Donne Sali

Nothing says summer like heat, whether it’s the atmosphere or the bounty from the garden. With this year’s bumper crop of hot chilies coming in extra spicy and all at once, its good to have a way to preserve that summer heat all year long. These photos are from last year’s crop. I had so many peppers last year that I still have a jar of this chili paste, even though I gave over half the chili paste away to anyone brave enough to take it. One of the biggest problems with growing hot chilies is that the peppers all ripen at the same time, and just one single pepper is way too much fire for one meal. This recipe involves no cooking and will help preserve that summer spice all year round, and you can add just as much at you need.

So you decided to grow hot peppers and now you have way too many. Solution: make donne. Donne is a chili paste made with spicy chilies and preserved with vinegar.

Ingredients:SONY DSC

Chilis, Garlic, Salt, Vinegar

  1. -Cut up chilies and garlic. Be cautious when cutting up very hot chilies. You may even want to use latex gloves.


  2. -Place peppers and garlic in food processor. Add enough vinegar to allow the chilies to blend evenly. Sprinkle a small amount of salt on top.

  3. -Blend until an even consistency is reached. SONY DSC

  4. -Bottle and refrigerate.


The vinegar preserves the chilies and allows the paste to stay edible for up to a year. The flavor and potency will fade a little over time, but usually theSONY DSC paste is so spicy that  it is is barely noticeable.  Depending on how hot the peppers are, this stuff makes Sriracha taste like ketchup.

For this batch I had a bunch of Cherry Bomb peppers that were ripe, which have a very nice sweet flavor but are not overly spicy (I estimate ~2000-3000 Scoville units). To put a little more punch into it I added a couple ripe habaneros. Since this mix is ‘Sweet’, I used rice vinegar, though normally I used distilled white vinegar for a truer flavor.

I’ll be enjoying the peppers from my garden all year. Will you?

Read more about donne and the wild chilies of Guam click HERE.

Posted for the DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin


Tangan Tangan Invasion

A DP Weekly Photo Challenge – Abandoned

Tangan Tangan overtaking the abandoned (taken on Guam, by flora-file)

The Marianas Islands saw a lot of action during WW II. Guam and many other islands in the Pacific were also attacked and conquered on the same day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. For the U.S., winning back Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands (especially Tinian and Saipan) was of the utmost importance during the fighting in the Pacific theatre, and the liberation of these islands eventually led to the notorious voyage of the Enola Gay.

The extensive bombing and fighting that happened on the islands left much of the natural forested areas bare, especially since Allied forces had defoliated many jungle areas in an attempt to flush out Japanese soldiers hiding in the thickets. After the war the US Military began air strikes of a different kind, but instead of dropping bombs they were dropping seeds. Tangan-tangan (Leucaena leucocephala) seeds to be exact. These trees grew quickly and flourished in disturbed soils. They are in the the pea family and have the ability to build up soil fertility through the nitrogen fixing nodes on their roots (like many members of Fabaceae). Now vast tracts of the islands are covered by tangan-tangan tees, often times forming nearly impenetrable thickets. It is surprising where they sometimes decide to grow.

In the 1970’s and 80’s the tree became known as the miracle-tree because of its worldwide success as a long lived and highly nutritious forage tree, as well as it’s many other uses. Besides forage, Leucaena can be used for firewood, timber, human food, green manure, shade, and erosion control.

Sources (iii)