recipes & food

Love is in the air …

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… well, green chile, actually … same thing.

For me, September is one of those times where something touches and excites the senses, bringing fond memories to the surface, and setting me on the path to add yet another page to that particular ‘fond memory’ archive.

It’s chile-roasting time in the southwest … and love truly is in the air … well, for me, at least!

Loding-up at H.E.B.

Loading-up at H.E.B.

The first page of this particular archive was entered more than forty years ago, when I made the move from northeast to southwest, bidding farewell to the Keystone State to pursue my education – and, eventually, my life – in the Land of Enchantment.

It was only a few weeks after my arrival, and the start of the fall semester, and I was on my way to class when I caught a whiff of something new, something wonderful in the air. It was still there after class, and I had some spare time, so I took Toucan Sam’s advice … “Follow your nose!”

That led me to a nearby K-Mart parking lot and my first view of a chile roaster, and my first taste of fresh-roasted green chile, harvested just the day before from the fields of Hatch, New Mexico (the Green Chile Capital of the Universe), and trucked overnight to Albukookoo.

Firing-up at Market Street

Firing-up at Market Street

There was a hint of love in the aroma … and the taste sealed it, beginning a passionate relationship that continues to this day, renewed each September when roasters set-up in parking lots of shopping centers around the southwest … when I take a bag of freshly-roasted chile home to wash and package, some for now and some for later … and when I think about the meals ahead – green chile stew/casserole/strata/enchiladas/quiche/cheeseburgers/chicken salad/pizza (especially with piñon nuts)/omelettes/queso/cornbread – you name it!

Something that touches and excites the sense of smell, bringing fond memories to the surface. For some, it’s the smell of freshly-laundered linens drying on the clothes line, while for others it’s bread baking in the kitchen, or a pile of leaves burning in the backyard. For me, it’s the smell of roasting chile …

… oh, YES … love IS in the air!

There's a saying around here, something like, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" That's me. I'm a 'dang Yankee from back-east' who settled in the Lone Star State after some extended stays in the eastern U.S., and New Mexico. I worked as an archaeologist for a few years before dusting off my second major in English, and embarking on a 25-year career in journalism. Since then, I've embraced the dark side of the force, and now work in PR for a community college in Midland, Texas.

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