It's a common denominator with all takeout, whether coming from a fancy restaurant or a drive-thru, that condiment packets are a mainstay. There's the soy sauce that accompanies Asian food and dipping sauces for those chicken tenders. But once the meal is finished, what do you do with to those unused condiments?
Decorating with chili peppers is easy and can add a spice to your home that goes beyond just taste. Using chili peppers as small accents or even as broader themes fits well into many different styles of decor.
Chilies are from the genus Capsicum. This genus includes the spicier species that immediately come to mind, as well as the mild bell pepper. Chilies come in many hues, ranging from bright green to deep purple. They also vary widely in flavor, ranging from hot to sweet to bland.
Some species of chili pepper have been bred solely for ornamental purposes: these bright, beautiful, decorative chilies are valued for their looks, not their flavor.
Before you start decorating with chili peppers, remember that some ornamentals are still spicy and can irritate your skin. Wear gloves when you handle ornamental chilies and make sure you do not touch your face or eyes until you wash your hands thoroughly.
The simplest way to decorate with chili peppers is to grow them in a pot or small container. Ornamental chilies are generally happy indoors as long as they get a lot of light. These easy-to-please plants can be purchased at most gardening stores.
Another way to use chili peppers in decoration is to dry them and use them in wreaths or center pieces. To dry chili peppers, simply follow these easy steps:
You can also buy dried ornamental chili peppers at specialized grocery stores and craft stores. Here are some dried decorative chili ideas:
If incorporating decorative chilies into everyday decor is too spicy for your taste, consider decorating for an event with chilies.
Chile peppers are great for Cinco de Mayo party decorations (the 5th of May). This traditional Mexican holiday celebrates the story of Mexican victory over the French in 1862.
For a unique and spicy Cinco de Mayo celebration, string chilies from the ceiling as mentioned above, or arrange them on your tables as centerpieces on top of brightly colored cloth. You may also wants to prepare some traditional delicious chili recipes, such as chile relleno, chipotle chicken, or a colorful bell pepper salad.