One Hot Minute – A Soul to Squeeze

“Hey”. It’s Mrs B. We are in the kitchen. She says to me “This is the place I was hoping to prepare dinner”. She has that Desecration Smile (whatever that is) as she looks at what is easily my best ever crop of Red Hot Chilis. She looks to me and then the otherside of the room where a potted plant with small yellow chillies sits on the windowsill. “And by the Way, if you think that plant is staying in here, think again”

The debate is no more than a storm in a teacup. I agree to move the plant, a minor thing, and promise to process the chillies, although I fear it will take till midnight. As usual, I have grown several different varieties of chilli from around the world. To view the plants in the greenhouse was to go road trippin’ through south America and beyond from the brown Machu Pichu to the jewel-like Naga Yellow Blaze. I wonder if I should wear some PPE when chopping and cooking the chillies. I look around – “perhaps this velvet glove” I muse to myself but worry the combination of the brown and red chillies will only leave a purple stain. I decide to risk working without it.

First, chilli jam. We have finished last year’s batch. I gave a lot of it as gifts to my friends and relatives. In a matter of moments the aroma in the kitchen changes from coffee shop to sour smelling distillery, as the vinegar and sugar simmer. I have dosed the sugar with pectin but fail to stir it in properly, so it creates a nasty sludge. I pay for this later when, despite being right on time with the boiling of the jam mixture it refuses to set. I turn it again but finally give in and elect to market the new produce as ‘extra thick chilli sauce’.

I still have plenty of chillies left over and decide to try out my new oven – a readymade chilli dryer. The results are spectacular, transcending even my highest hopes. Some of the chillies had seemed a little low on heat, warm tape in comparison with the fearsome fire I had expected. But when I try the dried versions they have a deep kick that could leave scar tissue on gums and tongues. I chop the Machu Pichu to make chilli flakes. The rest I decide to make into chilli powder and process the dried chillies in an old coffee grinder. Removing the lid releases a fine dust cloud that is a real tearjerker. I go walkabout on the patio till the air clears a little.

But, ultimately, I am pleased with the final products. Mrs B sets up the produce on a tray for the Insta post. We believe the results justify the efforts .


About midlifegardener

A new house and a new garden. Having spent the past 5 years mainting my father's garden I am now taking on my own gardening project down the road in a new single store dwelling. The Old Man has passed on but he remains in my thoughts as I develop the new patch
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11 Responses to One Hot Minute – A Soul to Squeeze

  1. Danny says:

    I will have undoubtedly missed at least one but the reward offset the risk
    – Hey
    – Desecration Smile
    – Otherside
    – By The Way
    – Storm In A Teacup
    – Minor Thing
    – Road Trippin’
    – The Velvet Glove
    – Purple Stain
    – Warm Tape
    – Scar Tissue
    – Tear Jerker
    – Walkabout
    – Coffee Shop
    – Dosed.

    Part of me thinks that can’t be enough; whilst the other part thinks if you’ve got more than that in there it’ll be amazing.

    • Danny again says:

      + dark necessities
      + under the bridge
      + fire
      + we turn red
      + around the world
      + deep kick
      + if
      + look around
      + midnight

      (Delete these comments if they are ruining the game!)

      • Well done Danny, you are the first to submit your homework, but I feel that it is perhaps a little rushed. I will be marking it on 27th, so if you would like to go back and check your answers (there are still more than you have here) then a better grade awaits. All that “home learning” has clearly affected your normally high standard of work.

      • You are still top of the class* though.

        *of one

  2. DJT says:

    One Hot Minute
    Soul to Squeeze
    This is the Place
    Desecration Smile
    By the way
    Storm in a teacup
    Minor thing
    Around the World
    Road Trippin
    Look Around
    Velvet Glove
    Purple Stain
    My Friends
    Coffee Shop
    Right on Time
    Turn it Again
    Warm Tape
    Deep Kick
    Scar Tissue

  3. Gus says:

    This is the place
    Desecration Smile
    She looks to me
    by the Way
    storm in a teacup
    A minor thing
    road trippin’
    this velvet glove
    purple stain
    coffee shop
    right on time
    turn it again
    warm tape
    deep kick
    Scar tissue

  4. Nice one Gus. Thanks for taking the time. I reckon at least 10 more in there (who knew I had such an encyclopedic knowledge of the Chilis’ oeuvre)

  5. Ed Sparkes says:

    Very very impressive, surely ‘This is the place’ where a chilies related pun record could be set!

    – Hey
    – This is the place
    – Desecration smile
    – Otherside
    – By the Way
    – Storm in a teacup
    – Minor Thing
    – Till Midnight? (Not sure about this one)
    – Around the world
    – Road Trippin
    – Look Around
    – Velvet Glove
    – Purple Stain
    – Coffee Shop
    – Dosed
    – Right on time
    – Turn it again
    – Transcending
    – Warm tape
    – Fire
    – Deep kick
    – Scar tissue
    – Tearjerker
    – Walkabout

  6. Will Sparkes says:

    Really fun and and creative post James!

    – hey
    – this is the place
    – desecration smile
    – easily
    – she looks to me
    – otherside
    – by the way
    – storm in a teacup
    – minor thing
    – around the world
    – road tripping’
    – look around
    – velvet glove
    – purple stain
    – coffee shop
    – dosed
    – right on time
    – turn it again
    – transcending
    – warm tape
    – deep kick
    – scar tissue
    – tearjerker
    – walkabout

    Thinking of you all.


  7. Pingback: Green Shoots and Chili Songs | Midlife Gardener

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