Dear Tom, my son promised he wouldn’t weaponize the ghost peppers.

Ghost Peppers or Red Naga: Where the Ghost Pepper is From and Why It’s so Hot.


The (dreaded) Red Naga.

My son made me grow them. He has plans. I did warn him there would be no weaponizing of the Ghost Peppers. Merely harvesting them was scary enough. For the time being they are safely ensconced in my freezer. Along with these chilies- bought the seedlings from a corner vendor:


Chilies Diablo.

All he could say was~ “Chilies Diablo. Muy caliente.” So far I’ve harvested two quart bags and I’ve got at least another couple quarts still ripening on the plants. I too have plans!

Sambal Oelek!

I’ve very excited about this! Chrismukkah presents for all!

I’ve had a little time on my hands and a little produce left over from last year. Finally got around to dealing with it.

I added this year’s quince harvest to last year’s harvest (freezer) and made two pints of quince jam. The stuff is like gold! A gallon of quinces made a measly two pints.


Quince Jam.

I also dried my drunken figs. Yes, drunken. They’ve been soaking in rum for a year, I’ll have you know! I dried them with my new food dehydrator.


Dried Drunken Figs.

These are killer, man. Each one is like a shot of rum.

I thought I’d give a shout out to Jake- He treed a mountain lion last week. Dang! The thing was yowling at him like a kazoo! Jake went insane chasing the lion across the yard. It managed to scramble up into one of our redwoods. Seriously, the yowling sounded like a kazoo. My son said, “Mom, I don’t think there are any wild kazoos marauding around Napa.” Took me a long time to get the dog back in so the lion could be on his/her merry way. Hey, I don’t care about mountain lions. They snag the vicious marauding raccoons, so… (And yeah, it’s always me who has to go out and retrieve the dog. Oscar can sleep through an earthquake.)

Speaking of raccoons– Another shout out to my goldfish. Our little pond is a good example of survival of the fittest. This tough guy is two years old! He’s outlasted twelve other goldfish, all of whom have been eaten by raccoons and egrets. He’s super smart. Has a good hiding place. Only comes out for me even though I’ve never fed him. Occasionally I pull out some of the algae, otherwise the pond is a nice little ecosystem. Provides him with all the food he requires.


The Goldfish.

His name is Fishy-Fishy. If anyone has a better suggestion I’m sure he won’t mind.

Still recovering. More on that at a later time.

That’s about it for now. Peace out.



16 thoughts on “Dear Tom, my son promised he wouldn’t weaponize the ghost peppers.

      1. juliabarrett Post author

        Well, I did come nose to nose with one. They are magnificent. But I wouldn’t want to come that close without a big dog snarling at it. Because it might eat me.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Jaye

    I grew some jalapenos just for fun, and the damned things turned out so hot not even my husband will eat them. Maybe I got ghost peppers by accident? Sure would love some of those dried rum figs, though. My mouth waters just thinking about them.

    As for the cat, the thing to remember is that as lone hunters they are very wary about being injured. So if you face one, make yourself look and sound big and dangerous. If it thinks you’ll fight back and possibly injure it, it’ll think twice about attacking. And get a hat with great big googly eyeballs on the back of it. If they’re coming in your yard, you don’t want one leaping from the trees or the roof when they think you aren’t looking. Jeez. I thought MY neighborhood was a wildlife refuge. Though with the deer population spiraling out of control, we might merit a visit from a cat sooner or later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Yes, just like in India, Jaye. Wear a mask backwards so the tiger thinks you’re looking at it! Once Jake and I came upon a young lion while hiking. He was so intent upon eating that all my flapping and screaming and yelling did nothing. Thus we retreated. With all the deer you have in your yard I am surprised you’ve never had a visit from a mountain lion. Truly I don’t worry about them. I have Jake and I figure they’d rather avoid me anyway.


  2. Diana Stevan

    Like that you share some of your activity, Julia. Whereabouts are you again? Oregon or you mentioned Napa valley. Sounds so wild. We get deer but the only cats in the near distance are cougars and we have lots of those on Vancouver Island. Though I’ve never seen one. Daughter lived on a farm nearby in the early years of her marriage and one came by and killed a couple of sheep and scared the hell out of their domestic cats.

    As for your peppers, never quite sure how to use them. Didn’t grow up with them in our diet. I occasionally add dried ones but that’s as far as I go And yes, like Jaye, would love a rum drenched fig. Yum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Perhaps we can get Jaye to send you her flaming jalapenos, Diana! 😉 You have bears. Bears scare me. We live in the Napa Valley. My parents and my sister live in Oregon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marylin Warner

    Bring on the Dried Drunken Figs, Julia. I love them! But I’ll pass on the Ghost Peppers. My cousin nurtured and harvested some…and without thinking, she took out her contact lenses so she could take a shower. Oh-oh, too much heat and eye burn!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      My husband loves the dried figs, Marylin. I don’t eat them. But you know, I needed something to do with our surplus of figs! We can’t eat them fast enough otherwise. And of course I refuse to let anything edible go to waste. 🙂 The Ghost Peppers – the aroma is enough to make me cough.


  4. Gary

    The Ghost Pepper . . .
    I am now in my 74th year on this world and at least 50 of those years has been searching for a 10, on my own personal scale from zero to 10 . . . zero being any mild taco sauce found on any grocery shelf, anywhere . . . 3 – jalapeño, . . . 6 – Habanero, . . . 8 – Thai, I understand it to be of the “Siling Labuyo” variety. (I put the pleasure score of the Habanero below the Thai Siling Labuyo because I find the Habanero looses it’s heat, when it’s heated and, remember, I’m looking for a 10).
    So, a few months ago, an interesting package of red, shriveled peppers on the grocer’s shelf, with all the ‘heat indicators’ lit up, drew my attention. While cutting it up with steady tears and continuous, involuntary sneezing, for the nachos I was preparing, I knew this pepper was going to be good. Of course, it was THE GHOST PEPPER and I wasn’t disappointed!
    After many trials, it maintains a 9.6 on my own personal scale, thereby providing an allowance for the future, before I escape this world.
    BTW, l cut them fresh into small pieces, dry and crush them into a coarse powder to save & sprinkle . . . even better . . . a 9.65 . . . and TEN is only theoretical!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Diana Stevan

    Ah, Julia, love your domesticity. I’m a graduate of the School of Home Economics, U of M. Now a defunct faculty. Times have changed. You put me to shame. Rob is the one who’s been cooking every night lately. Thank God for him. I will start my Christmas and yes, Hannukah celebrations (now that Rob found out he’s almost 12% Jewish). Enjoy your peppers and figs.

    Liked by 1 person


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