So much happens everyday here it is hard to keep track of it all. Being an easterner, just the act of going to a taco stand is an adventure. In Santa Fe almost everything you eat can have red chilies or green chilies on it. If you have both it is called Christmas. This is true of your eggs in the morning, a hamburger at Wendy’s, and even the sushi restaurants offer their own rolls with chile. Prior to my visit here I was a wimp about hot food. Now I am a down right chile addict. I am especially fond of the red. The reds are smoky, with a heat at the back of your palette after you have tasted the main ingredient. I will describe the events of the last two weeks as they relate to food.
My Mom has a cousin she really likes who lives in Los Alamos. I have met her and her husband and their five kids, once or twice when I was a kid. Mom suggested I look them up and visit. I went up last Wednesday and we spent the day. The trip there was amazing, driving up the mountain with only a guardrail between me and the great beyond. The driving is difficult because you just want to look at the incredible vista. I had to pull over before I went over the edge. Here are some pictures.
When I got there I was surprised that everything was as I remembered. Jean and Lou, thirty-eight years older, looked surprisingly the same to me. We took a wonderful drive to Chimayo to a restaurant called Rancho de Chimayo. The lunch was amazing. I had shredded chicken in a sopapilla with a cheese sauce and green chile, YMMMMMM. We were served a plate of fresh, warm, plain sopapilla that we ate with honey in side. I could have eaten the whole bowl. They were so buttery and delicious. The company was even better that the food.
The next day I drove to Albuquerque to meet with two of Jean and Lou’s kids, Sue and Cindy. It was so great to see them. Although we were basically strangers the thread of extended family bonded us. We went to a fun little restaurant near their neighborhood. I had promised myself that morning that I was only going to eat salad for the rest of my life, but there on the menu, like a beacon in the night, was Corn and green chile soufflé with local sautéed veggies on top, covered in a sauce with cheese and chile. It was awesome. The Chile addictions has slipped into my own cooking. I have been trying to cook for Jenn, as she is at school most of the time. I made beef stew, and even that ended up with quite a bit of chipolte chile in it. I wonder what will happen to me when I leave the southwest? Will I go through some kind of withdrawal?
Yesterday I went to Elderado to meet with a group of gals who were interested in learning to turn. On the way Jenn and I went to Harry’s Road House. It is a Santa Fe tradition. I tried to be so good. I ordered poached eggs on polenta, but at the last minute a voice came out of mouth that said, “ could I get red chile with that.” Even plain poached eggs are wonderful with chile. Anyway we went to Elderado and set up in a yard to turn. It was 55ish, bright and sunny. I was thrilled to set up the van as I had intended it to be used. The weather has been to cold to this point to work from the van, so I have always had to bring the lathes inside. Elderado is in the middle of a prairie with pinon trees every ten feet (my favorite scenery in New Mexico). After everyone played for a bit, I showed them how to make a little bowl from a piece of juniper that was right on the property. Everyone was thrilled with that. I think a lathe will be purchased, and many chips will fly across the beautiful landscape of Elderado.