Monday, March 25, 2013

Allen Boatman is a great guy, considerate, generous, BRILLIANT plants man, dedicated husband and father, does his best to live his Christian faith, and ran a wonderfully progressive horticulture rehab program for prisoners at the Falkenburg Jail until it was shut down by slimy politics. One of his many obsessions is hot peppers...he has seeds of 1,300 kinds in his collection!! One of the many healthy influences he had on me was changing my perception of hot sauces and how to make them....don't rely on vinegar to lower the pH but a bulk food grade acid...he uses citric acid, I use ascorbic acid and a touch of very strong kombucha tea. He also turned me onto the concept of using various ripe fruits to provide both a sweetening AND a thickening effect. His mango hot sauces are paradise! I've used cranberry sauce, fresh pineapples I dumpster dived from a produce market, and ripe bananas. I have a great deal of papaya in both freezers and today had a brainstorm I'll have to tell him about...for some reason, my Surinam Cherry not only bloomed very early this year, but also very heavily. When I saw the many hundreds of green fruits on it today it occurred to me to freeze them as they ripen vs. eat them out of hand as usual. I think a hot sauce based on equal amounts of papaya pulp and Surinam Cherries could be wonderful. My neighborhood gardening friend Joe gave me seeds of varying VERY hot peppers, plus I saved the bruised fruits in small bag of Habanero peppers I bought at SANWA Market and dried them. I mixed them all together and sowed them in a big pot where I got a VAST number of seedlings, many of which I have planted in the two new west beds. I figure by early July I can start making big batches of hot sauces, and will be sure to try this notion. Some folks don't like the taste of Surinam Cherries as being "turpentiney" but I've loved them since my teens. Like me, Allen is a very adventuresome eater (we both love the kimchees we each make) and I'll be sure to save him a bottle of each one I make, including this papaya/Surinam Cherry one. And like him, I now no longer like vinegar-based hot sauces, like Tabasco, etc. but ones thickened and balanced by ripe sweet fruits. I plan on making one this summer based on slightly ripe plantains too with frozen pulp from my Meyer's Lemons.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks John for your kind comments. I think that Surinam Cherry sauce Idea sounds very interesting. I hope the best in abundance for you this year. Keep Growing!!!!!