Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Datil Pepper Update

This is my grandfather "Papa" and his dog Smoky.
Papa was the datil pepper master.

These are my baby datil peppers with their first true leaves. This picture was taken about a month ago.

Here are those same peppers and me just last weekend.

Both the peppers and the pepper planter are grandchildren of Papa.
For years, he started and sold thousands of datil pepper plants from his backyard greenhouse in St. Augustine. People came from all over to walk up on to his porch, knock on the door, and inquire, "Arthur, you got any peppers?"
And he usually did.

The seeds I sow are the seeds of his plants, harvested, and kept safe each year for planting in the next.

Now with the wonder of the internet, I get to spread datil joy and heat around the world.

I think Papa would be both amazed and happy to know that.
I hope so.

Last week, while searching for just the right word to make a witty comment on Zick's blog, I stumbled across this word, "picadillo".
Turns out, it's a Cuban hash ... with olives and raisins in it!
What the heck? 
Olives and raisons in the same dish?

So, I found a recipe and made piccadillo.

It was surprisingly tasty, but not something I will make often.In the picture above it is the brown entree on the left.
The black beans were spectacular as always and I should have just made a giant pot of them.  I minced up 3 datil peppers in the food whacker so the beans had a wonderful flavor and really nice heat.
My black beans always are made with  garlic, oregano, one beer minus a few sips, onion, bell pepper, salt, bay leaf, and sometimes a chorizzo all whacked up.
(This batch was meatless.)


lisa said...

Doesn't look appetizing from the picture but looks can be deceiving.

Octohawk said...

One of my friends' dad always grew datil peppers and made THE MOST AMAZING hot sauce I've ever had. I wish I could get the recipe for it, but no such luck..

swamp4me said...

We are hoping for a bountiful crop from the seeds we got from you! I'll have to try the black bean recipe - hopefully the beer will make it into the pot ;)

Floridacracker said...

Well, it is hash after all.

Just search PureFlorida for a great sauce recipe. I posted it a while back.

Sometimes you have to open two to get one in the pot.

Hurricane Teen said...

Going out barefoot just before sunrise, dew soaking my feet and the songs of birds in my ears. Pinching off one pepper after another and dropping them into a bucket. Then off to the garden plot to get some dirt between my toes while checking on the collards, squash, okra, and tomatoes.
Hard to believe that's how every morning started for me less than three years ago. Oh, how things change. Thanks for bringing back some very vivid pleasant memories :-)
My Datils are also descended from my grandpa's. That's one of the best parts about growing them.

Deb said...

I just started some of the datil seeds I received from you last year. Hopefully they will fare better than last year. Do you make the black beans from dried beans or canned?

roger said...

hope my datil seeds from plants i grew in, oh dear--time does fly, 2006 are still viable. too early here to start them yet.

Floridacracker said...

Hurricane PostTeen,
You will get there again after college and that Weather Channel job.
I have two words for you:

I always start with dried beans, but I rinse em, then put them in a plastic bowl with some salted water and microwave them for about 4 minutes. Then I let them sit and expand while I saute all those other tasty things in olive oil.
After the beans have plumped up they go in the pot.
That microwave step saves a lot of stove top time.

email me a snail mail address if you need more.

The Florida Blogger said...

I never thought about how the food we cook is a sort of food genealogy. It tells something of where we've come from and who made what we are making. Pretty neat if you really give it some thought.

Dani said...

Peppers??? What peppers??? All I saw was a nice piece of man flesh there. ;)

Miz S said...

Don't tell him that, Dani! He's gonna get all egoboastical. Put a shirt on, boy!

Dani said...


If Pablo was here he would comment on the lack of sleeves.

Floridacracker said...

FL Blogger,
That is very true.

Dani and Miz S,
Yes, my Papa was a handsome fella.
He's wearing sleeves though.

amarkonmywall said...

Mary- that's more clothing than 90% of men in Florida wear and 95% of them pale in comparison to both these crackers. FC- was coming by to say that my peppers have sprouted! I planted a whole window box of them and put them on the screen porch to keep squirrels from digging and now they are up! Hooray!

Speaking of diggers, that poor Gopher probably wonders what on earth he's done wrong to deserve such reprimand while much of it seems lost on the made me laugh out loud!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Vicki... for validating my wardrobe. This is how I dress on my time in the warm season.
As little as possible, basically.
It's hot down here.

Hey that is great that your datils are up and growing in Norcalina!
I love hearing how they are doing in places beyond FL.
And yes, most reprimands are lost on happy go lucky Bear.

Dani said...

I miss Pablo.

Island Rider said...

What kind of a dog did your grandpa have? He's really cute.

Floridacracker said...

Yes, I know. One wonders if his lake still holds water, is the cabin even more comfy, are the pecans pecanning ...

Cathy S,
Oh gosh. Some kind of sheepdog cross I think.
Fat and spoiled for sure.

Ivan said...

Picadillo sin carne no es picadillo... But ground turkey works great!