Monday, January 8, 2018


It is common in many areas of the world, and in many cultures, to celebrate Epiphany with nearly as much enthusiasm as Christmas.

One manner of celebration is the baking and sharing of Three Kings Cakes. Often, these cakes are quite rich.

In our case, we did a variation on the theme.

We had Three Kings French toast:

We started with a brioche, a delightfully light bread made with lots of eggs and butter. A properly made brioche will kill a cardiologist at 40 paces.

Brioche is usually braided, or otherwise fancified. Brioche rolls usually have little topknots, making them quite distinctive.

But since we were making French toast, we forewent the decorative twists (in a manner of speaking) and just made a loaf in the machine.

We used this recipe from King Arthur Flour. We used Members' Mark bread flour rather than all-purpose.

The batter was a couple of cups of whole milk, three eggs, nutmeg and cinnamon to taste, and a quarter cup of honey. Let the brioche slices soak in the hand-whipped mixture for a minute or so on each side. We then grilled the slices in a cast iron skillet, on low temp. If you use too high a temp, you'll tend to burn the outside while the innards remain rawly eggy.

We had this with some real maple syrup.

It's first rate.


So there we were ... contemplating a Saturday, with no firm plans.

Me: "Hey, would you like a donut for breakfast?"

The Accomplices: "Sure!"

Me: "OK!"

A couple of hours later, we were atop Pikes Peak, snuffling world-famous Pikes Peak donuts. You gotta adapt, improvise, and overcome.

Ceremony of the Holey Donut. If you stand just so, so the sunlight through the donut hole strikes The Sepulcher of the Blessed Yellow Rock Marmot, then spring will come early. Sadly, the Blessed Yellow Rock Marmot, deeply disturbed by the lack of snow and excessively warm temps, had decamped for the Yukon.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Santuario de Chimayo

We visited Santuario de Chimayo while we were in Taos for the Wool Festival.

The route down to Chimayo is quite scenic; it's the reverse of the High Road to Taos for the most part.

We came across quite a few weaving studios, but sadly, time constraints did not allow us to stop. We are planning a visit next spring so we can hit the weaving spots.

Here are a few shots of the Santuario:

Monday, October 16, 2017

Smoked Oinker

To the unschooled eye ... this pork shoulder roast has been ... roasted. Over-roasted. But what we have here, is a roast that has been in the smoker all night long. It went in at 6 PM and came out at 6 this morning. A nice bourbon and brown sugar rub, and basted in its own juices at midnight, 3, and 5. This one was smoked over pecan, a delicate, gentle smoke rather than the slap ya silly of unblended mesquite, which is a great brisket smoke.

And here we have ... perfection! Pulling the tasty, crunchy crust aside, we have juicy pork, falling off the bone, ready to be pulled for sammitches and other dishes.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Taos Wool Festival

This past weekend we visited Taos, for the 34th wool festival.

This has become an annual trek for us.

There's quite a bit going on:

  • An Outstanding regional wool market featuring more than 60 Juried Artists, Crafters and Vendors offering their wool, fiber, yarns,
  • Fiber arts-related tools and equipment as well as finished items and other artistic, fiber creations.
  • Fiber Critters Corner that includes live sheep, alpacas, goats, angora rabbits, and more.
  • Demonstrations of spinning, dyeing, shearing sheep and many other fiber related skills.
  • Juried Shows for handspun yarn, hand dyeing, fleeces (wool and alpaca), and finished garments and home accessories.
  • Silent Auction featuring many unique donated items.
  • Hands-On Activities for kids of all ages.
  • Workshops before the festival weekend.
  • Food vendors offering a variety of beverages, snacks, lunch items including regional lamb, and other delicious choices.
  • With the added ambience of live music, the festival is unique and fun for the whole family.

We've shared the entire gallery of photos over on the Wool Festival's FB page.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Musso Farms

On our way back from Great Sand Dunes National Park, we stopped at Musso Farms in Pueblo.

They were doing a thriving business. The roasting of peppers was in full swing. A wide range of squashes and pumpkins filled racks and cartons. The Pork Chop Lady was giving her grill a workout.

We scarfed up several squashes, including a red kuri, a sweet dumpling, and an acorn.

We tossed these squashes on the smoker, then mashed 'em into a delicious soup garnished with bacon.

Great Sand Dunes

A couple of weekends ago we hied off to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

We had planned on a long weekend up at Cascade, with side trips to Pikes Peak and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. We were after the obligatory Pikes Peak donut, and a hike from the Crowe Gulch picnic area. But ... it was forecast for heavy rains, so we changed to the Dunes.

The Dunes is always worth a trip.This time of the year is quite nice. The leaves were starting to turn, and it was cool enough for a windbreaker on the hikes we ... hiked.

We did hike up above the dunes, on the east side of the preserve. Then we hiked up to Zapata Falls. That hike, though up a good slope over rocks and small boulders, was actually fairly easy. It's only a half mile, with magnificent views of the San Luis Valley floor, the dunes, and Mt Herard and associated peaks.

We stayed at the Pinyon Flats campground, which is on the preserve, and run by NPS. We are great fans of NPS, and were not disappointed on this visit.

We got some great star shots, too, the first night.

The obligatory selfie

This one is up at the Falls. Blurred; I was trying to keep the camera dry.