Stringing up red peppers

“Ristras” of red peppers hanging on a neighbour’s house

Around this time, houses in the village are decorated with strings of red peppers which are left to dry and then used throughout the year to add flavour and colour to stews.

There’s a bit of a knack to tying them up but the idea is to have a loop at both ends so that can be turned upside down every week so that every side of the string gets its turn in the sun.

To make a string, cut a length of 120cm of strong thin string and thread a large needle. Tie a knot at one end and then make a slip knot so the loop doesn’t come undone.

It’s easiest to sit on a step with the knot at your feet, arranging the peppers on the ground as you thread them onto the string. Stab the needle through the stalks of the red peppers, arranging the first to the left, the second to the right and the third to the centre. From time to time, press the peppers to the bottom of the string. Continue until the end of the string and tie a slipknot and knot the end of the string as you did at the other end. Hang up to dry.