My parents grew up in New Mexico. They love the beauty of the desert. It’s always funny to me, when I’m in a desert location with them (like most recently Arizona, for instance) when I look out on the wide open fields of dirt, with a little rock mixed in, and an occasional cactus, and my dad will say, breathlessly, “Isn’t it beautiful?” I’ll say, “I guess. If you like that sort of thing," you know, because I'm so sweet. I grew up with mountains. I like trees. For me, mountains are my favorite kind of beauty. I think it’s because that's what I grew up with. As I’ve gotten older, I can appreciate that a desert is beautiful in it's own way. It’s not my favorite kind of beauty, but it’s beautiful nonetheless.
The good news is, my parents choose to live in the beauty of Colorado, where I am. They gave me an appreciation for New Mexican food (heavy on the green chili, and under no circumstances do you use cumin), but I get to enjoy them being present without the dust of the desert.
I have bragged about just this sort of thing enough that one of my girlfriends wanted my mom to teach her to cook some of her signature New Mexican dishes.
On Friday, the three of us got together to make two things: Jose’s Burritos and Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
As I stirred and chopped and spooned into casserole dishes, I wondered how I could possibly make these things at my own house without my mom’s utensils. This seems to be a big problem for me in my own cooking. My mom has an awesome heavy metal slotted spoon and spatula that were her grandmother’s, that I used in her kitchen when I was growing up, and there are some things that I just don’t know how to make without them.
It was such a delicious afternoon. Just the girls, hanging out, visiting, and in the end we all had two meals prepared (actually, we all had two items prepared, but for me it will make more like six meals, I put some in the freezer, and have already brought dinner to a friend whose mom is in hospice). Lovely.
|The army of Crockpots (housing the Jose's Burritos)|
|The Chefs. Please call us Senora Amy, Senora Noel, and Senora Leslie (but only for this post).|