Days like this are why we live in New Mexico. 83 degrees, not a breath of wind, a glass-surfaced lake at my backdoor, and posole on the stove. The only thing that might be more perfect would be a day on the patio at the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid looking at the Sangre de Cristos (or maybe on the patio at Kelly’s in Albuquerque, or maybe sitting on the plaza at Mesilla, or on the balcony at the Ore House in Santa Fe. . .you get my drift. . .) . . .this is a perfect day in New Mexico, and I’m savoring it.
I talk about El Pinto (www.elpinto.com) so often you’re all probably going to think I’m on the payroll. Well, I’m not, and I’ve not received any special favors (other than rock star treatment one night at the restaurant), but I do use it all the time. It makes my New Mexico dishes New Mexican. The red sauce is especially good, and when I decided to make posole for the Texas cousins, I checked to make sure that I had a jar in the cupboard. You can find my posole recipe in my New Year’s Post – it’s my pal Glena’s recipe, and I have to tell you it’s faultless! Delicious. I’m doing a taste test before I take it to my mom’s in Logan.
My Texas cousins are coming to my mom’s for dinner tonight. It’s been decades since they’ve been to Logan – 20 or 30 years. The guests are my aunt Bertha Mae’s daughters, Beverly and Nell, and Beverly’s daughter Tonya, who was my great pal cousin when we were small. We’re excited – they’re on the road from Fort Worth and we’re all cooking up a pile of dishes to let them know exactly how welcome they are. I just told my brother Klee that I might have made a batch of posole that’s too spicy for the Texas gringas, and he laughed and said, “Good. More for us.”
It will be a perfect evening on my mom’s front porch with great food and good company. My cousin Beverly is actually now living in Scotland – I’m hoping she has stories about the Ayres castle (Ayres being my mother’s maiden name). What she probably has stories about is the WPGA since she’s a pro golfer. My cousin Tommy Smith is bringing not one but two chocolate pies (my Grandma Ayres’ recipe) and Viola is bringing green chile stew.
Those of you with small families have no idea how nice it is to have a huge extended family (I have 73 or 74 first cousins) full of people who mostly have to act as though they love and cherish me. They know my history, share my memories of holidays and Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house, and they never fail to say something fabulously nice, like, “Why you look just like you did in high school or “You know, you have the same blue eyes as Grandpa Ayres.” They don’t necessarily have to mean every nice thing they say, but on occasion they do. Their job is to treat me like family, and my job is to do the same, and at the end of the day, isn’t that an incredibly easy job to have?
Enjoy your perfect sunny New Mexico Sunday. Enjoy your family. Say something really nice to them, even if it’s the tiniest stretch of the truth. And if you’ll check back, I’ll try to have that chocolate pie recipe for you in a day or two.