Experiment One: Drying Peppers:
Got a bunch of chili peppers from the produce stand for cheap, because they were past their prime. I had to sort through a little bit, but they were pretty good.
I'll dehydrate them, and then grind them up and put them in spice bottles: they will be very good.
(Followup Note: Dehydrating & grinding the peppers into powder does not mellow the heat!)
Experiment Two: Garlic Oil
Step One: Roast a bunch of garlic.
Step Two: Add a bunch of olive oil. I'm told that it doesn't need to be extra virgin or anything.
Step Three: heat it up. Stir well. Mine got to 230 degrees.
Step Four: pour it into a jar. It's probably pretty good now, but it will get better over time. Stir every couple of days.
Step Five: strain the oil, and put it in smaller bottles to use while you're cooking.
Hints: 3 pounds of peeled garlic is available at Costco for five or six bucks. Olive oil is not expensive there, either.
And the roasting stage is not optional: because garlic grows in the ground, it has bacteria in it, and because it's full of moisture, that bacteria can grow big and strong, even while there's oil around the garlic. So we roast it to be safe, and also because the flavor is richer and deeper.