How to Store Peppers

Sweet and hot peppers will last for a year or more when you store them properly. Whether you have an abundance of fresh peppers from your garden or the market, get the most out of them by storing the extras that you can’t use right away. Freeze them or dry them for easy use in the kitchen all year long, or pickle and can them to preserve them and store them for up to 2 years!

EditFreezing Peppers
Wash peppers to remove any dirt and let them air dry. Choose fresh, ripe peppers that have no soft spots or blemishes. Rinse them under cold water and set them on a clean towel or paper towel to air dry.[1]
Ripe peppers should have a firm texture. If they are soft, then they are past their peak ripeness and no longer fresh enough for freezing.[2]

Cut bell peppers up to remove the seeds and membranes. Cut bell peppers or sweet peppers in half, pull out the seeds, and cut out the membranes. Cut the peppers into a size of your choosing.[3]
Consider how you will use bell peppers and cut them into strips or chunks that you can easily use straight from the freezer to prepare recipes like fajitas or soups.

Leave hot peppers intact to freeze them whole with the seeds. Freeze hot peppers whole with the seeds and membranes because those parts contain most of the heat. You will be able to cut them up when you take them out of the freezer if a recipe calls for it.[4]
Jalapenos are a type of hot pepper that you can either freeze whole, or cut up before you freeze them.

Spread the peppers out on a baking sheet. Put the cut up bell peppers or whole hot peppers on a sheet with space between them. Make sure that none are touching so that they don’t freeze together.[5]
You can use a cookie sheet, baking pan, or any other metal sheet that will fit in your freezer.

Put the sheet in the freezer for 15-30 minutes until the peppers are frozen solid. This is called flash-freezing and will keep the peppers from freezing together once you transfer them to a more compact storage container. Remove the sheet from the freezer when the peppers are hard to the touch.[6]

Put the peppers in a sealable plastic bag or airtight container in the freezer. Transfer the peppers from the baking sheet into a plastic freezer bag or other freezer-safe container once they are frozen solid. Put the bag or container back into the freezer and store the peppers for up to 1 year.[7]
If you are freezing the peppers in a bag, squeeze out as much air as you can before you seal the bag.

Label the bags or containers with the date that you froze the peppers to keep track of how long they have been frozen and use them within a year.

EditDrying Peppers
Use a food dehydrator to dry peppers quickly and easily. Cut large peppers in half and leave smaller peppers whole. Spread the peppers out on the screens in the dehydrator, set the temperature to , and dry the peppers per your dehydrator’s instructions.[8]
It can take from 4-12 hours to dry out peppers in a dehydrator. Refer to the instruction manual for your food dehydrator for specific drying times and directions.

Dry peppers in the oven if you don’t have a food dehydrator. Spread peppers out on a baking sheet so that they are not touching and put the sheet in an oven set to . Crack the oven door open so moisture can escape. Check on the peppers and rotate them with tongs every 30 minutes.[9]
Cut large peppers, such as bell peppers, into pieces and remove the seeds to decrease drying time. Leave smaller and hot peppers intact.

It can take 1-2 hours to dry peppers in the oven. Peppers are dry when they are brittle to the touch.

String peppers together and hang them if you live in a dry climate. Use a needle and thread to string the peppers together by the stems. Hang the string of peppers in a dry area with sun and good airflow for 3-4 weeks.[10]
You need a daytime temperature of in order to hang-dry peppers.

The peppers are dry enough to take down when they are brittle to the touch.

Dental floss works to string peppers together to dry if you don’t have a strong thread.

Store dried peppers in a moisture-proof container. Put the dried peppers in jars or other airtight containers in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. They have the best flavor within 3-6 months.[11]
You can also use a food processor or the type of coffee grinder with a blade to grind dried peppers up into flakes and powders to use in the kitchen.

EditPickling and Canning Peppers
Wash canning jars and lids with soap and hot water and rinse them thoroughly. Set them on a clean towel to drain and dry. Always use new lids when you pickle and can peppers.[12]
You can recycle canning jars and the rings that hold the lids in place.

Canning jars and lids are available at kitchen supply stores or online.

Fill the canning jars with peppers to below the rim. Place whole hot peppers or sliced bell or sweet peppers in the jars. Pack them tightly together, but leave headspace at the top.[13]
You can also add any other seasonings that you would like to the jar of peppers. Some common spices for seasoning pickled pepper are kosher salt, peppercorns, and garlic cloves.

Cover the peppers with 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water and close the jars. Use distilled white vinegar and cold water. Leave of headspace at the top of the jar and run a plastic knife between the peppers and the sides of the jar to remove any air bubbles before you screw the lids on.[14]
This is the standard ratio of vinegar to water to safely pickle and preserve the peppers. Some recipes may call for a different ratio or type of vinegar. If you are using a different recipe, follow it exactly to safely pickle your peppers.

Put the jars in a deep pot half full of hot water with a rack at the bottom. Use a metal or wooden rack that will keep the jars from touching the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot to about halfway with water and heat it up to just under boiling temperature, then place the jars carefully onto the rack.[15]
Make sure that the pot is deep enough that you will be able to cover the jars completely with more water after they are on the rack.

Make sure the jars are not touching each other so that the water can circulate.

Add hot water until the jars are covered by at least . Heat up water to just under boiling temperature in another pot or a kettle. Pour it carefully into the pot with the jars until they are covered completely.[16]
If you accidentally let the water boil, just turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute before you pour it in over the jars.

Bring the water to a boil and let the jars boil for 5-10 minutes. Heat the pot until the water comes to a gentle boil at about . Start a timer once the water is boiling and leave the jars boiling for 5 minutes for sweet peppers and 10 minutes for hot peppers.[17]
If you live above then add 5 minutes to the boiling time.

If you live above then add 10 minutes to the boiling time.

Remove the jars carefully and let them cool for 24 hours. Turn off the heat and use tongs to lift the jars out of the water. Be careful to keep them level and place them on a rack or towel to dry and cool.[18]
After 24 hours, check to see if the lids are sealed properly. The lids should be concaved towards the center of the jar, and if you unscrew the ring that holds them in place you should be able to lift the jar up by the lid.

If the lids are not properly sealed, then repeat the boiling process again or store the jars in the refrigerator.

You can store sealed, unopened pickled peppers for up to 2 years before they start to lose their quality.

Don’t touch your face, eyes, or any other sensitive areas of your skin when handling hot peppers. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling them to avoid burning yourself.

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Today in History for 12th March 2019

Historical Events

538 – Witiges, king of the Ostrogoths, ends his siege of Rome, retreats to Ravenna, leaving the city in the hands of the victorious Roman general, Belisarius
1594 – Company of Distant established for business on East-Indies
1939 – Pope Pius XII crowned in Vatican ceremonies
1971 – Hafez al-Assad elected President of Syria
1987 – Federal judge dismisses lawsuits sought by Oliver North
1993 – 317 killed by bomb attacks in Bombay

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Famous Birthdays

1758 – Leopold earl of Limburg Stirum, Dutch general and politician [or March 22]
1827 – John Robert Jones, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1901)
1860 – Salvatore Di Giacomo, composer
1931 – William “Billie” Thomas, American child actor (Buckwheat- Our Gang), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1980)
1942 – Ratko Mladić, Bosnian Serb general during the Bosnian War (found guilty of war crimes 2017), born in Božanovići, Croatia
1966 – Alecia Stephenson, North softball ss (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

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Famous Deaths

417 – Innocent I, Italian Pope (401-417), dies
1946 – Philip Merivale, British actor (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Nothing But Trouble), dies from a heart ailment at 59
1973 – Frankie “Fordham Flash” Frisch, baseball player, dies at 74
1993 – Andreas J A I Bruggeman, Dutch mayor (Leiderdorp), dies at 62
1999 – Yehudi Menuhin, American-born British violinist, conductor and teacher, dies at 82
2005 – Stavros Koujioumtzis, Greek songwriter (b. 1932)

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How to Use the London Underground

The London Underground, also called the Tube, is a transportation rail network that services London and the surrounding areas. If you’ve never used the London Underground before, it may seem like a daunting task. Luckily, if you prepare ahead of time and keep a few tips in mind, you’ll be able to confidently navigate the city like a pro.

EditNavigating the Lines and Stations
Keep a map of the Tube on hand. If you’re unfamiliar with the Tube, a map is essential. The lines are clearly marked and color-coded, making it easy for you to determine the best route to your destination. You can pick up a free map at Heathrow Airport or from any Tube station, from a London Underground Information centre.[1]
For convenience, you can also download one online from:

Find your departure and arrival stations on the map. Mark the closest station to your location on the map. Then find the closest station to the destination where you want to end up.[2]
Be aware that the Tube stations are currently open between 5:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.[3]

Trace the Tube route between those stations. In some cases, you may need to transfer to a different line to get to your destination. Memorize or write down the name(s) and/or color(s) of the line(s) so you know which train(s) to take. Make sure you know the direction of the line you need to use. Many stations have two platforms, East or West Bound or North or South Bound. [4]
You can also use a smartphone app, like Tube Map by MapWay, to figure out the best route.[5]
Note that the Tube has 11 lines that service 9 zones.

EditPaying for Your Fare
Expect to pay £2-£6 per trip. The price of your journey on the Tube is based on a variety of factors, including how you pay, what time of day or night you are traveling, which of the zones you travel through, and the duration of your trip.[6]

Purchase a paper ticket if you only need to ride the Tube once. One-time tickets cost more than the other options, so it only makes sense to purchase one if you need a single fare. You can purchase a paper ticket at designated ticket stations at any London Underground or Transport for London station.[7]

Opt for a Travelcard if you plan to use the Tube for a specified time period. A Travelcard allows you to use the London Underground and Overground transportation services for an unlimited number of rides in a specified time period, like a single day, full month, or calendar year. Like the other options, Travelcards are available at all Transport for London, Underground, and Overground stations.[8]

Use an Oyster Card to save money if you ride the Tube frequently. Oyster Cards are the most popular way to pay to ride the Tube. This card can also be used to pay for trips on buses and trams around the city. You can purchase one at any Underground, Overground, or Transport for London station.[9]
For more information on Oyster Cards, see:

If you’d like to learn more about Travelcards, visit:

Pay using Contactless to have the funds withdrawn from your bank account. The Contactless service allows you to use a designated credit card or mobile device to pay for your fare. The funds will be automatically withdrawn each time you swipe your card or device when passing through the barrier.[10]
To create a Contactless account, go to:

EditRiding the Tube
Enter the Tube station and scan your card or ticket to get past the barrier. There are 270 Tube stations, so find the one nearest you and make your way inside.[11] Follow the flow of traffic until you reach a yellow card reader. Touch your paper ticket, Oyster Card, Travelcard, or mobile device to the reader to scan in.[12]

Make your way to the correct platform. Follow the color-coded signs to get to the right line. Make sure to choose the Tube going in the direction you need to travel. Wait on the platform until the Tube arrives.[13]
Be sure to read the information on the front of the train to ensure it’s going to the right destination before you embark.[14]

Mind the gap! Once the train arrives, prepare to board. Note that you will have to step up or down about from the platform to the train car, hence the famous saying “Mind the gap!”[15]
If you have decreased mobility, try to use the first train carridge so you’re in view of the driver and they can allow you extra time to get on board. For more information about accessibility, go to:[16]

Settle in for the journey. Cell phone signal is spotty at best, so don’t expect to spend the ride scrolling through social media or catching up on calls or emails. Take a book, crossword puzzle, or some other form of entertainment to keep you busy during the ride. Try The Metro, a free newspaper avaiable in stations or sometimes discarded on the seat next to you…if you get a seat…[17]
If you’re unable to find a seat, hold onto the rails while the train is moving.[18]
Pay attention during your trip so you get off on the right stop. Watch out for station signs and listen for announcements. There are electronic notices on the trains advising where you are and where the train is headed. If you do miss your stop, don’t worry! Get off at the next stop then look at a Tube map to determine how to get your final destination. Some times you can go one stop back in the opposite direction on the same line.[19]

Transfer trains if necessary. If you need to take more than one line to get to your destination, exit at the necessary station, follow the signs to locate the right platform, then get on the next train. You won’t have to pay more or scan your ticket or card unless you exit the station through one of the yellow barriers. Often there’s an announcement on board advising where you need to get off to chsnge to another line.[20]

Scan your card or ticket to exit the gate at your departure station. Once you disembark from the Tube, make your way to the gates. Touch your ticket, Oyster Card, Travelcard, or mobile device to the scanner and proceed to exit the station. You must scan even if the gates are open. If there isn’t a gate, use a yellow card reader to scan your ticket or card.[21]
Don’t forget to scan before you exit! If you don’t, your journey will be considered “incomplete” and you’ll end up paying more than the cost of the fare you actually took.

EditFollowing Etiquette and Staying Safe
Have your ticket or payment card ready. Nothing will annoy busy Londoners more than someone who holds up the queue because they can’t find their ticket or payment card. Get your method of payment out before you enter the station so you can quickly pass through the barrier.[22]

Wait to board until other passengers have disembarked. Don’t try to squeeze through the doors as soon as they open. Be patient and allow other people to get off the Tube before getting on. Then, make your way through the train car to provide spaces for other passengers to embark.[23]

Relinquish your seat to expectant mothers. The regulations of this transportation service dictate that passengers must yield their seat to pregnant women. Fortunately, they’ve taken the guesswork out of this potentially awkward scenario by providing “baby on board” badges to expectant mothers.[24]
Similarly, it’s polite to give up your seat to passengers that are sick or elderly or parents with small children in tow.[25]

Stand on the right side of the escalators at the Tube stations. Some folks are in a huge rush and won’t appreciate you blocking the escalator. If you’re going to stand instead of walk, move to the right side so that others can pass on the left.[26]
If you’re walking down stairs or escalators, stay to the left.

Keep your personal belongings close by. Always keep your belongings within sight and avoid setting them down on the platform. If you carry a bag, choose one with a zipper to prevent pickpockets from snatching items out of your satchel. A cross-body bag is also a good choice as it can deter thieves from grabbing your bag and taking off.[27]

Check for line closures and delays on the Transport for London website ( ahead of time.

Be prepared with an alternative to your preferred route. Any Tube train can terminate unexpectedly several stops before you get to where you need to be.

It’s useful to know the last stop of the line you need to make sure you are on the right train.

Start getting ready to get off the train one stop before yours.

Some stations are actually pretty close together and may be within walking distance. Check to see how far you are from your destination on foot before using alternative transport such as a cab or a bus.

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