Mr. and Mrs. De Leon
How We Began
I am often asked how Grannie Annie’s Chile began. Each time I hear that question my mind races back to my mom’s small kitchen, where I see her and my dad cleaning and peeling green chile. It’s fall in New Mexico, where the smell of roasting chile fills the cool autumn air. I, like most other native New Mexicans, grew up eating chile with many of our meals and I enjoyed the unique flavor it adds. My mother had a recipe for chile that had been handed down to her from my grandmother. We used my grandmother's recipe to make our chile and soon preparing and jarring chile would become an annual tradition.
I would join in on the preparations, and by evening we would have enough jars of chile to last us until next season. Making chile with my mom was more than just preparing for the winter months, it was a special time of intimate bonding with her that I now cherish so much.
My mom and I spent many years making chile; filling the pantry and sharing our chile with friends and family. When my mom became ill she was no longer able to continue the hard work of making and jarring chile. With each passing season, I realized how much I missed our time together.
One afternoon, prior to her passing, my mom came to visit. I told her I had a surprise for her. I went to my pantry and brought out a jar of chile. She was so happy when she saw the jar of chile I had made! She told me how very proud she was that I had learned her recipe and was carrying on the tradition.
Today I find myself again in a kitchen, only this time I am making chile with my son. Granny Annie’s Chile is the same recipe we have used for generations. Now, it has become a way for me to honor my mother and remember her. I hope the memories my son has of me and him making chile will be as fond as the memories I have of me and my mom. Granny Annie’s Chile is a way for me to share a piece of our family with you. I hope you enjoy our chile.
Delfina De Leon Andrea