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Hot peppers redeem Mama Serra's cooking

Updated on July 6, 2014

A pot of peppers.

I can grow hot peppers!
I can grow hot peppers!

If Mom can cook ... so can you!

My parents were good farmers and could grow anything. My first cousin comes to visit us from Illinois where she has never been on a farm a day in her life.. We both put a peach pit in the ground. Hers grows into a tree. I can only imagine what happened to mine.

A few years ago I did find one thing that actually grows for me and it renewed my life and gave me a reputation as both a gardener and a cook.

I can grow hot peppers.

My daughter gave me seeds for a gift and I planted them as instructed. I set them in the pot on the front step of our house. I got an adrenalin-rush because the seeds actually produced a plant which actually produced a pepper.

Something actually grows for me. All I needed was to grow that one pepper and I went all-out freak over hot peppers. The next summer I purchased pepper plants and put them in larger pots all over the back yard. I became, in my mind, a pepper farmer.

I had so many peppers I knew I'd have to learn to cook something. My children gave me a bad reputation in our neighborhood by going to eat at the neighbor's houses and confessing to them that their Mom didn't know how to cook. Nevertheless, I couldn't just grow pepper plants to show off. I needed to do something with them.

I went out and purchased the book, "The Whole Chile-pepper Cookbook."

I made a major discovery!

All I have to do to get people to rave over my cooking is to throw in a hot pepper. My family now thinks of me as the Queen of Guacamole and the Sultaness of Salsa. I even had an offer from someone who would pay for a jar of Mama Serra's Burn Your Lips Hot Salsa.

I've gone from "My mother doesn't know how to cook," to "Mom would you make us some salsa for our party." Am I proud? Yes, I am.

Canyon Pie made with Mama Serra's hot peppers

Suggest some recipes for your favorite peppers.

What is your favorite pepper for cooking and making sauces?

See results

The only cookbook I need

Whole chili pepper book
Whole chili pepper book

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