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Welcome to September! Too Bad It's Not Really Fall Yet...

Cayenne & Beans

September has snuck up on us, it seems. “Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug,” John Lithgow once stated. Seems he was right, at least this once…

Of course, the start of September (or any other month) is a man-made delineation, and the seasons usually ignore such artificial markers and go their own way. Still, I’ve always thought of September fondly, as the time when summer begins to move along and make room for the fall and its pleasures. County and State Fairs; Labor Day parades; the bounty of harvest. Here in Texas we get a little rain early in September, if we’re lucky. (So far, we’ve been lucky once, and the report for the next week is hopeful.) There’s just a bit of coolness in the mornings, and even some dew. (Sonia doesn’t like dew on her tootsies.)

The weather hasn’t really turned yet, though. Not here. We could still be in for some 100+ degree days yet. Summer officially hangs on until the latter third of the month, and even then we can be mired in heat. I don’t mean Indian Summer either! But there’s hope, and a bit of anticipation building on the meager evidence that summer’s days are almost done.

We’ll see, of course.

The other kind of event that September can bring to us is storms. Hurricanes and tropical storms, to be exact. Every year it’s a bit of a morbid watch, to see where these monsters form and where they might go. Texans have never forgotten, nor forgiven, the great Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Not only was it a horrible tragedy, comparable to the worst in history anywhere, it dramatically realigned the economy of the United States forever. Galveston was one of the top ports in the States at that time, and it has never regained its importance to trade.

Fall Pumpkins

Harvesting is done in some places, under way in others. That means food! And it also means that the fall harvest festivals are near, like Oktoberfest and the Wurstfest (German food, beer, accordion music; Heaven!). We’re still getting a bounty of hot and mild chiles around here, and I even talked my mom into using some fresh red cayenne peppers in her potato salad. Adds color is the excuse reason I gave her. And really, if you don’t overdo it, and wash out the seeds before mincing, there’s not a lot of heat to be found in those chiles. Okay, some; just not a lot. (You want a lot? Keep the seeds in the recipe. AND add more chiles.)

I’ll be making plenty of salsas and spicy crackers over the next few weeks, as college and pro football seasons get rolling. I don’t have television service anymore, but who knows, I might accidentally be invited to bring some goodies over to a friend’s house and watch. (It could happen.) Hopefully some friend who also has some great home-brew; commercial beers these days, even those from smaller breweries (often owned by big outfits), are mostly unappealing. I’ll be sure to use plenty of fresh chiles in whatever I make.

Another thing September signals for me is the beginning of soup-and-chili season. So I hereby declare September to be “Get Your Chile ON!” Month. (Whaddaya think; is GYCOM already trademarked? Hhmmm…) I’ll be searching around for great soup and chili recipes, and maybe even trying out a few myself. (More than a few, if I get my way.) If you’ve got an special requests, drop me a line here at the Chile Underground and I’ll find something that fits your interests. In the meantime,

Enjoy the (September, Hope for Cooler Weather, GYCOM) Heat!

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