Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Caffeine, Migraines and Green Chile Season

Hi, my name's Kris and I'm addicted to caffeine. 

Yesterday, quite by accident, I had zero caffeine.  Not an ounce.  I wasn't in the mood for my usual cup of coffee in the morning, and I didn't have a single diet coke all day.  I did not anticipate the enormous skull busting migraine I'd have by 4 PM.  I honestly didn't think I consumed enough caffeine to warrant withdrawal symptoms.  OH gawd did it hit me though.  By the time I got home and ate a couple of tostadas I was ready to die.  I thought (silly me) that the headache and tummy trouble was because my blood sugar was so low.  Long story short - I crashed at 6:30 like old people do.  I was feverish, trembling, seeing the aura....I took two tylenol - no help.  All night long I wanted to put the clamps on my head.  This morning, I go for my usual cup of hazelnut coffee and like magic...*poof* its gone.  I'm an addict.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Latest discovery/addiction:  since I'm not big on fruit, I'm trying new things to force myself to consume the daily requirement.  So this weekend I dumped the following items into my food processor:  a bag of frozen strawberries, two not too ripe bananas, about 8 packets of equal, and a splash of skim milk.  I hit pulse for a while, then poured it into cups for me and the kids and oh my goodness was it wonderful.  There's half the fruit I'm supposed to eat each day.  Yummmmmmmmm....

Finally....its chile season.  For those of you (unfortunate souls) who live outside the southwestern portion of the US (shoot even Texans have a hard time with this - And you Texans, go ahead and get miffy.  Y'all just have no idea.  So there.)...its chile.   (pronounced chee-lay)  Not the kind you get in the can with mystery meat and beans, that's "chili".  This is in the pepper family and the taste is not only unique and orgasmic, its addicting.  So, about this time each year you see people roasting it by the bag and the smell is unbelievable (see pics above).  The official question here in New Mexico is "red or green?" for a reason.  You can put chile on just about anything, and most things just aren'tright without it.  Pizza, for instance.  Hamburgers and/or cheeseburgers.  You can actually get green chile on your Big Mac here, but they had to fight for it.  I think it even went to court.  Subway serves it.  Yep, you can get your veggie delight with guac and green chile.  They even make green chile jelly, but that's a little too much for me (blech).  You can put it on eggs, or sandwiches, or bake it into cornbread....mmmmm

True Story:  I traveled to Chicago for a conference once, and had the unfortunate experience of eating a chile-less pizza because, as I came to find out, people in Chicago have no idea what green chile is.  I ordered pizza from this wonderful place and ordered green chile as a topping.  Dude brings green pepper.  Bell pepper.  I was like, uhmmmm no green chile.  Its spicy, its green, and it comes roasted.  Dude nods like he understands, but brings back jalapenos.  I gave up. 

Anyway about this time of year I end up shipping off huge amounts of green chile to all my friends and relatives who made the sorry decision to leave and relocate to white bread places who have no green chile. This is the only time of year you can get it fresh, and the best thing to do is to go home and peel it and freeze it for the next year.  This is why so many New Mexicans buy an extra freezer solely for green chile storage.  The weird thing about it is that the longer you freeze it, the spicier it gets.  I wonder why that is.  Now I'm craving rellenos.  (Whole chiles stuffed with cheese and batter fried, smothered in more chile.)  Obviously I can't have that often, but its totally worth the 9 gazillion calories and bucketfuls of fat.  My mind is wandering...  ANYWAYS If you even have the opportunity to try authentic Mexican food (not tex-mex or taco bell), please do.  Shoot come to New Mexico during the Balloon Fiesta and have a breakfast burrito.  It's worth the trip, honest. 

Mmmmmmm.....chile.....

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