A Great Capsaicin Adventure

it was such a lovely morning that i strapped on my ortho boot and Segwayed down to the HoC Farmers’ Market to pass on to three of my favorite vendors the bottles of red Thai chiles i’d discovered in the refrigerator the other day and pickled. They’re way too hot for me, but i love pickling them for friends.

But when i hit the last vendor, he stepped into his truck and produced a bag of yellow nectarines, the last of his crop and not really enough to put out in a display, especially since they were dead ripe and would just get pawed to a pulp, so he saved ’em for one of his good customers who he knew loved nectarines over peaches. Enter Matte, stage left.

But since they’re dead ripe, i need to make a small batch of jam with them today. So i doubled back to my favorite chile vendor and picked up some red New Mexicos. Actually, when i had first looked at those chiles it crossed my mind that they might be Italian sweet peppers since the two can look much alike. So i asked to make sure. Yep, New Mexico chiles. I bought lots of ’em.

And then when i got the nectarines simmering with the sugar and apple pulp, i juiced the lemon and seeded and pureed the New Mexico chiles. See, i had a dialog with my nectarine vendor about capsaicin, so i’m trying a new technique, pureeing the chiles and the lemon juice in the blender and adding it to the jam during the last few minutes of cooking, hoping in that way to keep the piquancy level up.

So with great expectations, i took a cautious taste of the pepper puree. Aarrgh. i’ve been taken advantage of by a new clerk at an old vendor. Not a trace of capsaicin. And since i’d promised the nectarine vendor a jar of the jam and he’s a major capsaicin lover, i was trapped. Thank god i hadn’t taken the damn boot off, so i rode down to Casa Guadalupe and bought four of those hot yellow chiles i remembered having found very hot many years ago. Got them back here, cut up the first one, and took a tiny taste. Sigh. Wrong damn peppers twice in a row, but this time it was my fault for not asking. So fuck it. I went ahead and threw in some perfectly ripe French plums, and i’ll call it a Nectarine and French Plum Jam with Totally Mild Peppers.

Oh, and Gloria got back to me that i really ought to mention that i did all this hopping around on one leg, so yes, even though i’m labeling them NFPNM, they’re really OLNFPSIMY One Legged Nectarine French Plum Sweet Italian Mild Yellow Pepper Jam.

rosesOn the other hand, some things are coming up roses:

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