According to New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute, the institute's director Paul Bosland found the world's hottest pepper, the Bhut Jokolia. Dried chilli peppers---also called chiles---of all varieties create colourful focal points for rustic, country cottage and other homey decorating themes. Martha Stewart's website suggests making a dried chilli pepper wreath. Strung chilli peppers, referred to as "ristra," also add warmth to spare, spacious contemporary decor styles by adding a natural accent to kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms filled with sleek, hard surfaces. In parts of the American southwest, it's traditional to hang dried chilli peppers at the home's entrance for good luck.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- See-through spice grinder
- Decorative jars with lids (clear or lightly tinted)
- Raffia (natural decorative material tying from a craft store) or string
- Protective goggles
- Medical gloves from a pharmacy, or dish washing or hair-dying gloves
Set out the chilli peppers on a washable surface such as a table or counter. Group them by size or colour or in any way that appeals to you. Alternating colours or sizes to string bunches of peppers creates a decorative effect.
Open a see-through spice grinder and fill it with small dried chillies. Keep this on the table or kitchen counter for decoration and for seasoning.
Put on protective goggles and gloves.
Tie chillies together in bunches with raffia or string. Tie raffia or string tightly around each dried chilli pepper stem. To string many peppers, cut 12-inch ties, tie each pepper by its stem with one tie then tie the strings together with the peppers hanging at varying lengths. Hang them at the ends of curtain rods. Hang other bunches from ceiling hooks or light fixtures in the kitchen, entryways, porch, solarium and living room. Create a string of chillies for a window accent.
Hang strings of dried chilli peppers outside the front door. Hang one group of strung chilli peppers at each end of curtain rods. Hang other bunches from ceiling hooks or light fixtures in the kitchen, entryways, porch, solarium and living room.
Fill decorative glass jars with chillies. Fill each jar with all one kind of chilli or layer them like a parfait, with 2 to 4 inches of one variety of chilli followed by a layer of another variety of chilli. Alternating pale yellow with red or using two different shades of red in one jar makes any eye-catching dried chilli pepper display.
Tips and warnings
- Chillies last longest in moderate temperatures. Check the dried chillies once a month and replace them if they begin to deteriorate or at any sign of mould.
- Use gloves and keep hands away from your face and other sensitive skin when you work with chilli peppers. Protective goggles prevent accidental contact with the chilli residue and your eyes.
- Don't hang dried chillies from ceiling fans or in front of heating vents or air conditioning ducts to avoid the risk of blowing bits of chilli around the room.
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