Front page news last week featured the latest in high-tech, anti-aging remedies, – remedies, as if aging was a malady from which one needed to recover. More accurately, youth is what must be remedied. Maturity is time spent fixing and compensating for the many mistakes caused by youth’s hapless, self-absorbed sense of immortality. Every one of us has a “My name is Earl” list, -that’s life. So we spend our mature years addressing it, and gradually exchange hubris for wisdom. All I can say is “Oh, to be a bell pepper!”

Put a bell pepper in front of a mirror. The pepper doesn’t study its reflection and despair, “Ah, I’m losing my tone. My skin is sagging. How many new wrinkles today?… I used to be firm and crisp. What happened?”

A young pepper may anxiously long to grow large and ripe. In anticipatory excitement, it awaits to be picked, snapped open, and splash its juices out into the world. At that instant, it announces its over-abundant, fresh vitality! The pepper screams, “Bring on the salad greens!- I’ll flavor them! I’ll give them everything I’ve got -my fresh from the earth, raw, perky bountiful goodness. Now, at this moment, I stand, radiating my glorious, colorful promise of health to all who partake of me! I am a pepper!”

And what does a pepper say who’s been in the crisper too long?..well, pretty much the same sentiment, except the words differ. This time it says, “Bring on the chili! I’m goin’ to a party, – a pepper party! Family reunion time! Time for a HOT time in the old pot tonight! Come on anchos! Where you been poblanos,- my old cousins? Woo-hoo – habanero, you hot thing – you’re sizzlin! YES! YES! It’s time to ease myself down into that warm, bubbling tomato bath. Time to relax my fibrous cellulose. Time to check out what’s been happenin’ in the cupboard. HELLO onions! garlic! and beans! Spices, let me introduce myself and absorb your essence. To this chili I give my full pepper goodness. Take my flavor – take my texture – take all of me, – I AM YOURS! Mixed with my fellow foods, we are a complete, bountiful, nutritious meal. We satisfy and sustain. We are CHILI!

And what happens later to the discarded, left-over chili, or the forgotten pepper that shriveled in the crisper? Are there onion tears? Nope, there are not, -just shouts of “I’m headin’ to the compost! Here I am worms, insects, and micro-organisms. Let’s make some soil! Get busy everybody, – time to grow some new peppers!”

Peppers with attitude! – not spritzes and creams.

.Click on ‘continue reading…’ for the Eldorado Grill’s recipe for Roasted Garlic Green Chile Sauce’.

Continue reading