The Spicy Side of Life

When I was growing up in San Diego, my idea of chili was a combination of hamburger, onion, beans and mild chili powder with a few other spices tossed in for good measure. I was just as happy eating the homemade version as I was the stuff that came out of a can.

When my husband Shaun discovered this about me, he nearly had a conniption fit.  You see, he had grown up in Taos, NM where they take their chili very seriously.  Nobody in the entire state would dream of adding beans let alone use the dusty container of chili powder from the back of the cupboard.  

In New Mexico, every self-respecting cook starts off with real chilies. Not the kind you can buy in the can, but fresh ones.  Apparently, the very best ones come from Hatch, NM. I have no idea where that is or why they are considered the best, that’s just the way it is.  Authentic chili (according to Shaun…I’m still attached to my beans…just don’t tell him that) comes in either red or green.  Shaun’s preference…and therefore mine…is green. 

Every so often, Shaun gets a little bit homesick for some great green chili and sopapillas.  (little fried “pillows” of yeast dough…simply heaven in your mouth!) So…he orders a huge box of fresh chilies. 

Shaun enjoying a hatch chili pepper...ick!

This time, they aren’t quite in season for the fresh ones, so we now have a freezer full of fire roasted, peeled, seeded green chilies.  I know that it won’t be too long before Shaun makes an enormous pot of green chili (he doesn’t seem to know how to cook for a normal family size) 

In the meantime, we’ve seen lots of salsa. I think Shaun (and maybe KT) are the only ones eating them.  Mimi and I…well…we don’t do spicy stuff.  It’s a constant battle to get my husband to make some salsa that won’t send steam through our ears. 

This evening, Shaun was whipping up yet another batch of salsa with a bit of assistance from Mimi.  She considered it her primary job to get him to make extra mild salsa.  I had to laugh at their conversation. 

Shaun: Someday after I die you’ll realize that you like spicy food and then you’ll think of me.

Mimi: Daddy, I’m not going to start liking spicy food just because you die.

Shaun: It’s in your genes, you have no choice in the matter.

Mimi: Dad. No. I’m not going to like it. I think I came from the milkman.


This entry was posted in Food, Humor, Mimi, NaBloPoMo, That Man O' Mine, Traditions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Spicy Side of Life

  1. Alicia says:

    Hi there! I really enjoy reading your home-made stories of your familiy and relatives that I have come to know and love. I now have a new blog, also in Spanish, and under my real name: Alicia. I’ll keep on visiting you here.

  2. Hilary says:

    I’m not sure what surprises me more.. that you get peppers delivered or that Mimi knows anything about milkmen. Home delivery of the latter is a long-forgotten event here.

    • Susie says:

      I don’t think she really knows anything about milkmen! It’s just a strange family joke that we have, I think we use it more like being dropped off by the stork…just that our kids are odd sometimes. I really debated whether I should put that in or not…I’m still not sure it’s appropriate for the world to see. Oh well…

  3. Hilary says:

    Oh it’s just fine.. really. It was something that my parents used to say about my sister and me all the time. My sister has jet black hair and I was very light blond as a child. My sister was chunky and I was pathetically thin. She had dark skin.. I was pale. We have the same parents but they used to joke that she looked like the butcher and I like the milkman.. both of whom still delivered. I just never thought to perpetuate that joke for my own kids who are quite different because it was a lost service. That’s why I got a chuckle out of Mimi’s awareness of it all. 🙂

    So that solves my dilemma. I’m more surprised by pepper delivery. 😉

  4. Tylor says:

    Mild salsa? Now that’s just wrong.

  5. Shaun says:

    Don’t worry, it wasn’t mild salsa. I don’t make mild salsa.

  6. Brandt! says:

    yummy!!! sharing recipes is a good thing!! (hint)

  7. I have someone who brings me bags of those chiles when she goes to New Mexico–Sean is right, they’re incomparable.

    Is he an egg person? I’ve got a great recipe with those chiles and eggs–with some Cholula thrown in for extra spiciness.

  8. Pamela says:

    I lived in Corales, NM in 1970 — so I know what you’re talking about.
    We loved old Albuquerque — and a little cafe that made the best sopapillas ever.
    And… I was pregnant and had a hamburger. I had such awful indigestion because it came with GREEN CHILI. I didn’t know that! But I learned very quickly.

    That is also where I became acquainted with Luminarios. I remember seeing them all over the hospital on the night I gave birth. I thought it was a wonderful welcome.

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