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.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Life in the backyard

Here's a few shots from the backyard:

Chamomile. We have several pots of this. Leece uses it for tea.

Echninacea. Also good for tea, though we do not have near as much of this as we do chamomile.

Giallardia. It's starting to fade a bit. This is actually from near the Cape Lookout National Seashore. We smuggled it back with us on one of our trips. Note the 'near,' not 'from.'

Morning glories are looking good. We have some hummingbirds hanging around these.

Checking out the sunflowers, which are just about to burst forth in blooms. When they do, we'll have a surge in honeybees, and as they go to seed, we'll have herds of finches chowing down.

Monday, January 16, 2017


We've been busy on the smoker.

Here's a recent project - a London broil, rubbed and left overnight to its own devices:

This was with an applewood rub, to which we added some thyme and a wee bit - just a wee bit - of rosemary. We smoked it at 150, over a fruitwood blend, for a couple of hours. Then, we kicked the smoker up to 325 and brought the broil up to 125 by the probe, flipped it, and brought it up to 125 again. As you can see, it's a nice medium-rare, actually leaning more toward rare. And, it's quite tender. This makes the best fajitas and tortilla rollups, with fresh peppers and onions and cheese. It's pretty good sliced into smaller bits and snuffled with rice and nam pik.

Here is a reasonably decent basic nam pik recipe:

Don't use the fish sauce (nam pla) from Walmart. You have to use the real deal. Tiparos, for example.

However, if you can get some Vietnamese RedBoat 40N, that's the way to go.

Absent real southeast Asian peppers, a blend of mixed Serrano and habanero works quite well.

Here's a small rack of spare ribs, with a brown sugar rub.

 Chuck, the Grillmeister-in-Chief, approves.