I help scrape the seeds from the hot little peppers, save them in small towels and jars, until March when I plant them in earth and let them grow into fragile seedlings, until the sun is warm enough the soil unfrozen and they can be planted and grow stronger and flower, until small green peppers start to form, and then comes the day that they turn colors --- yellow and orange deepen into red and even chocolate purple -- and the day dawns when we eat them -- in curry and chili, and preserve them in hot sauce and hot pepper jelly.
I have a secret. Every market a number of folks ask me what my favorite flavor is. I honestly love all my flavors, so I pick whichever I'm most fond of that day. But the honest truth is it's hot pepper jelly, all the way. I love the sweet and spicy, slightly numbing hit to the tongue and the deep and acidic tang of apple cider vinegar, I love it with cheese and on meat, I love it straight from the jar.
This year, Ben grew some amazing peppers. His pepper patch gets more awesome every year.This year his favorite pepper is the aji dulce, and he's been waxing poetic about it all season. It really is a fun pepper with a delicious flavor -- we made a super amazing curry with it last night. It's from South America, mostly Venezuela, and is related to the habanero, but with a much milder, smoky flavor. It has barely any heat but smells hot and dangerous. It's just one of the many peppers I used in the jelly this year. Come try some at Smorgasburg or New Amsterdam markets this weekend!