The hot, sizzling days of August…
It’s August, and our weather is still hot and dry, our skies are crystal clear and brilliantly blue with stacks of white, puffy, cumulus clouds lining the horizon, and myriad, joyous summertime activities are in full swing.
But it won’t be long before the final days of summer end. Already, plans are firmly under way for the 76th annual Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival, that most joyous and singularly fun-filled event that everyone in the Valley looks forward to with great anticipation.
But residents also know that once the fair ends, that signifies the end of summer. Likewise, educators and students alike are looking forward to and beginning to make plans for the upcoming school year.
And while the Antelope Valley Fair salutes our long history of agriculture and rural heritage, the 10-day extravaganza also brings to mind the blazing summer heat and those 100-degree-plus days that often accompany the fair. In that vein, this August issue of LIFESTYLE will explore another realm of high temperatures — hot and spicy foods.
Chile peppers and award-winning recipes are featured in two stories. Staff writer Alisha Semchuck, in “Award-winning salsa fresh from the garden,” profiles Marcia Sanchez-Walsh and discusses how she came to enter the first-place winner in the 2013 Antelope Valley Fair’s Fresh Salsa contest.
And in “Perennial fair winner for peppers,” staff writer Allison Gatlin, with accompanying photos by staff photographer Christina Ramos, talks with John Manry, whose pepper and canned salsa entries garner numerous fair ribbons
Staff writer Claudia Lopez, with photos by photo operations manager Ron Siddle, examines the one-man operation behind El Charro Hot Sauce in “Family recipe spices things up.” Restaurateur Jorge Oropeza makes and bottles his own hot sauce, based on a family recipe. And editor Dennis Anderson, in “Tom Williams is ‘wild’ about salsa,” explores the story behind Wild Willy’s Salsa.
And the craze to develop the world’s hottest chile pepper is reviewed by special sections editor Karen Maeshiro in her story, “Heated race to the top.” The competition to develop the world’s hottest chile has been described as “cutthroat” and likened to an escalating arms race. Also included are recipes for fruit salsas and dishes with Tabasco and sriracha hot sauces.
These are just a few of the interesting stories we have in store for you in this month’s August issue of LIFESTYLE, but there is much, much more. There’s a variety of other interesting and informative articles, including contributing writer Norma Gurba’s look back at amateur boxing in the Valley during the Great Depression.
And Hometown History columnist Vern Lawson reminisces about the days when he put on his California Luaus, once for the members of the Antelope Valley Press Club at the old fairgrounds.
The August issue also features all of our regular features such as Good Kids, Collector’s Corner, Horse Tales, A Taste for Wine, and more. For a great way to add enjoyment to your summer, we hope you’ll join us!