My group of friends here in Hawaii are a decidedly versatile bunch with a disproportionate amount of extracurricular hobbies and skills. One friend who designs jewelry doubles as an Iron (Wo)man-level athlete, another who is a graphic designer is also an internationally-ranked bodyboarder, and still another works as a mason and moonlights as a DIY foodie.
In fact, when I think about it, it turns out that my manliest of friends all get their kicks in the kitchen. These guys are closeted cooks, bakers, and food dorks and their skills take centerstage during holiday gift exchanges. I’m grateful to have such stellar friends and feel it enough that they drop me a line at Christmas, but there’s something particularly warm and fuzzy about receiving a homemade gift. Of course, it’s two-thumbs up from me if it’s also edible. This year it seems it was chili Christmas as many gifts had a capsaicin theme. One friend concocted a ghost chili moonshine that gave me hiccups, another a jalapeno-pineapple libation that got my lip tingling, and now this homemade chili pepper water with locally-grown chilis.
I’ve yet to crack into the chili pepper water but think it’ll be just the thing for my hair-of-the-dog Bloody Mary’s come New Year’s Day.