It’s time. It happens every year. I know it’s time when it comes to me in my dreams. I can smell them. And so, it is time I make my annual pilgrimage to Dean’s Farm Produce, in Brighton, Colorado, to get my roasted chilies.
Dean’s isn’t a sleepy road side produce stand, nor is it a yuppified new-age supermarket. Dean’s is one of those metal warehouses that cover about an acre, with one third set aside for retail. When you pull into the dirt parking lot, you can smell the chilies roasting. Everyone is bi-lingual, except gringos like me. They don’t only sell roasted chilies. You can get bushels of tomatoes, corn, onions, 50lb sacks of pinto beans, dried flaked chilies, cukes, and fresh chilies of every type.
And while there is a plethora of produce to pick from, we all know what we’re there for: roasted chilies. Sure we’ll get other stuff. But nobody leaves without roasted chilies.
I usually get a couple bushels of roasted chilies. Some hot Hatch, some Espanolia, or maybe some Sandia’s. Depends on my mood that day. After they are roasted, they’re put in big plastic bags, and then into cardboard boxes. On the ride home, I roll up the windows on the car so it is engulfed with the aroma of roasted chilies. Once home the chilies sit in a sunny spot on the patio for three hours to steam in their own juices. Then, while I’m listening to the Rockies game, they are packed away in quart freezer bags, for their long winter’s nap.
Why, your may ask, would anyone want two bushels of roasted chilies? Well, as the saying goes, if you have to ask…