Friday, August 29, 2008

160 Degree Compost - I Finally Succeeded

It happened. The thermometer in the compost pile reads 160 degrees. The grass clippings and coffee grounds did it.

This should not matter to me. Organic matter does not need to heat up in a giant pile in order to become compost. I know this. I have had a compost pile since I was 12 years old. Compost happens without too much effort from us other than piling up the stuff, getting it wet, and waiting. Unfortunately, a couple of years ago I took a master composter class. They taught us about bacteria, yeast , and fungi. We were schooled in the importance of carbon to nitrogen ratios. We learned how important oxygen is to a composting system. Lectures were given to us on the need to reduce waste in our landfills. We made a compost pile, watched it heat up, turned once a week for three weeks, and it made compost. We were then sent out into the big wide world to teach others about compost.

What I came away with was a competitive need to have my compost pile get hot. It became and obsession. I tried and failed. I had a faulty thermometer. The compost pile got sort of hot at 140 degrees. Today, I have finally succeeded. This is my hottest compost ever.

Pineapple Salsa

I went shopping with my mom and sisters today. We visited one of those fancy pants gourmet shops. They had all kinds of samples. I tried a pineapple habanero salsa that was wonderful. It was too hot for anyone else, so I did not buy it. Instead, I came home and made up a batch of my own with a lot less heat.

20 ounces of crushed pineapple
1 Large red onion.
1 Bell pepper
3-5 Serrano or jalapeno peppers
1/4 Cup cilantro
1 Teaspoon lemon juice

Throw everything in the food processor - Done. This stuff is really tasty with tortilla chips. I also saw a recipe that suggested serving it with salmon.