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For reasons discussed quietly under tighter filters, I'm growing many tiny fiery chili peppers and bringing along rather a few folks. It's community-supported agriculture!

Once done, obviously they have to be dried before achieving their ultimate purpose--which, to be politic, we will dub "rum-based chili liqueur".

The most energy-efficient way to do this, to my mind, is to make ristras--better known as "those chili braids", or one of the several Obligatory Southwestern Tourist Tchotchkes.

You know the ones. Tourists returning from Arizona and New Mexico are required by some unwritten law to return with at least one, and preferably all, of the following:

  • a braid of chili peppers and/or garlic, which will almost never be used for food

  • Something featuring Kokopelli, although I must point out that most depictions pour los turistas are lacking a significant key attribute. Kokopelli, he's one of those ithyphallic fellers...

  • a silhouette of a coyote howling at the moon.

  • a silhouette of a saguaro cactus

The images can be on any old thing, although for maximum cheese I encourage shotglasses.

On our first Southwest trip, even [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson and I, hardened as we are versus tourist cheese, did not escape without a Kokopelli or two about our persons. To salvage our cred, I should also mention that we also brought several pretty red rocks, some Acoma pottery bought from them on their rez, and, instead of a coyote silhouette, a coyote skull that had been left on the charcoal grill of our campsite--and, of course, many pictures and a few books.

The peppers in question, Thai peppers, will make veryverytiny ristras. This, I reckon, is to my advantage.

And when it comes time to remember where the directions are, I will have the links in this post:

This one has pictures, by a gent in the UK:

This one's in New Mexico:

This one's from El Paso Community College:

-- Lorrie


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February 2011

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