Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hot peppers are not a vegetable.

We have three people working daily at our house: Myers, Diana and Talent. All three are on work-study scholarships that require them to perform household chores like laundry, making sure the dog doesn't attack and eat the two ducks we bought, cleaning and cooking lunch. Lunch is ready between 1:00 and 4:00 on any given day and includes rice with different kinds of soup flavored with boiled garlic, onions and a stock cube. And anywhere between 20 to 40 chili peppers.

I spent my formative years in New Delhi daily eating raw chilies and South Indian food. In New York, I once put so much red pepper on my pizza that the Mexican staff came out of the kitchen to watch me eat it, congratulating me that they'd never seen a woman eat so much chili. But at the moment, most of the color in my diet comes from green and red chili peppers added by the handful, and how to say it tactfully? They are not a vegetable.

Here's a photo of Diana cooking over charcoal (does anyone know the name of the eco-friendly stove pioneered in East Africa ) under the awning of our house, staying dry from the rain. The lovely green stuff is a sauce of potato greens, which are mellow and sweet. Cassava greens and palaver (which means "to argue") greens are also available, and I intend to figure out how to cook them. Note the color in the pot, which is all hot pepper...


  1. Check stoves here... I think they're using Rocket stoves in Haiti, which might be the cheapest?

  2. I did a pilot Justa (chimney) stove in El Salvador. They were great because they used local materials like lava rock, clay, and molasses, cut down on firewood use and were especially designed for cooking common dishes like beans and tortilla. We also made cheaper Rocket stove project. But I have to say that two years after the project, I only saw a few of the stoves in use. When something broke, they didn't fix it. That isn't a good sign. Seems like something was missing either in the design or the way the project was implemented.

  3. Scrubness, where can I find out more about the design and field implementation of these? Thanks for your comments!


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