We finally had some snow here in the dessert. Badly needed precipitation as we have been in drought mode for months. Unfortunately, I think much of the moisture will evaporate before being absorbed by the soil and vegetation as evidenced by our driveway completely being dry.
But that is a nice change from New England...we don't have to shovel...
Life in New Mexico is pretty good...Lots of sunshine, outdoor activities, museums, cooking, eating, walking with dogs.
I've hiked Kasha Katuwe - Tent Rocks National Monument four times since November. It's 2 miles up and 2 miles back with a vertical rise of 630 feet to an altitude of approximately 6385 feet. Not bad for an old guy.
The last two times were this month when I went as an official volunteer to help my hubby, Ranger Leon, with trail maintenance. We put up roping to hopefully keep people from going off trail onto fragile tuff rock and causing erosion of the areas to the sides of the trail.
Off trail offenders seem to be increasing according to the rangers there. The damage to the unique and beautiful landscape is deplorable. Rangers are down to a bare bones staffing and cannot be out on the trails much of the time.
I am going to get myself in trouble here: As far as new Mexican/Mexican cuisine goes, I'm pretty much bored with it. It all seems like much the same things in different wraps. Or a few different things in the same wraps. Or posole, (grits) or carne adovada or rice and beans or everything smothered in red or green chili so that even different dishes taste alike. There doesn't seem to be any creative differences in dishes from one burrito factory to the next restaurant. Green chile cheeseburgers, green chile mac and cheese, chile ice cream, burritos smothered in red and green chile...do you get the picture? It mostly looks like they put everything into a food processor and dump it onto a tortilla. I think it was developed to disguise the taste of spoiled meat with hotness. Boy am I in for a lecture by Mexican food lovers...
Give me Italian any day. When I'm not out hiking or doing yard work or surfing the net, I'm usually grocery shopping or cooking. My idols are Lidia Bastianich, Mary Ann Esposito, Clara, and, yes, Giada DeLaurentiis.
I cook lots of Italian dishes (see my blog Dinner's Ready) and variations thereof.
This morning I made bread dough for calzones and a loaf of Italian bread. We had calzones tonight. One stuffed with spinach, sausage and potato; the other with ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella.
The bread is for tomorrow, but I snuck a piece with butter just a while ago and I said it was better than chocolate cake!
One of these days I'll make a video of me making bread dough - the old fashioned way...
The new Netflix "reboot" of Queer Eye is not necessarily always for the "straight guy" (in one episode the new Fab Five make over a gay guy whose been struggling with his own internalized homophobia) but it keeps to the original format which always went beyond fashion and grooming to compassion and understanding.
I was skeptical about the show, figuring it would be all superficial and too contemporary. But because the show does stick to the original premise, the episodes are far from shallow presentations of guys being a canvass for fashionistas and pop culture. The Fab Five are truly compassionate, feeling, non-judgmental human beings who not only zero in on their subjects psychology but, in the process, reveal their own vulnerabilities, challenges and life experience.
While each is an expert in some area - design, fashion, food, grooming, culture - I am amazed that they have such a gift for focusing on the interpersonal and psychological elements of their subjects lives - and facilitating what appear to be deeply personal transformations. And they do so with respect and sensitivity.
I do have some questions, however: Who pays for all the furniture, clothing, painting, grooming and products? (One shirt probably costs more than my yearly clothing expenditure at KMart) How much of the show is scripted? How do Leon and I get a makeover from the Fab Five?
Yes, there is plenty of frivolity and silliness in each episode (we've seen 3 so far), sometimes embarrassingly so, but if the shows don't bring a tear to your eye, you may be hopelessly hard-hearted.