Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn Means Hatch Green Chile, Part II

After yesterday's post, you might be wondering what I do with the fresh-roasted green chile I buy at the Farmer's Market, especially when I get it home and it looks like this:

Yes, I know. 

It doesn't look too appetizing, but that's only because I've not peeled it yet. You can tell a lot about the chile as you peel it. I like my chile hot enough to make my fingers tingle as I remove the skin, which slides off easily. But if your fingers are on fire and you are coughing from breathing in the chile vapors, this is a sign that your mouth and entire digestive tract will also be ablaze when you consume the chile. WARNING:  DON'T rub your eyes until after you have washed your hands.  

The next photo shows what the chile looks like "naked," or after it has been peeled.    Notice the chile on the right still has seeds in it. Seeds add heat, so I usually remove them. Also, the chile in the middle has already started to ripen, as indicated by the lovely red-orange coloring:

Tomorrow: Ideas for Great Green Chile Dishes!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Autumn Means Hatch Green Chile, Part I

Science tells us that the sense that is the most evocative of memory is that of smell. I know this to be true. Nothing takes me back faster to the autumns of my youth in New Mexico than the smell of roasting green chile. And not just any green chile, but the Big Jim variety grown in Hatch, New Mexico, a tiny hamlet near my own home town.

When I moved to Colorado two years ago, I nearly cried when I caught a whiff of pure heaven at the Farmer's Market. I followed my nose, and here is what I found:

YES!!! The gentleman in the above photo is roasting HATCH GREEN CHILE!!!

Now you could roast chile in your own oven at home, but only if you like the idea of cleaning chile off the inside of the oven for months to come.

All this is well and good you say, but what do I do with the chile? Tune in tomorrow...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Halloween Skirt #2

Done with skirt #2 for other daughter. You might remember skirt #1 from the summer. I am done, done, done. Yeah me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy First Day of Autumn

Today is the first day of autumn, although the equinox does not officially take place until tomorrow. I took this photo yesterday during a hike and thought I'd share it:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Memories of Summer

(Subtitle: I CAN'T BREATHE!!!)


Now that we have that out of the way, did your kids whine this summer about the lack of entertainment?

Mine wouldn't dare, because being my mother's daughter, I tell my children that if they complain about being bored, I'll be happy to find something for them to do, all right!

Anyway, my darling girls invented this game all on their own. I'm so proud of them! Isn't it great to see the love between these siblings?

Three Leaves, Three Colors

I saw these leaves clumped together on a rock at the Lake this weekend and thought they were so pretty. I thought it strange that they were all different shades of gold and red. Of course, I am assuming they are all from the same tree and fell off about the same time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baby Pine Cones

When I was a little girl, my parents would take us to the mountains for a respite from the heat of our desert valley. I thought it miraculous that we could go from 100 degree weather to the 70s in two hours. Like most fantastic trips, we used an enchanted passageway, in this case a tunnel bored right through the heart of a granite peak, to get to our Uptopia. The tunnel was spooky for this little kid, but I knew if I could brave it out, my beloved mountains awaited me on the other side.

I loved everything about these trips, from the smell of fresh mountain air to the quaint old lodge where we stayed. The Lodge even had peacocks strutting around the grounds, and on one terribly exciting occasion my older brother and his friend lured an enormous peacock inside our room while my parents were elsewhere.  We sure knew how to have a good time! 

I always made it a point to collect pine cones freshly fallen from the soaring trees above my head.  I figured that if you could take sea shells from the ocean and still hear the sounds of the shore when you returned home by placing the shell up to your ear, surely you could take the pine cones and experience the grandeur of the mountains once again no matter where you went.  Pine cones still thrill me now, though I no longer put them in my pockets and take them home. I may pick one up from time to time to admire how each one is uniquely colored and shaped, but then I return it to the bower of the soil in hopes that it will grow into a new tree.

For all the years I have been enjoying pine cones, it never occurred to me to wonder what they looked before they turned into the brown pine cones that are on the ground. Sure, I see paler, brown pine cones still clinging to the branches all the time. Then on last week's hike, I practically bumped into these guys on a low branch of a tree:  

Bitty-baby pine cones--A new joy for me to behold!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Autumn is Underway

I am sitting in my coat inside my house as I write this, because it is only 36 degrees outside and I'm too cheap to turn on the heater this early in September. The dogs have a better way of handling this situation: After eating their breakfast and putting on their sweaters, they've crawled back under the blankets in bed to dream of our next hike.

Last weekend we hiked here in the Foothills of the Rockies both Saturday and Sunday, and I expect to do the same this weekend. Most times I go I take along the camera, though I've already taken thousands of shots (not an exaggeration) of the same sites for the past two years. But I never tire of seeing the same trees or mountains or shrubs, because for me, these things are never the same, not even from one day to the next. The light in the sky may cast itself differently upon the face of the mountain, or clouds may shadow or shroud us.  

And surely I am different each time I come to the ascent, somehow altered simply by living a few more days.  

I'm fortunate if I get even one fantastic photo out of the 60 or 70 shots I may take over the course of a couple of hours. Last weekend I got TWO such shots. It's not that these are marvels of photography--the reason I love these both is because I can actually see autumn, transforming my surroundings one leaf at a time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I love walking around the lake in the center of my little town. But the sign on this lone gate in one of the nearby yards mystifies me:

There is even a padlock on the gate, making me think that it is still in use. I can see no hint that there was ever a fence attached. Perhaps the fence is invisible? And... the gate keeps in an imaginary dog? What do you think?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Do You Need Physical Therapy?

Whilst on holiday last month, we saw the following sign:

Interesting Concept.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Our Rebellious Teen

(Photo above:  Krull getting his books out of his locker at school)

Meet Krull, the Warrior King, who came from Florida to live with us last Christmas when my oldest thought it would be a great thing to save him from a house where he was largely ignored. Oldest kid's idea of rescuing this bearded dragon was to stuff Krull in the car with the rest of my son's college dude friends crossing the country from Florida to Colorado. When my son arrived here, he cleverly disguised Krull as his sisters' Christmas gift. Those kids do the darndest things. Sigh. 

Krull is adjusting well to being a Colorado lizard, although like other teens, he sometimes succumbs to peer pressure. Like yesterday, when the family was out for an extended period of time,and we returned to find Krull with this new do:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

You Saw it Here First!

Examine the photo above closely and see what is hidden in the aspens.  
The leaves are beginning to change!  That's right, soon the mountains will be ablaze with Fall colors.  This is my favorite time of year to hike and take photos.  Stay tuned for updates.