‘Tis the Season

OK, so I’ve been holding out on you. Not really holding out, but in the craziness and business of the past few weeks, I’ve neglected to mention the season. It’s chile time! The harvest is in, the air scented with roasted peppers. It hit me with a smoky punch the other day when I entered our local fruteria. I smelled them. I knew those peppers were in there somewhere. And yet, it took me a few minutes to actually find them, little plastic baggies of warm, charred New Mexico green chiles sitting on the counter, on sale for a couple of dollars. You bet I bought a bag! And they were H-O-T.

The little bird’s eye chiles above came from our garden. The green, from a farmer’s stand up the road. And the purple beauty was a gift from our neighbors. When we brought it home, Jerry felt inspired to take a photo with Edward Weston in mind. Food as art.

That pepper, by the way, tasted fantastic when stuffed with ground buffalo, herbs and tomatoes, then grilled over flames.

The air really does, at times, smell like roasting chiles. The wind carries the scent. All month, we’ve had perfectly crisp blue skies; 80-degree days and chilly nights. The cottonwood leaves are turning yellow on the edges. I think I like fall in New Mexico. I think September might be the most beautiful month. Maybe next year we’ll stick around a few weeks longer so we can enjoy September to its fullest. Maybe next September we’ll have our fire pit finished so we can sit beneath the stars during the season’s first sweater-weather nights.

The closer our departure, the more nostalgic I grow. This always happens. I always miss where I am before I’ve even left. And at the same time, I yearn for the places I’ve been and others I have yet to discover.

6 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season

  1. Hi Karen, what an interesting shape or chili you have there? Sorry to ask, are there different ways to spell: chili, chilli or chile as this can vary from country to country I suppose. The way you described eating them will ground buffalo, tomatoes and herbs is very interesting, haven’t thought of eating this in a spicy way :p

  2. Hi Janet,
    Some of these New Mexican green chiles really like to curl themselves into a smile.
    As for the spelling, it’s very much preference, I think, because all three are so commonly used. Lately, I have stuck with “chile,” the Spanish spelling, which is much closer to the plant’s geographical origin and is tied to the word in Nahuatl (a group of Mesoamerican languages). Plus, chile is also the style used in many publications. Chili is a more Americanized spelling and is also more often used in reference to chili powder or chili stew.
    The purple pepper was not spicy, but the green chiles we stuffed were. Both worked well with the ground buffalo, we thought.

  3. Jojo, I do wish we could be here through October. We might have to tweak our travel schedule next time.

    Wandering Chopsticks, thank you. I also find that the time spent traveling, as well as the time spent anticipating travel, passes at a different pace from the rest of life. At times, it races past us. Yet it simultaneously seems to slow as ever moment leads toward the date of departure or arrival. Further thoughts to ponder on another day….

    Janet, I did mean buffalo meat. We get ours from the farm store we frequent in Albuquerque. (They make great buffalo brats, too!)

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