Hello friends. Ms. Baggs here.
I know I still owe you more reports on the adventures with the gnomes and others here at Casa de Cuckoo but this week was taken up with adventures of the shopping kind.
The title of this piece is a little misleading in that there are many fruits grown in New Mexico but chile is king. And no, I did not spell that incorrectly. The other spelling is reserved for bowls of Tex Mex, Cincinnati, or out of the can chili. Here in New Mexico there are two ways to tell if someone is a native or been here a good long time versus a new comer.
The first is how a person spells chile and the second is how they pronounce the river that runs the length of the state. It is the Rio Grande. It literally means big river. Natives pronounce it reeee oooo gran day with a rolled r (if you've got um). Newcomers and our neighbors to the north and to the east pronounce it reo grand.
Back to shopping. We went to the north valley to get some of the fresh green Hatch chile that is a staple at Casa de Cuckoo. We also purchased some dried red chiles for enchilada sauce. This type of chile comes on a ristra, in whole dried, in chopped dried and then powdered. Chile also comes in different heats....mild, medium, hot, and liquid lava. CdC prefers there chile medium so that they can talk after eating said chile. Also they don't much care for the hickups or the afterburn of the hotter varieties. Some would call them wimps.
Also for sale at this market are all other fruits and vegetables and statuary, mostly of the religious variety. Ever since Ms. GK was a little one, she has enamored of The Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas. She has several of her own and allowed me to have my picture taken with Guadalupita and La Virgen. I was honored.
I have to admit, as a newcomer to the southwest and particularly New Mexico, I am always learning about the culture and the customs. Beginning of school, I have been told, always around the same time as the selling of the chile crop. The smell from the roasting of the green chile is wonderfully intoxicating and pungent and is the smell of the approach of fall. Here you can see the tumbler roaster, powered by propane gas and the chiles being put into a plastic bag for the customer. CdC always divides the chiles and freezes them skins and all. It makes for a richer roaster flavor. We should have had chile rellenos (green chiles stuffed with queso fresca which is a soft white Mexican cheese, batter dipped and deep fried) to celebrate the shopping trip but Oma Linda had some day surgery and couldn't stand very long. And no one else at CdC knows how, or will admit to knowing how to cook them.
I just have one thing to say to that.....times a wasting people. Even wooden heads have cravings.