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November 8. Today I see that the indoor plant is surviving ok. I keep the light on quite a bit and have been giving it a glass of water every other day.

For lunch I picked the last 3 red peppers. They had begun to dry out hanging there, so I knew they were completely ripe. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these were nice and hot. The flavor went well with my grilled chicken and mashed potatoes.

There are a few green ones still hanging on, so I'll be interested to see what happens to them. They still look firm and shiny.

November 13. This is the view of the garden. Mostly dead, but there are a few green leaves that have survived.

I also discover that I've missed a few peppers. It's amazing how easy it is to overlook until they turn red.

November 15. The indoor plant is surprising me with small shoots.

There is even a white flower that has opened. I can't help but wonder if it needs a bee or something to pollinate it. Will it produce a pepper without an insect? I guess we'll see.

November 16. Today I went to inspect how the peppers out in the shed were doing. I hoped they would be trying well, but when I opened them up I was dismayed to find that in the center of one of the tubs had mold.

Here's one of the moldy victims. How sad.

Although you can't see it here, the inner parts of the bag were also moldy. Many of the green peppers had ripened and now I have a mixed bag.

I placed the clean ones outside with a fan blowing on them to dry them out, but I soon realized that this was an exercise in futility as the clouds were rolling in and the sun was soon setting.

So in a desperate move I racked my brain for other drying possibilities. I thought of dumping the whole lot into the clothes dryer, but chose not to because it would have made a huge mess. Next was the idea of baking them dry, and this is what I did.

I put them in the oven on 200 degrees for about an hour. Some of the upper ones got a little too "well done." Even that wasn't enough to turn all of them completely dry. But at least I can keep them indoors now. This rendered them about 3/4 dry and I placed them in a brown paper grocery bag with the top open and put it downstairs in a warm dry place. I think this will do the trick.

I still have more peppers hanging out in the shed that I did not bake. They seem to be taking much longer to dry, but luckily they don't have mold. After all these different things, hanging the peppers to dry in a warm and well ventilated area is still the best method.

Continue to Page 9.


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