Why Chile Girl?

Back in 2013, when I was training for my (aborted) attempt at the Colorado Trail, my hiking buddy, David, told me that I needed a trail name. I couldn’t think of anything. However, David and I have something in common—a deep and abiding love for chile. He suggested the name Chile Girl, and even though I no longer hike, the name stuck.

I grew up in Colorado, where chile is king. Colorado has a large Hispanic population, and everywhere you go, you can buy green chile. Every restaurant, even the gringo ones, offer sides of green chile. 

Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve always come back to Colorado to get my chile each fall. I have to have a year’s supply in the freezer, or life isn’t worth living.

New Mexico is well known for its chile, and we’ve bought plenty of Hatch chile, but the chile I love most is the Pueblo variety, which has a consistent flavor and amount of heat each year. And to make things even better, my cousin Shane Milberger, who owns Milberger Farms, grows the most wonderful organic Pueblo chile. I buy six or eight bushels at a time. They roast the chile for you, then rinse the skins off, so all I have to do when I get home is remove the stems and seeds, chop it up, and put it in the freezer.

Roasting chile at Milberger Farms
Roasted chiles after the skins are rinsed off
Just the beginning of one year’s chile haul; we ended up with twice this much

As frosting on the cake, Colorado now offers a Pueblo Chile license plate, and I’m going to get one for the van.

2 thoughts on “Why Chile Girl?

  1. As you know, Sarah and Hilario, your ex-inlaws, also taught Sharon and I multiple southwest Hispanic cooking tips when we lived in Pueblo. Do you know if they are still alive? One thing I did not know until I read your post was that they were from Mora. That was where Henry Cruz’s family was from also. We visited his grandma in Mora one time with Henry and Kathy. Next time we get together I’ll tell you more about our search for the lost mine and riding horses through the hills there.


    1. Hilario died many years ago, but Sarah is still alive. She’s well into her 90s. She still lives in the same house. Mora is an interesting place. My aunt (my mom’s sister-in-law) also grew up there and knew Sarah and Hilario. And I worked with a girl whose mother came from Mora. Everyone comes from Mora! We drove through there one time. It’s a tiny place, isn’t it?


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