We are happy and enjoying life in Texas. Rachel turns 11 just before Christmas and is enjoying sixth grade. Heather is 22 and has one more year to go to graduation in manufacturing engineering. Win still puts people to sleep (and wakes them back up again) for a living, and Steve is still an attorney with St. Paul Travelers. We are still in Plano with Vinnie the cat and five chickens.
Other than Win facing down a hawk to save the chickens, the most exciting thing we did this year is we went back to peppers in the garden. Many of you have heard the story of how we accidentally cross-pollinated a crop of peppers. No one is sure what happened, but touching them would give you a chemical burn and eventually we had to throw them out since they were just too dangerous -- even for a practical joke.
This all happened before Rachel was born. The story has become a thing of legend in our home. We still have a garden. And every year, as we pick out what we are going to grow this year, Rachel asks for a small plot for herself. And every year, Rachel tries to recreate “The Year of Dangerous Peppers.” This year Rachel planted jalapenos, bell peppers, anaheims and tabasco peppers.
There was no cross-pollination, but we did end up with a huge crop of peppers. So, we tried to do something with the peppers. Anything. Everything. We even began taking peppers to work. Alas, even co-workers would only take so many. It was almost as if we had zucchinis. We tried a lot of cooking with peppers. Still too many peppers.
Rachel tried a “Lemonade and Organic Peppers” stand. She managed to sell a lot of lemonade, but not so many peppers. In desperation, she started making people take peppers when they bought a drink. That unloaded a few peppers .. And she raised $27.00 for Vest-a-Dog – a organization that provides bullet proof vests for SWAT team dogs.
One day, Win came up with pepper relish and pepper jelly that was good. Wow good. Really good stuff. We have discovered a great new food item and a easy way to use more peppers. Suddenly, we don’t seem to have enough peppers. The relish goes fast at our house. We even made some of Win's special cranberry ginger jam to distract people who were coming by for the pepper jelly.
We hope that this holiday season finds you healthy, and safe. We wish you all the joy and blessings that life and this season holds. And expect to be receiving peppers from us.
The Marsh Family
Steve, Win, Heather, and Rachel