Sunday, October 14, 2007

Putting up peppers

Do you know the greatness of Hatch chilis? I did not realize the significance of this portion of God's creation until this weekend. Having grown up in New Mexico, A was quite excited when he saw a sign on a roadside stand near where he lives in Euless advertising, in handwritten letters, Hatch Chilies. Preceding our pumpkin outing on Saturday night, we stopped at the stand to buy a 30 lb. bag of the chilies. The helpful man dumped a large burlap sack of the beautiful reddish orange and green colored chilies into a large black metal mesh drum of a roaster. We watched the drum turn and the peppers' cute little curly stems get caught in the holes as it spun round through the flame to the sound of satisfying crackles.

The man opened the trap door of the drum releasing the peppers down the chute and into the plastic bag lined box he'd prepared. (This photo shows its contents during the last half hour or so of "putting up". There were A LOT of chilies!)

We stopped at Chick-fil-a afterward for some dinner and as we walked back to the truck, we both stopped dead in our tracks and looked at each other wide-eyed and with big smiles on our faces as the intoxicating aroma registered in our brains. Ahhhhh! Those chilies smelled soooo good!

We went back to my apt. and it was time to "put them up". Now this city girl has never once "put something up" in her life but A is expanding my horizons and I'm glad of it.

He patiently taught me the process amidst his exaltation over actually being the proud owner of 30 lbs. of Hatch chilies!

Since the chilies are roasted, the skin comes off fairly easily. You top them (cut off the stem portion) and then slip the skins off. Then you slit the soft flesh down one side and run it under water to wash the seeds off.

I envisioned it being a fairly laborious process but it was much simpler than I expected. We got in a groove and worked for five hours! It was great talk time though and we really enjoyed being together.

The colors were beautiful! Some of them were fairly rainbow striped. God does such amazing work!

A was rhapsodic over his green chili peppers and I was so happy for him! We tasted chilies along the way and our lips, fingers and arms tingled with the spice! Canned diced chilies have nothing on this!

We got them all done even though it was about 12:30 when we quit. It will go down as one of those "remember when we . . . " nights.

Here they are bagged, labeled and ready to go in the freezer. We have quite a supply of green chilies which should last a while. A came over early this morning before church to make scrambled eggs with green chilies and sharp cheddar for our breakfast and we have plans for enchiladas, green chili burgers, etc., etc., etc.!

If you have a wonderful recipe involving green chilies to share please feel free!


Tiffany said...

YAY! Kelly has a blog! I had no idea who this Miss G was that was leaving a comment! I think I am going to go check out this pumpkin patch you went to, it sounds like a good one! And I too love green chiles! Yum! What a fun night! Can't wait to read more!

Kori said...

Hey! I love it. :-) But, I thought that maybe with "putting up" you would be canning. Maybe you'll learn that next! Come up here and I'll teach you...but wait till after our garden can grow some stuff in the spring! And one question, we've grown tons of types of peppers. Why are they "Hatch" Peppers? I haven't heard of those. Same as chili peppers? hmmm...

Jenni said...

another fun post! can't wait to taste some of your creations!

Regina said...

Kelly!! I'm so glad you have succumbed to the blogging world. It's a great way to stay in touch with those far it's just fun to see what goes on in daily life ;o)

Those peppers look GREAT! It makes me want to go out and find a few myself....makes me miss Texas ;o)

Karen said...

How fun to read of the great Hatch pepper adventure. As Kori says, what makes them Hatch peppers? sounds like a google or wiki research project.


Jessica said...

Hey Kelly - I know this is an old post but I just got your blog address. Did you know that Central Market has printed an entire cookbook for Hatch Chile recipes?! I bought it for Michael's parents and they said they really love it.