Chile Weather

Is this a chile lovin' town or what? Over 1,000 hot sauce recipes have been judged in two hot sauce contests in rapid succession during a blast furnace of a summer. Last weekend, Market Master Hill Rylander debuted his brand new chile roasters at the Austin Chronicle Sixth Annual Hot Sauce Festival and this Sunday, August 31, he is hosting a chile roasting party, 8am-2pm at the market, 6701 Burnet. Rylander has arranged to import green chiles from Hatch, New Mexico for the event. Hot on their heels is the Fresh Chile Pepper Festival at the Travis County Farmer's Market. Restaurants in the market will feature chile delicacies such as green chile cheeseburgers, chile rellenos, barbecue brisket & green chile stew, and Sloppy Jose's. Market shoppers can sample the fare while gathering information about the storage and handling of chiles and some recipes for their use. The New Mexican chiles don't flourish in our climate and are only available during a short growing season. Roasting them in large batches and freezing them for use during the rest of the year is a must for green chile lovers. Chile roasting will continue at the Market until the end of the growing season, roughly the middle of October.

Still Having a Ball

The Whole Foods "Grape Stomp With Lucy" bus trip to the Texas wine country was so wildly successful, trips on two subsequent weekends have been scheduled. Check with Pamela Boyar at Whole Foods, 477-5566, ext. 183, for space availability for this weekend's tours. The good news is that Fall Creek Vineyard's vines have escaped damage from the dreaded Pierce's disease that is attacking vineyards all over the country. "We've been very lucky," says Fall Creek owner Susan Auler, whose late summer harvest celebration is that much sweeter. The Aulers are working with winery owners statewide to en-courage more funding for research on Pierce's disease so that it might be irradicated.

Vintage Edition

It's no secret that I love community cookbooks, those wonderful snapshots of regional American in-home cuisine published as charity fundraisers. The Junior League of Austin has published a 20th anniversary limited edition of their well-received first cookbook, The Collection ($19.95, hard) with lovely new artwork by popular local artist Nancy Hoover. The Collection's 600 triple-tested recipes are vintage 1970's Austin (Mike & Charlie's quiche, Italian Cream Cake, Portuguese soup, more beef recipes than you'd see today) but many of them will appeal to Nineties sensibilities. The original Collection sold over 45,000 copies and raised over $93,000 to support League projects. Now the new edition joins the League's current hot selling cookbook, Necessities and Temptations in local cookware and bookstores. The books make great definitive Austin gifts. They can be ordered by phone and shipped by mail, call 467-9455. I still use my copy frequently, especially the recipe for Lou Neff's Sandtarts. On Saturday, September 7, 1-3pm, Chez Zee pastry chef Corey Harris will present samples of some of The Collection recipes for a tasting and book sale at Cornerstone Hardware, 3801 Bee Caves Rd.


In last week's Hot Sauce Festival Coverage, I erroneously reported that salsa entrepreneur J.P. Hayes was a graduate of UT. In reality, he's an Aggie. We meant no disrespect.

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