Benington Lordship
Benington Lordship

On the recent bank holiday weekend I went home to visit my parents, and headed down to my village's annual chilli festival.

As someone who really loves her chillies, I was totally in my element. There were so many stalls exhibiting crazy fiery products, and I had no idea where to start.

Chillies for sale
Chillies for sale
Chilli sauces
Chilli sauces

Like all good food festivals, it's the best plan to go with an empty tummy and make samples your lunch. This worked well here, except for the very real danger of completely burning your tongue off. Several times I tried something way out of my comfort zone of heat and had to take a breather, but was soon back into it.

The above chilli peanut butter was a favourite, although I did accidentally nearly go in for the Bum Burner. I'm sure that's a mistake I would have regretted!

There was also a chilli eating competition, which I watched for a while. I will admit to feeling a bit let down by my fellow ladies when I saw the all-guy line up, but soon decided there was no way I'd be able to hack it. The challenge started with a jalapeno, and quickly descended into the world of habaneros and hotter!

It was also nice to be able to wander around the garden of Benington Lordship. Although I moved to the village in 2002, I had only been inside the grounds a handful of times and have probably seen it on more occasions on TV. It was great weather for exploring, and taking photos:

Benington Lordship
Benington Lordship
Benington Lordship
Benington Lordship

We rounded the day off with a nice walk back home past the old cottages:

Benington
Benington
Benington
Benington

Once home, we inspected our wares. I managed to leave with spices including ras el hanout, Jamaican jerk rub and smoky chipotle flakes, small jams such as blueberry and vanilla curd (for James' sweet tooth), green Goan curry sauce, chilli chocolate truffles, 6 cherry bomb chillies and a new plant - a Thai chilli plant, with fruits that apparently have a citrus-y flavour.

Stuffed cherry bomb peppers
Stuffed cherry bomb peppers

The following day, we had the cherry bombs for dinner stuffed with Philadelphia and basil, which turned out really well.

So far I'm searching through Pinterest to find what I should use my new spices for, so keep an eye out for my discoveries. Until next year, I don't think I can buy any more chilli plants... My windowsills really can't take it.