Coming from a family of farmers—my dad grew up on a dairy farm in New York's North Country and my brother grows acres of sweet corn in Rochester—you'd figure something green could flourish on my watch.
But this summer the only truly thriving crops on our slice of land seem to be weeds and jalapeno peppers.
I still have the poison ivy scars up and down my legs to remind me of my last weed-wacking session, but I don't have a "Hey, wear jeans next time" kind of strategy in place to deal with what promises to be a countertop full of ripe jalapeno peppers.
It's an early photo accompanying this article, but one modest plant transformed from hosting a single cute baby bud to a home for more than 12 serious peppers in a matter of just a few weeks.
And she's not alone. Nearby, a dozen other plants my son started from seed promise the same yield.
That's a lot of salsa.
Considering the fact children under the age of 10 might not be the most receptive audience to recipes packed with jalapeno peppers, no matter how much fun they had planting them and watching them grow, I'm assuming the adults in the house are on their own come harvest time.
So what's the best way to use up Mother Nature's spicy bounty that perhaps doesn't exclusively involve tomatoes, onions and cilantro or a chain restaurant-style, deep-fried "popper" treatment?
Have you ever tried jalapeno margaritas or jalapeno jelly—or maybe even jalapeno wine?
Your best tips and recipes can help me and your neighbors so I encourage you to share in the comments below.
(It can also help my neighbors as I will no doubt be leaving baskets of peppers on their doorsteps.)
I'll attempt to make the tastiest looking ones and report back on how well it worked—with photos.
What's growing well for you this summer?