Communion Of Dreams

The first Habanero.
August 22, 2007, 10:24 am
Filed under: Alzheimer's, Gardening, Habanero, Health

I like to garden. Always have. Since my senior year in college, I’ve almost always had at least a small vegetable garden. This year I kept my garden intentionally small, due to the increasing time constraints of being a full-time care giver. I didn’t want to have to be dealing with 40 or 50 pounds of ripe tomatoes a day for weeks on end, like I did a couple of years ago when I planted about three dozen different tomato plants, and they all bore very heavily. This year it was only 10 plants, and as a result I’ve only canned and sauced a couple of afternoons. Surprisingly, the deer this year have decided that they too like my tomato plants, and have been ‘helping’ me by keeping them trimmed back so that less fruit grows.

Six or seven years ago, I got bit by the “chilehead” bug – I started liking hotter and hotter spices, moving up the Scoville scale from Jalapenos to Serranos to eventually commercially available Habanero peppers. Over time I started reading about hot peppers, trying sauces, eventually even growing my own peppers. For the last several years I’ve been growing Habaneros, getting seedlings from local nurseries without much choice in terms of the varietal. I’ve been making my own sauces, but also simply dry the peppers and grind them up, use the powder like most people use black pepper. That’s fairly hard core.

But this year . . . this year, I wanted to up the ante a bit. So I ordered some of these:

All photos Copyright © Cross Country Nurseries
DEVIL’S TONGUE – extremely hot; Habanero Type; 2 to 3 inches long by 1 to 1.5 inches wide; matures from green to golden yellow; pendant pods; green leaves; 30 to 36 inches tall; Late Season; this pepper is outrageously hot!;C.chinense.

and some of these:

All photos Copyright © Cross Country Nurseries
HABANERO-RED SAVINA ™ – extremely hot; Habanero Type; 1.5 to 2.5 inches long by 1 to 1.5 inches wide; medium thick flesh; matures from green to red; pendant pods; green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Late Season; in the Guinness Book as the hottestchile known. **Cross Country Nurseries is a licensed grower of the Red Savina ™ Habanero (PVP 9200255). Transplants are provided for the home gardener. Seeds from these peppers can not be legally saved to sell to others. You must plan to use these peppers for your own use.;C.chinense.

Now, last night the damned deer munched over the Devil’s Tongue (WTF? I thought deer would stay away from hot peppers??), so I may or may not get any peppers off of those. But a couple of weeks ago I put up some additional fencing around the RedSavinas, when one of the plants showed some early signs of someone feeding on them (I’d figured some kind of groundhog or something). And this morning when I was picking tomatoes I noted a nice little orange ball in the midst of one of the plants. Investigating, I saw that this one pepper had started to ripen, but had also been sampled by a bird (birds don’t react to the capsaicin in the peppers). So I nabbed it, brought it in.

This pepper wasn’t fully matured – they become deep red as noted in the description above – and so hadn’t fully developed the heat it will have. Still, I cut it open, removed the nibbled bits and the seeds, and set it aside to dry. Then, in what is something of a normal test for me, I touched the edge of the knife with the pepper juice to the tip of my tongue. There was the briefest flash of heat, and then my tongue simply went numb. And it stayed numb for about 20 minutes, the rest of my mouth echoing that wonderful Habanero burn.

Yeah, baby, this is gonna be good!

Jim Downey

4 Comments so far
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When I was a child, my siblings and I always judged how hot spicy food was by my father. If the vat of chili he had simmered on the stove all day made him hiccup after the first bite, we new it was too spicy for us to eat, and we diluted our bowls with crushed Saltines. He loved peppers and heat, often eating pickled hot peppers straight out of the jar. I did not inherit this love of spicy hot, but have been working on upping my hot pepper tolerance. However, from your description, I do not think I am ready for something called “Devil’s Tongue.” Perhaps I should start with something more on the order of “Minor Demon’s Earlobe.”

Comment by Annie

Similar story – when we were kids, Dad would start a pot of chili and have a “supplementary” side pot of the hot stuff, and we mixed to suit. Yankees like Mom took the main pot straight, the rest of us added from the side as we felt inclined. And if it was fall and we were heading out into the inevitable drip to clean the gutters (a real problem when you live in the woods), we made sure Dad had the chili started before we agreed to go out.

Jim, did the deer actually eat the peppers, or just the plants? I used to figure that if the critturs that shared my garden and trees and vines were still around come hunting season, and I could bag one, there would be some nicely pre-seasoned meat in the smoker for supper.

Comment by ML

ML – not sure whether they got any pepper buds off those plants or not. I haven’t yet seen anything but flowers on the Devil’s Tongue plants. But I do like the way you think – sort of a spicier version of Corn-fed Iowa Beef!

Jim D

Comment by Communion of Dreams

[…] 01st 2007, 9:03 pm Filed under: Gardening, Habanero, Health Back in August I mentioned the First Habanero I got from my garden this year. Well, it wasn’t the last. Since then I have been harvesting […]

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