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Of chiles and tattoos. September 8, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. Our friend Ben and I returned triumphant today from our annual excursion to the Bowers Chile Pepper Food Festival, laden down with all sorts of goodies and sporting tattoos. Of sorts.

We got a vat-size jar of Chef Tim’s fabulous Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette, which we’d fallen in love with last year. You can do the same at www.ChefTimFoods.com, and trust me, you won’t regret it! Don’t miss the recipes on Chef Tim’s website.

We stocked up on the fabulous Tunisian Harissa and the Sweet Basil fettucine handmade by Pappardelle’s (wish we could have bought every single variety—well, maybe not chocolate—it’s the best pasta I’ve ever had). See for yourself at www.pappardellespasta.com. We bought a jar of habanero horseradish (I love adding a teaspoon of horseradish to my salad bowl to give that lettuce some zing) from Defcon Sauces, whose wing sauces have won about every award there is (www.defconsauces.com). And I had to get another bottle of Rolling Hills Farm Garlic Vinegar after falling really hard for it last year. (I swear, you could drink it straight from the bottle.) Check it out at www.rollinghillsgarlicvinegar.com.

And of course we went completely out of control at the Green Kamikozees booth (www.greenkamikozees.com), buying numerous jars of hot pickled green tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, salsa, and green olives. Yum! We love the Kamikozees products, and love that they’re made right in the tiny town of Bowers, PA that sponsors the annual Chile Pepper Food Festival.

Needless to say, I wasn’t about to leave the festival without buying some heirloom tomatoes from James Weaver’s Meadow View Farm. Jim Weaver is the reason we have a chile pepper festival in Bowers every year, and his delicious produce is outstanding. But OFB and I refrained from purchasing any of Meadow View’s beautiful hot peppers, for the simple reason that OFB bought hot pepper transplants from Meadow View this past spring and is growing his own.

Back to the tattoos. I’ve gotten a spray-on temporary red pepper tattoo at a stand at the festival for years; the idea cheers me up. So I was thrilled to find the stand shortly before we left the festival, laden down as we were with our purchases. They even remembered me. A dollar and a few minutes later, I emerged with a red chile pepper “tattooed” on my upper right arm. OFB, ever the good sport, allowed me to give him a Green Kamikozee temporary tattoo (handed out for free) of a sweating green tomato and two hot red peppers on his upper arm.

This might seem a bit odd for people as generally dignified (uh, ahem) as yours truly and OFB, but fortunately, our area is so remote that nobody even thinks to question it. When we had lunch at a favorite local restaurant, The White Palm in scenic Topton, PA, after taking in the festival, our server simply commented (after taking in the tattoos and my carnivalesque beaded red-pepper necklace) that she was so sorry to have missed the festival this year.

Unfortunately for all concerned, I’m not so blase. I only get this tattoo once a year, so between times, I forget about the downside. Which is, that I’m terrified of bugs. Not that I mind bugs while they stick to their business and leave me alone. But if one gets on me, it’s the end of the world. So of course while I have this tattoo, I’ll be going about my business and suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I’ll see that there’s something on my arm. What else could it be but a bug?!

“GAAAAHHHHHH!!!” I scream, terrorizing poor OFB and all our resident animals, who, after all, were peacefully minding their own business. Then I remember the tattoo. I guess OFB’s heart health must be pretty good, since this tends to happen every couple of hours until I finally remove the tattoo, usually a couple of weeks later.

On the plus side, I don’t think OFB’s comedic sweating green tomato and red chile “tattoo” is going to look too much like a bug. So at least I’ll only be screaming at the sight of my own arm. Maybe next year I’ll even be able to remember this unfortunate drawback to memorializing the festival on my flesh. I tell you, I don’t know how people with real tattoos stand it. I can just picture years of constant screaming: “GAAAAHHHHHH!!!!”

              ‘Til next time,




1. narf77 - September 10, 2012

I am the same with leeches…its nice and wet outside here at the moment and the little slipperly vampire slugs are out in force and they must be in the back of my mind because the dog (rather kindly he thought) gave me a little lick on my leg yesterday and I ran off screaming and hopping up and down to get the leech off my leg. The poor dog now needs therapy and has decided that I am no longer the object of his undying love. I am going to have to really work hard on the patting stakes to regain a modicum of his trust after that effort! No tat’s for me, I can’t but help think of just how sad they would look on my aging body and how many people are going to be sporting sagging tats in their 70’s 😉

Oh God, leeches, Fran! Guess I’ll take Tasmania off my list of must-visit places. YIKES!!!! (Of course, I feel the same way about ticks over here, so tit for tat, so to speak.) But I totally agree about tats and any other forms of self-mutilation. They seem to have a history as old as humanity itself, and worldwide, and I understand the appeal of body art, but when you can wear spray-on tattoos or fantastic henna designs, screw-on earrings, and paste-on crystals, I fail to understand the need to pierce yourself for the purpose of decoration. Ouch!

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