a question and answer forum.....for the time being. All things change and become something else if there is growth even Olde Baggs.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Fruit of New Mexico..........

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.


  1. Hmm, think I could count as a semi-native, I knew how to pronounce the river, but the vegetables in question are spelled chilli here :oD

  2. Cute series of pictures and interesting info! Thanks for the education!

  3. Hope you are feeling okay Linda. Wishing you many days of being able to stand longer. Interesting, I did know the name of the river, when it comes to Chile I would probably be a wimp. lol. have a great week.

  4. I am a chile wimp. Those hot peppers cause my throat to seize up, eyes tear, coughing and sneezing and freeze my vocal chords so I can't even talk until the whole spasm is over. After that I can usually eat the food without further incident.

  5. I used to be able to tolerate and even enjoy liquid lava but not these days. I've become a chile wimp. We're growing our own chiles this year and have an amazing crop and had our first picking this past week. Hope you're feeling better Linda. Have a great week. Hugs

  6. Hey Hons Buns, remember, I'm almost a New Mexican!! Like I said, we need to be annexed by NM since we also love and spell chile the same way out here in West TX...it's the Spanish spelling anyway!!

    Ya know, the world has discovered our little secret in Southern NM, HATCH!!! There are now Hatch festivals everywhere...heard there's a big one in Austin...what do they know of chile there???? Unless, they're from El Paso or NM, "no saben nada!!"

    I'm lovin' the smell of the roasted chile these days...the scent of the gods!! Big bags of Hatch chile are now on sale, so I must stock up before they're all gone, now that the world knows about them...damn!!

    Have a great Sunday and we need to catch up soon...the friggin' wedding is over...thank the Lord!! Mom's home, but need to discuss with her about having someone come in and help her right now during her rehabilitation...not an easy task to talk the woman into it, but now it's not a question of someday, but now!!

    Loves ya,

  7. Ms. Baggs, you are looking as lovely as ever. Thank you so much for sharing this fun day and your own special touch of culture. Wishing you and the newspaper crew a beautiful week full of delightful chilli dishes.

  8. While in the western half of the U.S. I picked up a bag of frozen green chiles on a whim. Whoa! No comparison to those wimpy cans of green chiles on the grocers' shelves! So fresh ones must be really something.

    We're looking forward to getting back west around Christmas because we're in dire need of some REAL chorizo, some dry heat and fabulous sunsets.

  9. I'm just making my way around blogland and through all the lovely comments I received to say thank you so much and I just got to yours ~ you are among the many dear hearts I've met who I have the honor of calling friend and only wish we lived closer so we could share some laughs over a comforting beverage. Thank you so much for you!

  10. I just happened to come across your blog and love it. I grew up and lived most of my life in Eastern NM, and I recently moved to a bigger city in West TX. Hatch chiles are the best and I was thrilled to find a a man selling them on a city street corner here last week! I look forward to reading more of your blog!


You are always welcome to comment on my thoughts and I love them all......