This evening, before dark, I got a really good fire going. Scott helped me clean the quince, and we sat outside for a couple hours, had some awesome cucumber-cherry tomato-avocado salad with a pistachio butter-blood orange vinegar dressing, and chatted while grilling seitan sausages & corn, enjoying the Unti 2005 Dry Creek Zinfandel, nearly full moon and sounds of four different aircraft and the freeway from my North Oakland neighborhood.
Finally, the fire died down and it was time to put on the mesquite chips in the heavy aluminu foil pan I made for Sunday's test run. Scott thought the fire would die down too quickly so bade me add more small bits of wood - some oak bark the size of my wrist - around the sides of the pan. I put the 5# of red jalapeno peppers above the soaked mesquite and put the aluminum foil covered spar arrestor back on. It was smoky.
Soon enough - I saw weird lights - I knew what it was - a few weeks ago at my friend Freeze's house in West O, we were visited by firefighters looking for a housefire. I went back into the yard and stepped up on the fence to see my new neighbor Pete showing his cold grill to a firefighter. I told him "I'm smoking peppers back here on my BBQ, do you want to come see?" - he said no and left. Then, less than 10 minutes later, I saw more weird flashing light from the front of my house - I went out and saw another fire truck - they wanted to see my grill. One of the first things they did was hand me half an 8.5x11" sheet of paper with a phone number of the fire dispatch - next time I have a BBQ, they said, just call and give my address.
The three firefighters followed me to my back yard - I showed them my fire pit and they said, "That's fine - fires in that kind of contained setting are good." I lifted the lid to show them my red jalapenos that were supposed to be smoking - and the flames jumped up and the flashlights showed charred peppers.
"Oh," said one firefighter, "That's a do-over."
Gee. Thanks, dude. Scott took responsibility for it - he said to add more wood and the fire went way too high. I salvaged 1 cup of roasted pepper for 5# of peppers. *sigh* That's expensive. Time to check with Julia at Mariquita to find out if I can get more red jalapenos in a couple weeks when I get back from my big off road motorcycle adventure.