Jul 182015

fms1The Fresh Market isn’t convenient to my house, but I’m down there enough to swing by occasionally. Recently I picked up a $2.99 jar of The Fresh Market Hot Salsa for a review.

Interestingly, this salsa is not organic, as the Earth Fare and Sprouts offerings are. I checked and double-checked the shelves to make sure I wasn’t missing a store-brand organic offering. I’m confident my local Fresh Market didn’t stock any such salsa when I looked.

So what do we have? Ingredients: Tomatoes, onions, cilantro, habanero peppers, garlic, salt, and lime juice.

This is an intriguing composition indeed. Cilantro ahead of peppers? Also interesting is that habaneros carry the entire chile pepper load here. Most salsas support with jalapenos, and many even contain bell pepper.

I tried a spoonful of it straight, and then ate a goodly amount of the jar with Tostitos Scoops. As might be expected, inside a customary tomato and onion scaffolding the cilantro hits hard, with garlic following closely. There are enough habaneros here to impart significant flavor as well as heat, and they begin making their presence known too.

(Funny thing about habaneros, and maybe even all Capiscum chinense cultivars: they build slowly, but relentlessly. People get in trouble with habaneros because by the time it actually feels like a problem, it’s too late.) Indeed, the heat here is no problem for a chilehead, but there is definitely some there. This is accurately labeled as hot.

The salsa seems to be made nearly entirely of vegetable chunks, though small ones, with readily apparent cilantro pieces. It clings reasonably well to a chip. It’s not a particularly appealing color; maybe a little paler than you might like?


The Fresh Market Hot Salsa is an unusual product. Cilantro is a common herb to flavor salsa, but it’s strong enough here to be a good piece of the gustatory road to pico de gallo sauce. The effect is not unpleasant, but it makes it a bit of an outlier for some applications. I like it, but it could be polarizing. You probably wouldn’t want to have it as your only offering when serving chips and salsa.


 Posted by at 3:01 pm
Jul 152015

When the pampas grass around the utility boxes in Ken Mackenzie’s front yard got out of hand, he removed it and replaced it with a different grass: Silver Queen corn.

The Hampton Cove Owners Association (HCOA) told Mackenzie to remove it. He reviewed the covenants extensively, and finding no restrictions against planting and growing corn, politely declined.

So, the HCOA dug in, because that’s what homeowner associations do. They’ve decided he owes a fine of $25 by July 28, or they’ll impose additional fines. They’ll also fine him $5 daily, starting next week, for every day the corn remains.

Check out the Facebook page Mackenzie started to document this debacle if you want to read the correspondence, see photos (the one above came from there), leave a supportive word, or even help pay his fines. (Anything over and above goes to relief in Kenya.)

This homeowner association has decided this corn is a violation citing very general rules against things that “diminish or destroy the enjoyment of the community” and such. There is no prohibition of corn, or any other common vegetable garden find, in the covenants. (I understand some HOAs are prohibiting vegetable gardens altogether now, even in the backyard. It depresses me how many of you gleefully sign up for this sort of tyranny.)

As the HCOA continues to wage its silly battle, Mr. Mackenzie has begun to harvest. Here’s hoping his corn outlasts the petty iron fists that would rip it out.

 Posted by at 1:35 pm
Jun 212015

Still mulling how to blog about this. It’s inhabiting me. Only writing about it effectively shall evict it, I fear. Watch this. If you have Netflix, and you have a fairly high threshold of offense, watch the entire documentary. You won’t be the same person afterward. You’ve been warned. Hot Girls Wanted official trailer (2015… […]

 Posted by at 9:11 pm

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