Preparing For Autumn
Post-Script: Like many areas on inland North America, winters can be cold and summers hot. And thus spring and fall are more ideal, climate-wise. Except spring in the west can be horrendous for wind storms. And so we look forward to autumn, not only for the cooler weather and falling leaves, but the smell of fire places and the roasting of green chiles, a tradition here in New Mexico that dates back for centuries. Everyone has their favorite place to buy and have roasted their burlap sack of spicy peppers, and also their favorite growing area of the state. In southern New Mexico, the agricultural community of Hatch is renown for their green chiles, while the more temperate climate of northern New Mexico produces some outstanding red chiles. The difference in color is due to whether the pods are picked before or after ripening.
My Dad was born near the end of WW1, and could remember as a young boy that green chile was not a common item to be found in the markets of Albuquerque back in the 1920s, due to transportation and labor issues making the peppers difficult to harvest and transport while yet green. It was more common to dry the pods on the metal rooftops of sheds in the hot sun, until they were a rich red palette.
So, what's my favorite way to have chile? I take it "Christmas" style, which around these parts means slathering the food with both red and green sauce. Yum.
Photo via Lumix G5, typecast via Olympia SM9.