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Nov 30, 2012 06:44 AM

How many Chiles do you keep on hand?

The disaster that was Sandy did quite a number on my dopey little hometown on The Shore. I was able to eat out of my defrosting freezer for many days and, honestly, if you're a 'hound who freezes leftover portions of foods you've made, you eat better than your neighbors when the power is out for fifteen days (Hell, I even took advantage of the situation to convince my lovely wife that I HAD to make bacon lest I lose the money I spent on a whole pork belly - but, that's another thread . . . ).

Nevertheless, when your freezer also contains twenty-five roasted Hatch peppers, a couple dozen Habaneros, ten ghost peppers, a sack of fresh, green Thai Bird peppers, and a random assortment of other chiles I had grown or been gifted (oh, those Bulgarian Carrots were a treat), there are only so many inflammatory pods any couple can consume before they turn to mush. Sadly, I threw away more than I care to mention (I did try to save some seeds - we'll see how that goes). To make matters worse, I had enough moisture in my pantry to affect my dried pepper collection. I had to part with quite a few of them.

Consequently, I went to my local Mexican grocer this morning to restock. I bought dried Pasillas, Pullas, Guajillos, Moritas, and Anchos. Another step towards rebuilding, right? (Honestly, I don't expect FEMA to reimburse me for my significant losses.)

As I walked to work today, I started to wonder, "Are there others who think they should have so many chiles around?" I mean, how many hot peppers* do you have in your home? Am I that far gone? Should I seek help?

*Luckily, towards the end of the tribulations, the jarred jalapenos and cherry peppers were still fine without refrigeration - as were the vinegar laden hot sauces.

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  1. Not gone,in good company.Maybe 15 kinds here without getting into pickled and smoked.
    Hot peppers,chiles,never seen one I didn't like in or for something.I grow,buy and trade every variety and variation do to soil type I can.We don't like food hot just for the sake of heat.The additional complexity and fruitiness along with heat they can add to food is a win here.If I see a new one,to me,home it comes to try out.

    1. You've got me beat. Over here, I have about 5 pounds of jalepenos, serranos, and poblanos in the freezer, one jar of giardiniera (pickled serranos in oil), a bottle of Chohula hot sauce and a bag of dried anchos in the pantry.

      1. Where we live we have very few varieties so when we go to the "city" we stock up on as many kinds as we can get our hands on (and other foods, too) and process. I also grow several kinds of peppers which is a challenge considering our climate (Alberta). When my in laws go down south (Arizona) for the winters they bring back about ten kinds of dried for me.

        1. Some dried anchos at the moment. I'm thinking of getting some bird's eye at the asian market later.

          1. Whatever is growing in the garden.