Last week my six year old grandson, Prince William, said he wanted a hot pepper sandwich for lunch. I had never heard of a hot pepper sandwich, but I crushed up some dried cayenne and made the sandwich and he ate it.

If you are a regular reader of my Blog articles, then you know I write about Prince William, his gardening, golfing and projecting, especially his squirrel trap building.

He began gardening at 3 years old and last season planted cayenne pepper. Before the first frost we gathered the pepper and dried it.

Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression years, cayenne pepper was a staple and my mother sprinkled it on all her vegetables. It’s actually an herb, and so hot that it was frequently used for medicinal purposes. My mom lived to her late nineties and ate the hot pepper everyday.

I recall that in the fall after the pepper turned red it was strung and hung in the kitchen to dry, to be used in sausage-making, and the decorative strung red pepper was called “Leather Britches.”

Prince William had a little cough and had not felt well for several days when he wanted a cayenne pepper sandwich. I wondered if he had inherited somewhere along the line in his genes from my mother, the notion to eat the hot pepper when not feeling well.

I grew up with use of a number of home remedies, and cayenne pepper was one of them. I think various parts of the country had their own old time remedies for curing diseases. I have Dr. Jarvis’ book on Virginia folk medicine, and apple cider vinegar and honey was a staple in that region for staying healthy. The basic premise was balancing the acid-alkaline condition of the body by drinking apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water.

To this day I always use a little apple cider vinegar on all my vegetables, a habit I acquired growing up on a farm. And frequently use cayenne pepper in some dishes. The bag of red cayenne pepper I gathered from Prince William’s garden, I’m going to string and hang in my kitchen, just a bit of nostalgic leather britches for decoration.

Won’t be long before time to plant the spring garden. The Prince loves growing flowers, and I dried the seeds from his last crop of flowers over the winter to replant in the spring, along with popcorn seeds. An amazing variety of things he has learned how to grow on a tiny plot, since he was 3 years old.

Such a joy for me to watch his excitement, planting and tending to his little garden, then harvesting. He picks spinach and eats it raw.

Aside from learning how to grow his own food supply, I have the joy of teaching him other things, like the laws of dependency and resistance. When he covers a tiny spinach seed with soil, I explain the soil is heavier than the tiny seed, but some innate intelligence causes that tiny seed to resist the heavy soil, and push to spring forth with a live plant, and after that resistance, it is dependent upon the sun and rain to reach maturity, to be gathered and eaten.

Aside from gardening, I began teaching him golf at three years old, and today at age six he can tee the ball up, have the correct stance, keep his head down and knock the ball clear across the back yard fence. And I love watching him do that.

He is still home-schooled, but takes some classes in a private school, and loves art and science, plus lessons in karate, piano and baseball games. On Christmas, he entertained playing music on the baby grand, jazzing up traditional Christmas songs.




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  1. Any kid who eats hot peppers gets “brownie points” with me. If your food doesn’t make your eyelids sweat a little bit, it isn’t worth eating. Haha.