Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Jonesing For Spicy



All true New Mexicans are addicts.

And the best time to stock up on their legal drug is Fall. Fall is chile harvest time.

Although chile comes in two colours, as indicated by the state question--"Red or green?"--the strangest Fall ritual involves the verdant variety.

You can purchase roasted green chile anywhere, including that bastion of corporate evil, Wal-Mart. (The Kirbys, naturally, buy from our local farm co-op.) The process is as follows: Go to your favorite grocer. Buy a burlap bag(s) full of plump, green chile pods. Shuffle outside with the rest of dead-eyed chile addicts to the roasting queue.

Chile roasters always look like a failed high school shop project or perhaps something from the Inquisition. The body of the contraption is an iron cage, which is laid on its side and set in a frame to rotate over an open flame. The rotation is powered by an electric motor. Your bag of chiles is dumped in the cage where the chiles tumble over the flame for several minutes. Their bright green skins blister and pop, emitting a heavenly spicy-char scent. That smell is Fall in New Mexico.

The chiles emerge limp and steaming and are dumped into a plastic trash bag. You take the hot mess home and partition the chile into Zip-Loc bags for freezing.

Ideally, you have cheese and a few fresh, warm flour tortillas on hand for quesadillas.

Next weekend another New Mexico Fall event starts. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Balloons are pretty much du rigueur in the Albuquerque area skies. But for a week in October, we can have up to 800 in sky. This morning a group of balloons, warming up for next weeks events, flew through the neighborhood. This happens so often around here that Nikster the Spooky Horse doesn't even flinch when the huge blobs fly over his paddock, propane burners roaring.

New Mexico. Not perfect, but we've got green chile, hot air balloons and no hurricanes.

Have a great Sunday.

 

Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005