I think I may have been a bit overambitious with the jalapenos this year.
I’m not much of a gardener. The great outdoors don’t really fit into my definition of an ideal day in any meaningful way and the idea of voluntarily spending hot sunny afternoons digging in the dirt when there are books to be read and iced tea to be consumed is just one of those mysteries I would really prefer not to explore. That and I have no idea what constitutes a weed and what doesn’t. It all looks like an undifferentiated carpet of green to me, and whenever I am tasked with weeding invariably something that should have stayed firmly rooted in the earth ends up wilting forlornly off to one side.
But Kim loves to garden. She is, in fact, seriously considering cashing in our life savings in order to buy the neighbor’s foreclosed house, in large part because doing so will enable her to garden close to home rather than out at the Community Garden, tucked between the highway and the jail.
It’s one of those things we just agree to disagree about.
So in order to entice me to be part of the gardening experience, Kim always lets me plant some hot peppers. This year I went big into jalapenos, because they are tasty and easy to grow and I have at least a 50-50 chance of figuring out when they are ripe enough to pick and not so ripe that I have to mulch them. They are a forgiving pepper that way.
And a prolific one, it turns out. Especially since we ended up with about a dozen jalapeno plants, each of which is capable of supplying the jalapeno needs of a small Mexican province. You know those canvas supermarket bags they sell now in order to get you to stop using the plastic or paper ones? I filled one of those about halfway last week with jalapenos.
I gave away about 2.5 pounds of them to a friend who volunteered to take some off my hands, and that left me with a shade over 5 pounds of jalapenos to figure out what to do with.
Just think! In 40-60 days, I get to do this all over again!
Last year I made nacho slices – pickled jalapeno slices that I actually managed to can without burning down the house. They’re good but a bit on the hot side even for me, which means that I don’t go through them very quickly. I still have a further year’s supply of them down in the basement.
So this year I’m making my own jalapeno hot sauce. On Saturday I hauled the food processor outside (I have been forever banned from processing hot peppers in any form inside the house now that the paint has stopped peeling from the last time I tried it) and ground up my 5lbs of jalapenos and a pile of salt into a paste. Today I hauled out the paste and added 10 cups of white vinegar. Now it’s sitting down in the basement fermenting until the weekend when I will once again try to preserve things without burning down the house or peeling the paint.
Assuming the whole thing doesn’t just erupt in a green spray of spicy lava in the interim.
If you don’t hear from me after Saturday, please send a rescue squad and a bag of tortilla chips.