A few months ago, a lady began selling plants, including a wide variety of chiles, at the Alhambra Farmers’ Market. Inspired by Gustavo Arellano‘s Facebook posts on growing chiles and by the “Hot Peppers” episode of Visiting With Huell Howser, I bought a couple of plants from the lady at the farmers’ market. I bought a few more over the next month or so, and I now have six chile plants:
* Chile de arbol
* Black Cobra
Three weeks ago, I picked the first peppers from my little garden. (I only thought to take pictures after I had eaten some of the first crop!)
I cooked up the first Fresno chile & the first chile de arbol with some cauliflower, shallots, and garlic. I cooked the Apache chiles with a tofu scramble, but first I took a bite of the skin.
I am a rather cowardly person when it comes to physical pain. The exceptions are in the garden and on the soccer field – and now the Apache pepper. It burns, but its combination of sweetness and heat is heavenly. Then it hurts, hurts, hurts, but it’s worth it.
And that’s just the skin! I haven’t been brave enough to eat the seeds by themselves. I cook with the seeds, but I balance the heat a bit with lime.
Here is last weekend’s pick, which includes the first Black Cobra as well as Apaches & chiles de arbol.
The Black Cobra is also delicious, hotter than the Apache even, but without the Apache’s sweetness. The chile de arbol, which is common in Mexican cooking, is smokier and not as hot.
The Piquin, which is also advertised as smoky, has borne fruit but the peppers are still unripe. The Bombero, last of the plants to blossom, has put out flowers but no fruit yet.
Finally, here are a few photos of a pink miniature rose that bloomed last week. My interest in gardening is intimately linked to my memories of my grandpa, whose second career (after years in the Navy) was as a gardener at Balboa Park. This is one of the roses that I was able to transplant from his garden eight years ago after he died and we had to sell his house.