It took a while to act on the inspiration the change of seasons brought, but last night I fired up the first batch of chili of the autumn, and it's currently finishing on the stove after about 15 hours of cooking. After several batches in a row that were on the milder side (only by comparison, as they were still very hot), this time around it is positively nuclear. The path to this outcome started when I had a conversation with the farmer at the farm stand about his habaneros that I was buying, where he explained that they were not as hot as you'd expect because of the colder weather they were exposed to before being picked. This helped my decision to include some of the dried ghost peppers we have on hand, and since the batch of wings I made with one of them was edible, I decided I could use three of them in seven pounds of meat, since they are hardly larger than raisins. So a dozen "mild" habaneros and three "tiny" dried ghost peppers (okay, and a can of chipotles) have resulted in an extremely hot chili, which looking back over this sentence, should not be as surprising as all that.
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