71 days and counting
Over the holiday break from work, I have spent a good chunk of time preparing my food, going through my gear and otherwise preparing for the trail. I have started the tedious task of putting together my resupply boxes. Our home office looks like a mail sorting room. Things are coming together!
More (Funny) Food Prep
For those of you unaware, I spent my middle and high school years in New Mexico. During those formative years, I became quite the connoisseur of green chile. Those of you from New Mexico or the surrounding southwest know exactly what Im talking about. Sure, there are chile’s from other regions that are spicy and have pretty good flavor, but unless you are from the region you don’t know what you’re missing out on. These chiles can be rather mild to intensely hot.
In preparation for the trail, I have been making copious quantities of dried foods. Dried fruit, beef jerky, and various other items that dehydrate well. A few weeks ago I had the idea of drying some of the roasted green chile I had in the freezer from this seasons chile harvest. So I loaded up 5 dehydrator trays with medium and hot chiles and set to it, The aroma from the drying chiles was delightful. It smelled up the whole house with the delicious smell of roasted chile. Smell GOOD.
Now along with the dehydration of copious amounts of food, comes the process of vacuum sealing all the dried food. I have become a vacuum sealing machine! In packaging food over the last several months, I have killed one vacuum sealer and am in the process of breaking (in) the second.
After the chiles dried, I needed to vacuum seal them to keep them “fresh” over the next few months for the trail. In surveying the situation I had the idea that I would grind the chiles up to put them in a substantially smaller vacuum bag. So, I busted out the Vitamix. It is the very best blender on the planet, in my not so humble opinion. I threw several trays worth of dried chiles in the blender and started turning the long flat green chiles into powdered. It worked flawlessly, UNTIL, I took the lid off to dump the now super fine chile powder into a bowl so I could divide it amongst the various portions. And thats when it started. It was like someone set off an allergen bomb in the house. My nose started running, my eyes were watering, I started coughing as if I had been smoking 3 packs a day for 30 years! I imagine the sensation was similar to being pepper sprayed. The heater was on, so within moments, my husband started hacking and sneezing in the living room. It took nearly an hour for the house to air out and the allergen bomb to subside.
Lesson learned – if you’re going to grind green chile, do it outside, with a respirator, hazmat suit and gloves. Only then will you be safe from the fine particles of fire the blender kicks up.