The weather may not be red hot for July, but our Figura chilli plant is looking splendid.
Whilst we won't be entering our plant into a show anytime soon, Chilli festivals are a big thing and you will be pleased to know that there are lots of local events were you can go and test your stamina against these fire-packed peppers.
The amazing Cheese and Chilli Festival is coming to Guildford in 2016. It will be at Shalford Park on 23rd and 24th July.
The best known and largest chilli festival is not far away from us at West Dean in Sussex. From 5th - 7th August you can join the party and dance to live Latin music, watch cookery and gardening demonstrations and taste delicious chilli foods 'til your tongue sizzles. There is a 'grow your own chilli plant competition'.....don't think ours it up to award winning standards yet!
450ml olive oil (not virgin)
20g dried red chilli flakes
3-4 whole dried red chillies
1. Gently warm the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the chilli flakes and whole chillies to the oil and heat for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the oil to cool slightly.
2. When the oil has cooled, carefully strain it into a sterilised, sealable glass bottle using a funnel. Add dried chillies from the pan and seal the bottle.
3. Keep the bottle in the refrigerator and use within one week.
If you can't get along to one of the festivals and don't have enough chilli peppers to make your own, perhaps try one of the locally made chilli jellies, chutneys or marmalades that can be found on the shelves of your local farm shop or deli. Ouse Valley Food Enthusiasts are based on Ashgrove Farm in East Sussex, close to the river Ouse. They are passionate about the seasonality and provenance of what they make, using nothing but the freshest, most natural ingredients.
Their Red Chilli Jelly was an all time star and winner of Gold at the Great Taste Awards. An addictive combination of sweet waves of warmth, followed by heat. Try this Red Chilli Jelly with almost anything, even creamy vanilla panna cotta for the adventurous!
Alternatively, add a touch of 'chilli inspiration' to your home with this luxurious and appealingly muted Ikat design by Lewis and Wood. This 'Kimono' fabric in a series of five soft colourways, including Chilli Mocha, owes more than a nod to the Far East for inspiration. An original choice for curtains and upholstery it is designed to work beautifully with the Lewis & Wood palette of plains.