Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You Know You're From New Mexico ...

You're officially from New Mexico when…
  • You can correctly pronounce words like Tesuque, Cerrillos, Acoma, Buena, Ocotillo, Cochiti, Pojoaque,Socorro and Isleta (and you actually know what or where they are!).
  • You have been told by at least one out-of-state vendor that they are going to charge you extra for international shipping.
  • You expect to pay more if your house is made of mud.
  • You can order your Big Mac with green chile.
  • You buy salsa by the half-gallon.
  • You know what it means when they say it's from Hatch.
  • Your Christmas decorations include "red chiles, a half-ton of sand and 200 paper bags."
  • Most restaurants you go to begin with "El" or "Los."
  • You price shop for tortillas.
  • You have an extra freezer just for green chile.
  • You consider Billy the Kid a state hero.
  • You think six tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful front lawn.
  • You think the biggest perk to running for state legislature is that you could speed legally.
  • You pass on the left because that is the fast-lane.
  • You think Sonic is "America's Favorite Drive-in."
  • Your swamp cooler got knocked off your roof by a Dust Devil.
  • You either have been or know someone who has been abducted by aliens.
  • All your out-of-state friends and relatives ask if they can drink the water when they come to visit.
  •  When someone says "Las Vegas" you think of a small New Mexico town in the northeastern part of the state.
  • You iron your jeans to "dress up."
  • You don't see anything wrong with drive-up window liquor sales.
  • Your other vehicle is also a pick-up truck.
  • Two of your cousins are in Santa Fe, one in the legislature, the other in the state penitentiary.
  • You know what it means when a waitress asks you whether you want "red or green."
  • You're relieved when the pavement ends because the dirt road has fewer potholes.
  • You see nothing odd when, in the conversations of the people in line around you at the grocery store, every other word of each sentence alternates between Spanish and English.
  • You've seen the bat flight at Carlsbad Caverns and have a t-shirt that says "Bats need friends, too!"
  • You know you are "special" because you're from the Land of Enchantment!
  •  You've had Forts out in the desert or forest, which is also your back yard, so to speak.
  •  You know what the night sky looks like full of stars and not pollution.
  • You've swam in an arroyo or an a child or an ADULT!!
  • You've cooked an egg on the sidewalk.
  • You know what a horny toad is.
  • You can identify a quail, peacock, coyote, roadrunner, cricket, the sound they make.
  • You actually stop in the road when quail are crossing to wait for the whole "family" to get across.
  • Your Walmart sells snow sleds in the summer for the White Sands...but you can hardly find them in the winter.
  • You've slept outside either on the trampoline, the back of a truck, or just in the yard with friends.
  • When going to the store; you ask everyone in the vehicle if they’re going to “get down” with you.
  • You love the smell of rain in the desert.
  • You've caught tadpoles every summer as a kid.
  • One of your favorite past times is rock hunting.
  • Your High School Biology teacher taught you how to identify all of the desert plants that you could get high off of, and how to do it.
  • You've been to Mexico just to party.
  • You know that Christmas and weddings would not be the same without biscochitos.
  • You know what bartering is, and how to do it in at least 2 different languages.
  • You could totally win on Survivor, because you've been doing all that hunting, fishing, hiking survival technique stuff since you were 5 out in your own back yard.
  • Your city cousins from out of state come and visit you and don't get it when "going to do something" to you means to go hunting, fishing, hiking and theirs is hanging out at the mall.
  • You spent your 4 years of High School saying you were leaving this hell hole and never coming back; and when you left, you realized that there's no place like New Mexico, and will probably decide to retire back home.
  • You just smile knowingly when your city friends ask you, "How can you possibly like living here?"
  • Your favorite expression for any emotion is...OSI!
  • You are still using the paper license tag that came with your car five years ago.
  • Your favorite restaurant has a chili list instead of a wine list.
  • You do all your shopping and banking at a drive-up window.
  • Your Christmas decorations include a yard of sand and 200 paper bags.
  • You have license plates on your walls, but not on your car.
  • Most restaurants you go to begin with 'El' or 'Los'.
  • You remember when Santa Fe was not like San Francisco .
  • You hated Texans until the Californians moved in.
  • The tires on your roof have more tread than the ones on your car.
  • You think a yellow light means to go faster and a red light is merely a suggestion.
  • You believe that using a turn signal is a sign of weakness.
  • You don't make eye contact with other drivers because you can't tell how well armed they are just by looking.
  • You have to sign a waiver to buy hot coffee at a drive-up window.
  • You ran for state legislature so you can speed legally.
  • You pass on the right because that's the fast-lane.
  • You have read a book while driving from Albuquerque to Las Vegas.
  • You know they don't skate at the Ice House and the Newsstand doesn't sell newspapers.
  • You think Sadies was better when it was in the bowling alley.
  • You have used aluminum foil and duct tape to repair your air conditioner.
  • You think you know how to drive in the rain or snow.
  • There is a piece of a UFO displayed in your home.
  • You know that The Jesus Tortilla is not a band.
  • You wish you had invested in the orange barrel business and shovels.
  • You just got your fifth DWI and got elected to the state legislature in the same week.
  • Your swamp cooler got knocked off your roof by a gust of wind.
  • You have been on TV more than three times telling about how your neighbor was shot or about your alien abduction.
  • You can actually hear the Taos hum.
  • All your out-of-state friends and relatives visit in October.
  • You are afraid to drive through Mora and Espanola.
  • You know the punch line to at least one Espanola joke.
  • You have driven to an Indian Casino at 3 AM because you were hungry.
  • You think the Lobos fight song is 'Louie, Louie'
  • You're relieved when the pavement ends because the dirt road has fewer pot-holes.
  • When you go out of state, people ask you if you have a green card.
  • You see nothing odd when, in the conversations of the people in line around you at the grocery store, every other word of each sentence alternates between Spanish and English.
  • You associate bridges with mud, not water.
  • You know you will run into at least 3 cousins whenever you shop at Wal-Mart, Sam's or Home Depot.
  • Tumbleweeds and various cactus in your yard are not weeds. They are your lawn.
  • If you travel anywhere, no matter if just to run to the gas station, you must bring along a bottle of water and some moisturizer.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Mexican Food Essentials

I am from an area of Albuquerque known as the South Valley.  I grew up specifically in Valley Gardens, on Bryan Court.  I attended the Church of the Ascension (Roman Catholic Church) and this is where I remember learning to cook.  My parents would make breakfast with several other couples and the kids would run wild through the dining area.  So for a while I will mainly do regional faire, stuff that I learned to make first as a young girl.  Below is a list of things I consider essentials.  None of the following pictures are mine, I will provide original artist information if requested:

Hatch Green Chiles

The chiles pictured here are raw.  You will need to roast and peel them.  I order them by the sack (burlap) once a year.  We spend an afternoon roasting and packaging them and they last around one year for us.  You can also buy Bueno frozen green chile here and as a last resort, look for canned green chiles like these

Pinto beans are a MUST. 

I make a variety of beans with them and they are nutritious and great meal fillers (or meat substitutes).  Boracho (drunk) beans, refried beans, or ham bone beans are fantastic.

Dried Red Chiles

Red and Green Chiles are the same chiles, one is just left to ripen and then dried.  The chiles pictured are called chile ristras and are not just for decoration (although they are very pretty).  Red chiles are used mostly for sauce in the foods I make.

Masa Harina (corn flour)

This is used to make corn tortillas (and in turn, chips) and masa for tamales

Manteca (lard). 

 I prefer lard to shortening for flavor, but if you feel you are better served by using shortening they are relatively interchangeable.

If you have trouble finding any of these pantry staples then please let me know.  They are commonly available in Hispanic markets or even in the aisles of your grocery stores.  I will get into necessary equipment tomorrow and recipes for my favorites very soon (there are a LOT of them).

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Hello everyone, my name is Katie.  I am a native New Mexican transplanted into the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada.  I learned to cook from many women (and men) over the years.  New Mexican food is NOT Mexican food or vice versa although there are similarities.  I hope to post recipes and instructions on how to achieve authentic flavor at least once a week! 


La Guera