Location: marengo, il, United States

Saturday, November 28, 2009

the quest for fire

this year we kept our thanksgiving celebration small, keeping life simple. the wife ordered a pre-cooked turkey from a local supermarket, along with an ample amount of sweet potatoes, an order of stuffing and a tub of gravy.

she made cranberry sauce herself, at my insistence. thanksgiving cannot be right without the homemade sauce.

she and our son and i then chowed down together, and afterward, us adults napped during the afternoon, according to custom.

the next day we had friends stop by to enjoy left-overs, as well as each others company.

lenora and her three children, arielle, josiah and hanna arrived, along with the wife's younger brother, doug. we all had a good time and swapped some great family stories.

now i have a good friend who lives way down south of the equator in tasmania, australia. i've known paul for years, and we talk a lot on our computers.

since he and i share an affinity for hot, spicy foods, he is always recommending new things for me to try, and i return the favor.

over the years, we have both sent each other packages through the mail of exotic food products. i once shipped him some chewy american candies that he had never heard of, which featured a bubblegum center (mostly for his three boys to try -- they were close to my son's ages at the time); he in turn mailed me a package filled with different kinds of tim tams for my family to sample.

i had never heard of tim tams before. i soon learned that they were an australian chocolate-covered cake-like roll which tasted pleasing to my tongue. he also sent me a jar of vegemite, a dark-brown smelly sandwich spread that i found to be inedible by most civilized people, including myself.

(i threatened to send him a jar of peanut butter in retaliation, but i decided that might spoil our friendship.)

about a week ago, while on-line with paul, i described a quick meal i threw together on occasion that he should try. here is the recipe.

first, lightly brown a couple of handfuls of broken tortilla chips in a skillet over medium heat, using a small amount of canola oil. then add at least 3 scrambled eggs to the mix, stirring together. after loading the cooked meal on a plate, cover with a goodly amount of pace picante sauce.

he asked me what kind of sauce that was. i replied that it was the best-tasting, hottest salsa on the market, and was made and bottled in paris, texas.

paul replied, "way to go!", voicing approval.

a few minutes later, he asked if i had ever tried habanero sauce.

I had heard of habanero peppers before. another australian acquaintance who drove a truck for a living (hauling what he claimed were the meanest cows in the world across some of the most desolate roads on earth) spoke highly of the hot peppers and recommended them to anyone brave enough to eat one.

but i had never tasted them or the sauce, so i said no.

paul quickly sent me a website where the product was sold. i showed the site to my wife which included a picture of a jar of the sauce. she said she had seen it in stores here, so i asked her get me some, which she did.

so as our holiday guests arrived here last night, i could barely hold still.

as soon as josiah walked into the room, i invited him to try some of my new habenero sauce. i pointed to the container that sat on the kitchen table, along side other common snacks.

(i sampled the red sauce earlier, and was anxious to see if josiah, who also loves hot and spicy things, could survive the heat.)

he willingly dipped a single tortilla chip into the jar and took a small bite. the rest of us stood by, watching and waiting and on high alert.

it tastes different, he said, after a moment. he looked pleased as he kept chewing.

his sister arielle took pictures on her cell phone, capturing the action.

then suddenly josiah's eyes widened. we all leaned forward with intense interest.

with sudden gusto, the lad let out a loud and entertaining howl.


that shortly became the end of the experiment with the lively habanero sauce, after josiah cooled down, and then our company went to munching on more-familiar snacks for the rest of the evening.

but now i must find another use for this product.


Anonymous Shirl said...

Perhaps try mixing the stuff with your left over Vegemite.It should REALLY get your axle moving! Another solution to the problem could be to patent a new mouse bait. Now, both you and I know mice (having NO tastebuds of any consequence) just LOVE Vegemite, if you mix the salsa in, not only will you trap the mice, but they will spontaneously combust thanks to the salsa ingestion. No mice left, no messy clean up after!

7:08 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hot little things, those habernaros.
Don grew some one year in his of the hottest peppers I've ever tasted. Not something I'd eat on a daily basis.
I remember Martin, not Doug. And Hay Shirl!

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Jan Fullbright said...

I don't do hot peppers except cayenne and I sprinkle that on most food, even eggs. I can't imagine store bought dressing..did it have pecans in it Harsey ?

9:33 AM  
Blogger arandbee53 said...

Pecans in his sauce? Isn't he nutty enough, Jan? Oh and hiya Chris and Jan too.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Jan said...

Hi ya I know you ?

10:03 PM  

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