Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chili Roasting Season

Its the weekend before Labor Day and I'm patiently standing in line to get my 30 pound bag of chili roasted at my neighborhood grocery store. You can roast chili at home, but it never comes out as well as it does from the great rotating barrels with their extra hot burners. The wait is going to be nearly two hours, and eventually I'll go back in to do the rest of my shopping, letting my neighbor read my magazine in exchange for keeping my place in line. For the moment I'm enjoying the beautiful day and the indescribably heavenly smell of roasting chili. New Mexicans go around sniffing the air in the Fall hoping for a whiff of roasting chili like we all hope for that increasingly elusive whiff of pine at Christmas.

They say that the chemicals that make pepper hot cause the body to produce endorphins, and that New Mexicans are so addicted to chili-high that they pine away without it. College-bound New Mexico teens are promised care packages, not of cookies but of chilis packed in dry ice.

Even the smell is addicting. Its the New Mexico high


ms. kitty said...

I love that roasting-chile smell too. In Denver, we would do the same thing---Hatch's chile ruled!

Anonymous said...

I will be in ABQ this coming week for a family reunion with my siblings and Mom celebrating her 80th. I hope to catch a whiff of this chili roasting you speak of in the coming days. So I can bring back to Alabama the memories and smells of a New Mexico summer day. Blessings, Fred

Christine Robinson said...

What fun, Serenity; I hope you will drop in. We video-preachers should know each other! As to catching a whiff of roasting chili, it is definitely a weekend activity, so I hope you will still be around on Saturday!

Kelsey Atherton said...

Already in phase one of Chili withdrawal here. I say to people that I'm missing chile roasting season and they look at me like I have two heads.

Of course, this is the land where people think tabasco is something to be proud of.