce, we inevitably get asked the
same question: "What's a Tellicherry".

Tellicherry is not a "what", it's a "where". Located
on the South-Western coast of the tip of India, near
Cochin, Tellicherry is in the heart of pepper

Both Tellicherry pepper and Malabar pepper come from
the same plant and are harvested at the same time.
Tellicherry pepper are the larger of the two and
will have matured further before the harvest,
benefiting from a better location on the vine and
thereby receiving more sunlight. Only the largest
10% of these peppercorns are good enough to bear the
name Tellicherry, making these peppercorns very,
very special, indeed.

In India, pepper is part of the cultural heritage of
the people. Growing pepper is seen more as an art or
a craft than as a metier. Even though it is a
cash crop, pepper growing and grading is taken very
seriously in this part of the world. Farmers take
advantage of centuries of skill handed down from
generation to generation to grow and harvest these
tiny black seeds of flavour.

Once picked, it takes about a week for the
peppercorns to dry in the sun. During this time,
they will lose a share of their flavour in the
process. Until recent years, all pepper drying was
done this way. Although, nowadays it is not uncommon
for pepper to be rapidly air-dried indoors.
Interestingly enough, this new technology brings
with it the benefit of less flavour loss. Thus,
today's peppers are fresher, cleaner and more
full-bodied than ever before and allow the farmers
to fetch a higher price.

Although the size of the peppercorn is very
important to garnering the name, "Tellicherry", the
maturity of the peppercorn is the ultimately
all-deciding factor. It is the extra-ripening time
that the Tellicherry peppercorn receives that
increases the percentage of essential oils in the
fruit and makes it taste so aromatic and why the
Peppermaster chose these peppercorns for our black
pepper sauce.

Peppercorns although not chillies, are often a
chiliheads first foray into the world of pepperfire.
As children growing up in North America, what would
setting the table be without a shaker of pepper?
Well, it wouldn't be rightly set, now would it? As
we grow up and our tastes become more cosmopolitan,
we are introduced to the splendours of the
peppermill. Once having experienced the glory of
fresh ground pepper, who would return to the dusty
dryness of the pepper shaker? From the peppermill
with ordinary Madagascar black peppercorns, (sold
most commonly as "whole black pepper"), one
eventually discovers the perfume and wonder that is
Malabar and hopefully as well, Tellicherry.

I had opportunity to read of the adventures of one
who visited India to research the true art of
peppercorn manufacture, as I researched this article
and he tells of his visit to Mount Tellicherry

Picture sweeping mountain slopes gazing down on a
lush untouched jungle. Imagine the perfumes and
odours of the world famous outdoor markets and all
the spices wafting on the air. He describes a
landscape very different and exotic, than ours, one
ripe with cardamom and cinnamon, their perfumes
carrying on the breezes and fields and fields of
wild pepper bushes.

Pepper bushes grow to about 3-5 feet in height. They
dangle their berries much like tiny bunches of
grapes and although they have been known to grow
well in other climates, the soil and climate of this
region of India produces the best peppercorns in the

Interestingly enough, it is in the drying of the
peppercorns that they get their distinctive colours
ranging from green-yellow through red and brown to
jet black. The long bunches of berries are picked
almost ripe and allowed to dry to their familiar
shape and colour as we know them. Even more
interesting is that what we know as "white
peppercorns" are not another species of pepper at
all, but instead they are the de-husked center of
the ripe peppercorn.

I learned in my research, too, that the varieties of
peppers that we know as "pink, long and Szechuan"
peppercorns are all different species of plant and
indeed are not true peppercorns at all.

As the Peppermaster already knew and I learned,
Tellicherry is synonymous with the absolute best
grade of peppercorns. They are of better quality,
the flavour is richer, and more varied and you'll
discover that this black pepper is well worth the
time it takes for us to use it in our sauces.

Here at Peppermaster, we get our Tellicherry in
airtight light proof pouches which we only open
right before we will use the peppercorns. We grind
them fresh and only process what we will use
immediately. Although hand mills and mortars and
pestles are recommended for the average kitchen, we
use a high speed blender to crush the corns for our
sauces. It is this last minute grinding that gives
our Tellicherry Black sauce its distinct flavour.

If you haven't had the opportunity to fill your
peppermill with Tellicherry black peppercorns, we
suggest you do. And in the meantime, pick up a jar
of our Tellicherry Black sauce and introduce
yourself to the rich intense flavour of Tellicherry
pepper. We've married the Tellicherry to three of
the richest flavours we know; fresh roasted garlic,
rich dark Guatemalan espresso and to bring into full
bloom the flavours of all of these ingredients,
French Cognac that completes the bouquet.

Peppermaster Pepper Steak

Easy Salt & Pepper Shrimp
1 Tbsp Butter or Cooking oil
1 Tbsp Tellicherry Black Sauce
1 lb peeled, veined Shrimp (with or without tails)

Heat butter (until melted) or oil in saute pan. Mix
in Tellicherry sauce. Saute shrimp until just

Serve with steamed vegetables and wild rice.

Easy Pepper Steak
2-3 Tbsp Tellicherry Black Sauce
1/4 Cup heavy cream
2 New York strip loins (or your preferred cut)

Combine cream and pepper sauce with a whisk. Bring
to a simmer over low heat, keep warm.

Grill steaks to desired doneness and spoon on the
pepper sauce or serve it on the side in a gravy

Serve with baked potato and grilled vegetables.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

About kicking puppies.

If you've started following this blog, it's possible that you got here because I left one of my comments on your blog. I suppose it's a hobby of mine, but I like bouncing through blogs when I want to blog but can't focus on a topic worth blogging about and all I want to write is something cheesy and personal -- which absolutely goes against my very idea of blogging and begs me to go buy a journal.

Something always motivates me to blog... I have something cool that I found that I want to share or I'm walking around emotionally struck looking for an outlet and frankly don't think it's any of your business why I feel like kicking a puppy. Of course it's days when I feel like this, that I blog bounce looking for someone to rip a strip off. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Today, I learned two new words... Political Terrorism and White Privilege and decided that the puppy I want to kick is a privileged white Republican who likes to practice political terrorism.

Political Terrorism ran chills through my spine and flipped my stomach over a few times as I came to understand what the bloggers were talking about. White Privilige had my stomach flipping over, but running fewer and fewer chills down my spine as I came to understand what those bloggers were talking about.

Political Terrorism is the fear forced down our throats over and over again by those who want us to swallow their politics no matter how incredulous the basis for that political stance might be. One such stance is the one that we're unpatriotic if we aren't 100% behind the war in Afghanistan (The American equivalent of this is that you're unpatriotic if you're not 100% behind the war in Iraq -- or the ahem... war on terrorism).

White Privilege is the privilege that I as a white woman enjoy and that no person of colour anywhere will ever be able to enjoy because they aren't white. And that although, it's not something for me to have to feel guilty about, it is something that I have and any pretense that I am not privileged in this way is short-sighted and ignorant to the extreme.

Being a slightly facist feminist pacifist humanist like me isn't easy when blogging. I see commentary by people that I just want to take and shake. And then of course good sense kicks in and I either post something, that only I could ever possibly think is witty, in their comments or bounce away from their blog, shaking my head instead. Fortunately the latter happens far more often than the former, but the former, more than likely caused YOU to be here reading my gibberish.

What I discovered while bouncing today is that there is an awful lot of political terrorism being practiced by the white privileged who are calling for the blood of some faceless Islamic terrorists on the other side of the planet and who at the same time are in abject disgust with those of us who would like a face put on our aggressors before we are willing to give up our rights and freedoms for the sake of being protected from their aggressions.

The thought that comes to my mind... Who are you calling a terrorist, you freaking terrorist??? I just happened to notice as I was blog bouncing that the worst political terrorists are, more often than not, privileged white republican men.

So, really the two words, today anyway, go hand in hand.

What is interesting to me is the thought in my mind now, is what the heck am I going to do about these new words?? I can't really go around smacking all the privileged white republican men who are practicing political terrorism, can I?

Oh wait! I can blog.

So, here's a personal message to all you fat cat privileged white republicans with your brains stuffed so far up your bums that you are willing to give up your freedom for the sake of security.

It is not in support of terrorism that I am unwilling to have my luggage searched by the TSA. It is in protection of my rights and freedoms, which are not up for grabs simply because someone blew up the World Trade Center.

Jesus loves me, homosexuals and Belinda Stronach regardless of whether you do or not -- He said so himself.

Protecting Darfur from their Government is JUST as important as protecting Afghanistan from the druglords, I mean, the Taliban.

There is nothing wrong with trade with Cuba or trade with China and Vietnam they are all EQUALLY vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should simply get out of the United Nations. That way, their highest national priority; enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq; won't be in direct contradiction to everything that the UN stands for.

If multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation then a woman can be trusted with decisions about her own body.

The best way to improve military morale is to improve veterans' benefits, equip our men better and give them better combat pay.

Condoms won't keep adolescents from having sex, but it will help stop the spread of STDs and lower the incidence of teen pregnancy.

Belittling your allies and then demanding our cooperation is no way to make friends.

Making fun of Canadians for providing health care to all citizens, while providing it to Iraqis but not Americans really is hypocritical, not to mention mind-boggling.

Global warming is not junk science. And "Creationism" like all other religious theologies, should only be taught in schools with the consent of the children's parents.

Who a Government official is sleeping with should be NONE of OUR BUSINESS and lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die should be a criminal offense.

Government should get out of people's bedrooms most especially their own.

White men are privileged individuals, whether or not you want to accept that fact and someone countering that privilege with equality is not now nor will it ever be "reverse discrimination".

And last but not least, women are not second class citizens. We are better socialized than men are, think faster on our feet and are able to empathize better with our fellow man in order to find solutions that will protect and heal the entire planet and not just the bit run by privileged white men.

So there it is.

If you're a privileged white republican, consider yourself my kicked puppy.

And if you're not... forgive me for kicking puppies, they are after all only puppies.