This time of year is when all of our hard work finally (and hopefully) pays off. At long last, we can shower our friends and families with our bounty of exotic and rare chiles. But will they finally get it? Will they finally understand why you have more pictures on your computer of pepper plants than you do of them? Will they finally understand that you couldn’t make it to your brother’s birthday party because those peppers weren’t going to pickle themselves? Will they finally understand why you escape out to the garden in the wee hours wearing a head lamp just to see that first habanero pod dangling from what was once a tiny seed but is now on its way to becoming your own homegrown produce stand?
No, but you’re going to try anyway.
Some tips to remember when sharing peppers with civilians:
- Know your recipient. If you’ve heard them complain that barbecue sauce is too spicy, don’t even bother.
- Label those chiles. Permanent marker on a plastic sandwich bag works fine.
- Mail them! It’s cool to box up peppers and send them in the mail, just be sure to pick them a day or two before ripe so they can mature a bit in transit. Cross Country Nurseries is mailing out fresh chiles right now!
- Just give someone enough for 1 or 2 recipes. If you overwhelm a non chile-head with a heap of peppers, they’ll either spoil or get misused.
- Be Practical! Include a recipe, or some information about the chiles you’re giving them. If you really want to turn someone on to your pepper passion, you’ll need to share the experience. An interesting story about a pepper, along with some direction on how to make some amazing pork tacos, will appeal to their senses and get them involved in the process. Next spring, guess who will be asking you for seeds?
Here is a super simple recipe for roasted peppers.
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