It's a wonderful time to be in New Mexico. We picked up another big bag of chiles at the Farmers Market yesterday, got them roasted, and brought them home in a car that smelled a little spicy, a little smoky, and a little hot. We met some folks at the market who said when they moved here a year ago from Virginia they had never heard of green chiles. They must have learned to like them, because they were getting a couple of big bags roasted. And they were smiling.
Chiles make us smile, here in southern New Mexico.
***Note for non-New Mexicans: The green chile--thevegetable grown here (some right across the road from our house!)--is always spelled with an "e" at the end, at least it is in New Mexico, because the word comes from the Spanish. Those who accidentally or intentionally spell the name of this vegetable with an "i" at the end are immediately pegged as Texans. Chili is that deliciously spicy meat and bean and red chile combination that I am about to cook up in the crock pot this afternoon.
Once we got the chiles home, we set up the kitchen for what has become a fall ritual. The hot roasted chiles were dumped into an ice water bath to cool them down and then they were drained. Next, they were packed into freezer bags, seven to a bag. We laid the bags flat on cookie sheets to freeze them, then collected all the bags and lined them up in the freezer for rellenos, sauces, stews, and green chile cheeseburgers all year long until it is chile harvest time again.
This morning we drove before dawn over the mountains and through the Tularosa Basin with our friends, Pat Hulser and Mary Hulser, to watch 40+ hot air balloons launch at White Sands. With our senior pass and Pat's handicap sticker, we were able to park right next to the balloon crews for a close up look at all sorts of hot air balloonery.
We're back home now. The weather is cool and sunny. Beez is watching football and doing laundry. The dogs are snorfeling (you heard me, Spell Checker, I said snorfeling, not snorkeling. It's a word in our family) around the back yard looking for ground squirrels. I am cooking up some chili with meat and beans to go in the crockpot and baking a batch of custard and an apple pie with apples from a local orchard, thanks to our kind friends who picked them. Life is good!