The Evolution of a Modern-Day Farm Wife

Ok, so I chickened out last weekend.  I was really pumped up after my zucchini successes and was feeling pretty cocky.

I might have promised a few things I shouldn’t have and I might have made some pretty lofty goals while I was still on my zucchini high.  But once I came back to reality, I started re-thinking some plans.

After much deliberation, I really do believe that canning potatoes and me might be a hazardous combination.  So my pressure canner, canning accessories and canning jars are currently collecting dust on my kitchen table.

In a few days I should be able to write my name in the coating of dust.

Maybe I’ll really can some stuff this coming weekend.  After all, I have to preserve one of the few things that survived in my garden this summer.

I did, however, bring in some of these things:

Go ahead, you can ooooooooh and aaaaaaaah!

Have I ever told you that I love Green Chile?  I do.  I can eat Green Chile with just about anything.  Maybe it’s all of the time I spent in New Mexico while growing up that got me loving the stuff.

I mean, really, where else in the world can you get to eat Green Chile for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?  It’s just so delicious.

Plus it cleans the sinuses.  It also cleans other things, for people not accustomed to Green Chile, but we won’t go there.

Sorry, I think I inadvertently took us there.

This year we decided to attempt to grow some Green Chile in the garden.  I didn’t know if it would be successful—let alone grow at all– but I thought we’d give it a try before paying ridiculous amounts in shipping.

I’ve paid ridiculous amounts in shipping.

And I’ll be if those Green Chile plants didn’t just thrive this summer. Maybe it was the soil that we planted in.  Maybe it was the loving care I showed to the plants.  Maybe it was the hopeful wishes.  Or maybe it was the severe heat that tricked the plants into thinking they were in Southern New Mexico where Green Chile thrives.  Whatever the magic formula was, I’m hoping I have these results year after year for now on in central Kansas.

Please grow again next year...

Buddy escorted me into the garden the other night and helped me pick all of these beautiful veggies.

Oooooooohhh...Aaaaaaahhhh!

They’re technically a fruit—it belongs to the same family as tomatoes and eggplants.  This is what four years of undergraduate studies at New Mexico State University taught me.

In reality, I actually learned a lot about Green Chile from growing up in New Mexico and from attending NMSU.  New Mexico takes their chile seriously.  Really, really seriously.  There is a Chile Pepper Institute at NMSU and a Chile Pepper Task Force (which is now known as the New Mexico Chile Association).

Did you know that one medium Green Chile has as much Vitamin C as six oranges?

I learned that at college, too.

Did you know that you can take some of the “hot” out of the chile by removing the seeds from the pod?

I learned that from my mama.

Did you know that you can wash your hands after removing the seeds from the pods and still cause your eyes to tear up and burn for hours upon hours after absentmindedly rubbing your eyes?

I learned that the hard way!

Green Chile is such a valuable cash crop for many New Mexican producers—especially in the southern part of the state.  And once the raw product is processed, its value increases even more.  Add in the crazy addicts around the world–like me– who are willing to pay big bucks to get fresh Green Chile shipped to them, and you have a cash cow.

It’s around this time of the year when you can see huge chile roasters setup in parking lots throughout New Mexico offering to roast your chile.

Think a big, round, metal drum roller that you are cranking—rotisserie style– while a ball of fire from a propane flamethrowing burner singes your chile.

I’d recommend wearing gloves.

It’s an amazing smell, and it’s one that I really miss during this time of the year.

So when I brought in my latest garden loot, I decided to go ahead and process the stuff and freeze it.  I don’t have a gigantic chile roaster, so I used the oven instead.  The steps are relatively simple, and unless you have a 30-pound sack of chile to roast, it’s a pretty quick process in the kitchen.

Disclaimer:  I am not a professional.  I’m sure I did a number of things wrong during the process. Do not take the following steps as the Gospel.  

There, I feel better.  

Let us proceed.

After washing the chile, place on a cookie sheet...

Turn on the broiler and broil. When one side starts turning brown, turn the chiles with some tongs. Be careful when you do this because the pods are under pressure--you don't want to mace yourself!

When both sides of the chile have been "roasted" take the chiles out of the oven. Peel off the outer layer that has been roasted. Then cut off both ends of the pod, slit the length of the pod and remove the seeds. Be sure you don't rub your eyes!

Once you've removed the majority of the seeds decide if you want to dice the chile or leave it alone. Throw them in freezer bags and toss them in the freezer to enjoy later.

When you’re looking for that extra “kick” on your eggs, just pull a baggie out of the freezer, warm in the microwave and serve.  It’s an easy way to boost the heat level.

Speaking of heat levels…

We are just a few days away from setting a new all-time record for 100-degree days. EVER!

We broke the 1889 and 1980 records already this summer when we were praying for rain and a break from the heat.

At this point though, I’m really hoping we beat the 1936 record and set a new one.  We’ve suffered all summer in the 100-plus degree days.  Seriously, let’s go for it!

We’ve already had to chop the dryland corn into silage.

The big pond at our place has completely gone dry.

The creek is essentially a mud hole.

I’ve had to pay the electric bill ALL SUMMER LONG.

We’ve even allowed Buddy the Bad Dog to chill in the house–even though there’s new carpet in the living room.

Heck, we may as well set a new record to have something to tell the grandkids about.  And if the weatherman is correct, by the end of this week we should be adding one more to the record books.

And then I’d prefer to experience the extreme heat from my Green Chile, and only my Green Chile.

Amen.

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Comments on: "One More For The Record Books" (2)

  1. This looks delicious!!!

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