August 2009


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The New Mexico chile report:

So I got my 5lb. shipment this week – the first of the (2 weeks early) harvest from Hatch, New Mexico. It made for a busy afternoon / evening: washing and then roasting all 5 pounds in our little broiler. On the one hand it’s hard work, on the other, it’s pure entertainment (the chile-roasting smell alone is intoxicating). I ordered the “medium” and the first taste was disappointing – too subtle in its flavor but further tasting provided some wonderful zest and more robust flavor. Overall, I can’t be critical. I’ve been eating it all day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between too). John asked me (with a smirk), “…do you want me to hide it?” I’m beginning to think there’s nicotine in it. Then again, I come from the land of “red or green?” – the only place where chile is not an option is Baskin Robbins. New Mexico’s McDonald’s has green chile, so do all the pizza joints. They couldn’t compete without it. As for the report: I’ve been advised to wait a couple weeks for a better pick of the harvest. Great! – I hope those nicotine patches work in the meanwhile.

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Roasted chiles stacking up...

The tasting:  toasted w/ tortilla & cheese

The tasting: toasted w/ tortilla & cheese

2000-05-09 JCN002 Castle exterior 2

In my recent posts, an unintended theme has sprung in reference to Talking Heads / David Byrne: concert, songs, lyrics. This time, as a matter of circumstance, I allude to one more of their song titles upon learning the calamitous news: the historic (Huning) Castle Apartments in Albuquerque were gutted, if not totally destroyed by fire. Fortunately no one was hurt. Nevertheless I’m disheartened over the loss of this beautiful building and edifice of my own history. I used to live there.

View from living room overlooking courtyard, April, 2000

View from living room overlooking courtyard, April, 2000

...amidst architecture school work (and clutter).

...amidst architecture school work (and clutter).

John in front of the courtyard, December at the Castle

John in front of the courtyard, December at the Castle

The Castle Apartments is where John and I made our first home together. Although we were renters, it was a dream home to us with higher ceilings, wood floors, a surround of windows, big kitchen, lots of storage, best heating ever (radiators so warm we could open the windows in the winter and noisy in a good way like a John Cage piece), downtown to the right, Old Town to the left, Dairy Queen across the street, work was 5 blocks away (I worked at FMSM which was housed in the renovated Breece Mansion. I swear I felt like a princess walking from a castle to a mansion everyday). It was in that building (the Castle) that I labored to earn my masters degree in architecture and it was from our apartment we would hear, almost every Saturday, the sound of car horns honking – racing up “Route 66” from Old Town Plaza or its cathedral – celebrating and announcing the “just married’s.” One day that sound was our own as we left our Old Town wedding and headed back to our place.

I’m grateful to have such fond memories and the images that capture this gracious place and time and my heart goes out to those who lost their ‘now.’

One of our last evenings living at the Castle before moving to LA:  our "chandelier" over the dinner table as seen from Central Ave. "Route 66."

One of our last evenings living at the Castle before moving to LA: our "chandelier" over the dinner table as seen from Central Ave. "Route 66."