Peruvian Aji Amarillo

I can’t tell you how exciting this is! Garden porn!

WOW. That’s an impressive set up. I wish I had the room but I think your pepper tent is bigger than my whole yard.

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Thank you for the compliments!

I put a min max thermometer and discovered the heater is not heating as well as I thought. Last night went down to 29 F (-1.7 C) and the lowest temperature in the tent, with the heater on max went down to 34 F (1 C). That’s too close for comfort. It must be the large volume/area to heat. I ran another extension cord, to power an additional heater, when nights are near freezing. The second heater is plugged into a different electrical outlet, so it won’t trip the circuit breaker. That should help.

The whole, fenced-in garden space is a rough square, 140 feet (43 meters) on each side. Years ago, it was a Red Cedar grove, with trees so close together, you could touch 2-5 standing in one place. Many small trees died from competition and the whole area was an incredibly dangerous fire risk; red cedars go up like a torch. It took years to cut and deal with the brush, a bit at a time. I started that project in 1986, and ended up with some fine growing areas and safer surroundings.

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The “instant Aji” made from the freeze dried peppers was a bit too grainy for my liking; good, but could be better, from a textural standpoint. In a blender or Vitamix, the ground peppers don’t move around after a certain point, the coarse powder cakes up and does not mix around. Aji have some sugar, sweetness, which makes the powder sticky.

What worked well was regrinding the powder is a Victorio grain mill. I love this mill! Usually, it gets used to make fresh bread flour, from whole white wheat, “Golden 86”. But it can grind coarsely-ground Aji, too. (I doubt it would work on whole peppers.)

The chopstick is used to keep the Aji powder moving into the grinding mechanism. The resulting powder rehydrated quickly and had a very good texture.

The only issue I have with the Victorio grain mill is that the coarseness dial tends to move. So, a small piece of freezer tape, seen on the left side of the dial, keeps the dial in place.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold