New Mexico Abondanza

October 16th, 2012 § 1 comment

There is an impression that New Mexico is a parched, desert area — an American Sahara with chile peppers and sagebrush. Yes, there are lots of dry areas and beautiful mesas devoid of vegetation; mesas that have been carved into fanciful shapes by wind, snow and, yes, rain. New Mexico does get lots of sunshine. HG and BSK are surprised when they wake to anything but golden light. Infrequent rains and snowstorms are usually brief and intense followed by sun that dries the rain and vaporizes the snow. But, for all that, New Mexico is one of the oldest, continually cultivated agricultural regions in the US — There are lush valleys irrigated through ancient techniques that help to produce not just wonderful produce, but a thriving wine industry (Gruet makes spectacular sparkling wines) as well. The small farms that surround HG and BSK’s property are family operations (some of them have been in the same family for hundreds of years) that grow an astonishing variety of flavorful vegetables and fruit. HG has devoted previous posts to the excellence of the organic lettuces, peppers, potatoes, turnips, eggplants, etc. found at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. There’s also great lamb (comparable to Colorado lamb, which HG judges to be the world’s best) and free range chicken. One of the many nice features of HG and BSk’s property is their orchard — a dozen mature apple and pear trees. Fortunate HG and BSK have a bushel of apples ripening near their front door and often end dinner these days with a succulent pear plucked from their very own tree (accompanied, of course, by Parmigiano and red wine). Abondanza, indeed.

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