I’m a mean blogger. I deceived you with the title of this post. I bet you probably thought I would show you pretty pictures of Italy surrounded in snow. I’m sorry, but that’s not the case. We’ve had ridiculously thick fog a few times that makes me think I’m in a winter wonderland, but I still haven’t seen a single snowflake.
As for it looking like Christmas….check out what I found at our commissary:
Red and green New Mexico chile (aka “Christmas”) in Italy! Who knew?! If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile then you know how
addicted obsessed fond we are of chile. The fact that they have this (and that our freezer is now stocked with several of these containers in case they suddenly decide to not carry them anymore) is unbelievably exciting!
Before we left America my mom, Kenny, and I tried to think of all the different possibilities for getting our chile out here. We tried dehydrating it (lost the flavor); we tried it from a jar (lost the heat, but still had some flavor), from cans (has a strange acidity to it), and even tried mailing some pods over (they got moldy), but nothing worked. Shipping it would be too expensive, because it needs to stay frozen or over dry ice and there’s no telling how long it would take to get here. We were beginning to lose hope.
I was at the post office on base one day and I was wearing my NMSU sweatshirt (my alma mater) and the guy getting our mail asked if I was from New Mexico. It turns out that we went to the same high school (completely different years), and only lived a few miles away from each other back in Albuquerque. Such a small world! Anyway, I asked him if he missed his chile fix.
He looked at me for a minute, cocked his head, and looked around before he whispered, “You mean you don’t know?”
“Know what?” I replied in the same hushed tone.
“There’s chile at the commissary. Frozen. Next to the pizza,” he exclaimed with a smile. He was clearly eager to share his secret, but his almost-whisper told me he didn’t want to share it with everyone. We New Mexicans are seriously crazy for our chile.
“SHUT UP! Seriously?” was my response. I barely had time to thank him before I was out the door and stocking my cart with our favorite type of “Christmas.”
And that was that. We now have a little piece of home in Italy! So far I’ve made green chile chicken enchiladas, green chile stew yesterday, taco pie the day before, and I’m making green chile sauce today.
I was almost hesitant to share this, because I have a huge fear I’ll go to buy more and there won’t be any left, but that just means other people will be enjoying it out here, which is a-okay with me… I guess 🙂