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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wood and Green Chile Are In

A couple weeks ago I was at our local Mora Farmer's Market and the weather was unseasonably cool, in the 50's. Everyone was bundled up and there wasn't a pair of shorts in sight. Peggy, one of the farmers, said, "It's a reminder to get your wood in!"

We've been working on that.

Almost everybody uses wood heat around here. This is a common sight, although there's usually a dog of some sort riding on top of that load.

In town, the cool breezes carry the sharpspicysmoky scent of roasting chiles. The folks who tend these baskets with their fiery heat will roast the chiles you choose in nothing flat. You can find them on street corners, in front of grocery stores, and at the fancy mall in Albuquerque. The smell of roasting chiles is a reminder to get your chiles in. So okay, that's what I will do.

People line up for their favorite roasters selling their preferred chiles: Socorro, Hatch, Rocky Ford are all represented around here. I've been buying Socorro chiles from a crack team of roasters led by a man in a wheelchair.

When the chiles are done, they are shoveled into a heavy duty plastic bag (I suppose there is BPA there but I will pretend not). Inside, it looks like an inferno happened. At first I was kind of, "Ewww!' but they smell so good.

I split 40 pounds with a friend, so we each left the chile roaster with 20 pounds of chiles. At home I removed chiles from their black bag a handful at a time and packaged them in smaller plastic storage bags.

This year I listened to friends who said, "Don't peel or seed them, just put the chiles in the bags and do all that when they're defrosted." So I defer to experience, and it was a lot faster and easier this time around.

What will I make with all this green chile?

Here are a few links to my favorite green chile recipes:

Pie Town's Famous Green Chile Apple Pie

Grilled Cheese and Green Chile Sandwich

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

While I was at the post office today I noticed the aspens up higher in the mountains are turning yellow, another reminder that autumn is here. I didn't take this photo, but if you are near Taos, you are in for a big show.

Happy Autumn!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Quilty Pleasures Saturday: Tula Pink, City Planner

Last year our local modern quilt group, The Chicken River Modern Quilt Guild, decided to make a quilt together that we would sell or raffle. The proceeds would pay a quilt teacher to come to Las Vegas, New Mexico, our headquarters.

So we decided to make blocks from Tula Pink's City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks, and went to town on the project. Although there were hiccups with some of the blocks, we ended up with enough to make a double/queen-sized quilt . There were several layout options at the back of the book, and we decided on City Planner because its background would serve to unify the very scrappy blocks. The background and binding make the blocks look like they are floating. Very cool.

In a few days I will post another shot, a little closer and with details so you can see the quilting and binding, which are absolutely perfect choices.

It still needs a hanging sleeve and label and we will be good to go.

Many thanks to all the members of the Chicken River Modern Quilt Guild who sewed blocks, chose the background and binding, and assembled the whole shebang.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Even Though We Live Miles Away, We Are Neighbors

I laughed reading a friend's email yesterday because she looked forward to a neighborly gathering, and she lives 27.9 miles away, a 49 minute drive, according to Google maps. But yes, we are neighbors.

Our closest neighbor is half a mile away as the crow flies.  If one doesn't have wings and must drive or walk, it's closer to a mile.

Yesterday I visited a friend who lives about three miles down the road to pick up some carrots because she planted way too many. Since my carrots didn't do too well, I'm all for picking up some carrots. Earlier I gave her some garlic and she said I may have some pesto, too. Yum!

Here's our road. The road grader was here since our last rainstorm, so it looks good.

It's fun looking at our neighboring ranches. This one is around 1300 acres and has pines, cacti, and ferns: three different ecosystems at work.

 Friend Raye lives closer to the village with neighbors nearby.

Her house is adobe and the original structure was built in the early 1900's. That's Goldie, the almost fourteen year old Labrador.

               A smiling farmer out standing in her field, ready to dig. We barely made a dent in the row where Raye is standing, but I still ended up with plenty of carrots.

That's about five pounds of carrots, a zucchini, yellow squash and a lemon cucumber.

Goldie decided to cool off in the acequia, one of a series of water ditches that runs through many of the ranches in New Mexico.

Labradors and water equal fun!
We had some tea on the porch and Goldie had a few more pets. She's a happy oldster.

And then it was back toward home. Don't you love those clouds?

Now about those carrots: Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Quilty Pleasures: HST Overload Quilt

Man, oh, man! It's been a long time since I've written a quilt post, but I'm seriously stoked about the quilt I'm making right now.

Here's HST Overload on my back-of-a-tablecloth design wall. I've cropped out the blue painters' tape attaching it to the drywall, so it looks much tidier than in real life.

 I've had the blocks completed for about three weeks now, and they sat patiently while I dithered about where to lay it all out. At first I was going to do what I've done in the past, which is lay a tablecloth, flannel side up, on our bed which is upstairs. It's a good workout going up and down the stairs, but I decided not this time. I need a design wall in the sewing room, thus the taped up tablecloth.

In the next couple weeks I hope to have a real design wall, using this neato tutorial from The Quilting Edge blog. Instead of batting, though, I'll use a gray flannel sheet because Kaffe Fassett likes gray instead of white for his design wall. Less glaring, is one of his reasons. If it's good enough for Kaffe, well, you know the rest.

When the quilt is together, I'll update you all.