Anybody still like strawberries?

Las frescas? If we can get enough sunshine for a few days (here at the ranch we got nearly seven inches of rain in two days! ay yi!), we’ll be picking strawberries within a week to ten days.

And that means strawberries with whipped cream … strawberry muffins … pancakes or waffles with crushed strawberries on top … strawberry smoothies … strawberry milkshakes … strawberry jelly and jam and syrup for ice cream or frozen yogurt …

aaahhh.

The only thing better than a fresh-picked, ripe, sweet strawberry – is TWO of them!

We hope to see you soon at the Dixie Chile Ranch U-Pick Patch (remember to call ahead so we reserve your row for you!) or at the Martin Farmers Market on Saturdays, 8 am to noon.

Su amigo,
Diego

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Just the facts, ma’am

Well, here are some more chile facts you can casually mention over your next plate of tamales y frijoles:

Scientists think Central American farmers first cultivated, cooked and ate chile peppers in 7500 BC.

The chile pepper got to South Asia some time in the 1500s. Christopher Columbus, who tried to get to Asia in the 1500s, brought the chile pepper home to Europe.

Worldwide in 2014, over 32 metric tons of green chile peppers were grown! (Glad I don’t have to wrangle near that many.) Half of these were grown in China.

Elephants don’t like the smell of chile as it’s growing, and farmers have found they can grow rows of chile around their other crops to deter the pachyderms.

There you are – enjoy your chile facts as well as your chile – spice up your conversation as well as your supper!

Su amigo,
Diego

Kaboom! There goes the power

Wow, thunderstorms can also disrupt blog postings. They sure did yesterday. Caramba!

Anyway, here’s a great method for roasting green Hatch chile on your grill from FoodieCrush.com
Have fun and – yum! Su amigo, Diego

Preheat your grill on high for about 10 minutes. Place the peppers on the grill grates and close the lid. Turn the peppers every 5 minutes or so until the skin is lightly charred all over. The total process should take about 15-20 minutes. Don’t let the peppers burn however, or the skin won’t want to release from the flesh as it will be “cooked on” the flesh.

Remove the peppers from the grill and place in a heavy duty freezer bag. Allow the peppers to sweat in the freezer bag for about 15 minutes.

Remove the peppers and one by one, peel the charred skin off with your GLOVED fingers. For skinny peppers like Hatch or jalapeños, cut the top of the pepper off just below where the seed cluster is. For larger peppers, pull the stem out with the seed cluster and clean out the remaining seeds with your GLOVED fingers or a paring knife. You could rinse the peppers under water to get rid of extra seeds, but it may take away from the smoky flavor.

Here’s what your end results should look like :

You can store roasted, peeled chile in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in the freezer up to six months.

Ah, the homework must be delicious

Did you know there’s only one international non-profit constantly researching the chile pepper and publishing the results? And teaching people how to grow many varieties of chile, as well as displaying chile pepper art at its headquarters?

It’s true! Es verdad! And it’s the Chile Pepper Institute, housed on the campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. They’ve even sponsored the International Pepper Conference – now, there’s a hot topic for you.

Click here https://cpi.nmsu.edu/ if you want to learn a little more about chile, and you can print out a copy of the catalog too.

Hasta luego!
Diego

Recipes galore!

Here are some places to check out for really muy delicioso chile pepper recipes!

Even Martha Stewart gets into the act with almost two dozen recipes to try out with different varieties of chile: https://www.marthastewart.com/274984/chile-pepper-recipes?slide=3407846

Chili Pepper Madness is a fun site to browse. Whether you want chile peppers in cookies, jelly, or the main dish for dinner tonight, they’ve got something tasty for you to try: https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/chili-pepper-recipes (Even with the misspelling of ‘chile,’ it’s still a good resource.)

You can explore the health benefits of chile peppers at Eating Well and not feel guilty enjoying your favorite spice: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/22239/mealtimes/dinner/chile-pepper-and-spicy-recipes/slideshow/chile-pepper-recipes-and-other-spicy-recipes/

Let us know if you find a new favorite recipe. The next chile pepper plants are already growing for this year’s harvest!

Su amigo, Diego

Mental gymnastics

We get to know our neighbors quite well around here, so the folks at Write Up The Road Publishing are very good friends. Sometimes I think they’re having an unusual effect on us vaqueros, though. They really like word games over there. So while on tumbleweed patrol, I was figuring out how many 5-letter words you could get from ‘Dixie Chile Ranch.’ (Can’t do crossword puzzles riding horseback.) Ay yi.

Well – why don’t you try it and let me know your answer to the puzzle in an email or a comment? And then we’ll take the top number, beat them at their own game, and challenge the WUTR gang to a chili cook off!

Hasta la vista,
Diego