When it's a beautiful summer's night; when the weary travelers have returned home from a month away
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When there are many stories to be told of keeping chickens, flowers, and a garden alive in their absence
When there are even more stories to be told of a clever and most pesky raccoon; who'd set his sights on raiding the chicken coop
When everyone is winding down from the week
When there are cold and potent martinis, made with the smoothest gin, straight from New Zealand
When there's an abundance of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs fresh from the garden
It only makes sense to throw an impromptu get-together
Gather produce from the back deck, countertop, and fridge; they'll go bad, and really we couldn't eat them all. Thus, a text chain is born
No dressing up required. Can you bring a little something sweet? How about 7?
Because you can't wait to see them and hear all about their trip. Because they always make you laugh. Because there's nothing better than a quiet evening in the company of good friends, everyone says yes.
“Yes, yes, yes, we'll be there. See you a couple of hours.”
Someone whipped up an appetizer with hot peppers and brie; another the most incredible salsa there ever was. There are chocolaty cereal balls, wine, and really nothing about the menu made a lot of sense; except that the patio was filled with
love and community
The impromptu kind and it was perfectly imperfect
As with anything that has the potential for heat; my husband sampled the salsa first. “Oh my, this is good,” Another bite. “This is really good! It's definitely something you can eat.”
And with that, I dipped my chip; it was love at first bite. The rest of the night, the salsa was always within reach. I simply couldn't get enough. On the hot end of the mild spectrum; it was colorful, fresh, chunky, with the most interesting zip
They brought a batch to last weekend's Spaghetti Saturday, and it was gone in no time. Everyone who tried it couldn't resist lingering for just one more dip of their chip. “This is incredible; what's IN it?”
As luck would have it, that fateful evening was the first time he'd made it, and there wasn't a specific recipe that he followed. Armed with the list of ingredients, I tried several batches on my own in an attempt to re-create. I came close, but
something .. something was still missing
It turns out there are a couple of tricks when it comes to adding the zip
fresh ginger, peeled and minced by hand
half of a ghost pepper, seeds removed and minced as fine as you're able
It's been a staple in our fridge ever since.
I've eaten it straight with tortilla chips, ladled it over my omelets, and pretty much anything that's come off of the grill. I've also made it into a meal by adding to it whatever protein we have in the fridge.
Play around a bit with the recipe guidelines; it's the perfect opportunity to get to know different flavors and characteristics of different chilies. For those readers who are chili geeks, it could undoubtedly be made livelier
ps: For more recipes and stories from Spaghetti Saturday .. here
The Most Incredible Salsa
- tomatoes, chopped
- onions, chopped (Use a little less onions than tomatoes. For every cup of tomatoes, use ½ - ¾ cup onions)
- celery, chopped (Use far less celery than tomatoes. For every cup of tomatoes, use ¼ - ⅓ cup celery)
- ½ ghost pepper, seeded and minced very fine
- parsley leaves, chopped fine (I used roughly 1 bunch of parsley leaves)
- cilantro, optional (if adding cilantro in addition to the parsley, keep the total amount of herbs to roughly 1 bunch of chopped leaves)
- 1 - 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium-sized bowl, add all of the ingredients and combine.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings. Let your taste buds be your guide
- Let the salsa to rest 10-15 minutes before serving, to allow all of the flavors to combine