Motorado 2016 by Marc LaRouche
Five years in the making, the 2016 Motorado Classic Motorcycle Show was a great success. The Motorado once again proved that there is a real interest in our community for bringing a first-rate motorcycle event to the Santa Fe area. With over 100 vintage motorcycles on exhibit, over 1,500 spectators attended this one-day spectacle, on arguably the hottest day of the year, (one day behind the beginning of Summer), on June 19, 2016. Highlights of the day included several demonstrations by the New Mexico State Police on BMW motorcycles in intricate displays of their prowess as precision riders, as well as some “bad boys” showing off their stuff with wheelies, stoppies and other tricks in front of the crowds lined up on the grounds of La Tienda, the host site for this annual event. Produced by the Motorado Motorcycle Club, this non-profit event gives its net proceeds to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society.
Overnight Getaway in Taos by Debbie LaRouche
On our distribution run for the January/February issue of The Corridor we decided to make a little staycation by staging in Taos for the night. We live in Eldorado, so the prospect of the trip back down the hill in pitch-black night through the Embudo Canyon is not our favorite. We booked a room at the Historic Taos Inn in one of the many ground-level rooms, in one of the former homes that make up the compound surrounding the hotel. We were given a wonderful room with a queen size bed, full bathroom and a wood burning fireplace, complete with firewood. Our room had 2 comfortable Mexican lounge chairs, a small table and a dresser complete with wine and beer glasses – even a corkscrew.
Our visit happened to coincide with the championship playoff game between the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our room was steps away from the hotel bar and restaurant. The bar had the football game on and there was live music in the lobby of the hotel. As we planned to return to the Hotel and restaurant for dinner later that night, we ventured out and took a stroll to Eske’s Brewery, a funky locals favorite, where we enjoyed their nachos and a flight of beer samplers while picking up bits and pieces of the game from one of their TVs, all the while taking in the local ambience and Taos “vibe”. The beer sampler had some winners! Our favorites were the Green Chile Beer, Barley Wine and Scottish Ale.
After a brief respite in our cozy room back at the hotel we decided to make the (very) short trek to dinner at Doc Martin’s, the famous restaurant at the Taos Inn. We started with some drinks, a nice Pinot Grigio for me and Marc declared that he had to try the Sazerac (an authentic New Orleans specialty brought to the bar by a local NOLA expat), a concoction of rye whiskey, bitters and absinthe. This drink has a nice kick and a faint sweetness from the absinthe, a licorice-style liquer. Not for the faint of heart but an interesting experience! Our appetizers inculded Green Chile Stew and Seared Scallops. The Green chile stew was wonderfully spicy, temperature hot and was the highlight of the meal. The Seared Scallops were a bit undercooked, barely seared. We would have sent this back, but our waitress was not very attentive and we only saw her at the beginning and end of the meal. My entree was Doc’s Chile Relleno Platter. Tasty, not very spicy and, for me, way too much food for one. Either share this platter or order the smaller appetizer version. Marc ordered the Local Lamb Shank, which was prepared perfectly, braised with red wine, horseradish and mashed potatoes.
Overall our trip was quite successful. After “planting” an outdoor box on the Taos plaza and a rack inside Cid’s Market for The Corridor, plus a few more stops, we made our way East for the next leg of our journey delivering The Corridor. The visit to Taos was a fun adventure that we recommend to anyone visiting our area as well as locals looking for a quick getaway.
“Castles of Goodness – A Legacy in Gingerbread” by Marc-Paul LaRouche
Ever since I can remember, and long before that, my family has been building castles. Not your typical, run-of-the-mill drafty castle. These castles are edible, and are made of all manner of edible bits and pieces. Long ago, my grandmother, Toni Morris, modified a classic gingerbread recipe specifically for castle-building. Along with my grandfather George, she developed a method of building those iconic turrets that are so often a part of proper castle building. Many castles were built through the years, with the help of family and frinds, at their ranch in Colorado
Since those days, my cousins, my mother, my sisters, even my son Jefferson have all participated in castle building. The process is pretty straight-forward. We usually start with a floorplan, then create patterns for each of the building pieces. I use brown paper bags, opened up and laid flat, to create the patterns. Next we roll out the card gingerbread (see our recipe on page 13) and lay the patterns on the flat gingerbread and cut along the edges of the pattern. Be sure to cut any windows and other features before you bake the gingerbread – it’s very hard to cut after it has been baked. For doors and drawbridges, cut them out and bake separately, as the gingerbread does rise some and will make separating the parts hard after baking.
Once the gingerbread is baked and has cooled completely, use royal icing to “glue” the pieces together. When your castle is built, finish it by decorating to your hearts desire. The usual rule is to only use edible items, but hey, it’s your castle – do what you want and enjoy! We ususally would add christmas lights to give the castle a wonderful soft glow at night. One word of advice – especially in the dry West – gingerbread will get very hard in low humidity, so be careful eating it, as one can break a tooth on the stuff if it gets too hard.
You can find a myriad of variations of royal icing online. Most of them start with raw eggs or meringue powder. This is my mother’s version of royal icing. It uses milk instead of raw egg whites, which should not be consumed by women when pregnant, babies, small children or those with other health problems.
To 1 cup of confectioners suger (powdered sugar containing cornstarch), add 2 Tablespoons of milk. mix with a spoon until smooth. You may need to add more milk or sugar depending on humidity, etc. You want a fairly stiff consistency to glue the pieces of gingerbread together. If you are handy with a piping bag this is very useful as well for building and decorating your castle. ENJOY!
“A Night Out in Santa Fe” by Anna Soeiro
Cooler evenings, Aspen’s changing and the need to forget the work week are all good reasons to play tourist in your home town! Often when you live in a place for a long time, (even a place like Santa Fe), you no longer travel to well-known hot spots or feel like checking out the newest and coolest establishments. If you are like me, you still enjoy hunkering down in lesser-known areas and places that you have stamped as your own. However, pretending to be a visitor can reinvigorate your sense of place and remind you of why you chose to move here.
On a recent Friday evening I had some time to kill before meeting a friend at Eldorado Hotel and Spa, so I walked around The Plaza, took some photos of couples trying their best at selfies and stopped in at Five and Dime General Store. I wan’t here for the (in)famous Frito Pie but, oddly enough, I needed to buy a postcard. I was astounded at the collection of goodies that could intrigue and entice the most seasoned traveler. In addition to the wall of postcards were T-shirts, colorful polished stones, “dino eggs”, mugs and many other affordable souvenirs to bring home. Necessities that so many of us forget when traveling can also be purchased at the Five & Dime.
When my friend arrived on The Plaza, we headed over to Cava, Eldorado Hotel’s newest lounge experience. Here we found a streamlined, modern and beautifully appointed seating area. Though a bit cavernous, the people poured in to listen to live musicians play Gypsy Kings cover tunes and to enjoy a bite or two before heading to the Wine and Chile Fiesta, The Lensic or perhaps Skylight; a nearby nightclub, which was our next destination. I had to order a glass of Cava, the bar’s namesake. I was glad I did. Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine and a perfect balance of sweet and dry that went well with the empanadas we snacked on and would also pair well with seafood and fish.
No longer allowed to be called a “champagne”, Cava is produced largely in Catalonia and can be a white or rose. Cava is surprisingly affordable for its sophisticated taste.
Not only did we want to play tourist, we also wanted to shed off our “mom and teacher” personas and kick up our heels and dance! We laughed on the short walk over to Skylight, thinking that the kids at the club would wonder why such ‘old ladies’ were attempting to act cool and hip. We were pleasantly surprised after we paid the cover charge. We found couples of all ages dancing to the sumptuous music of Crossroads, “Albuquerque’s Power Band”. The atmosphere reminded us of a wedding, as older couples danced comfortably to rancheras, cumbias, traditional conjunto and boleros songs and invited their daughters and younger members of the crowd to join in.
Upstairs at Skylight was a smaller dance floor blasting techno and hip hop music, making it easy for all members of a family to enjoy one setting. Truly refreshing! Skylight offers 2 private rooms as well and hosts events, providing catering services and an event staff that I am sure would make any party a success. Skylight is enormous and reaches out to the arts community, offering wall space to artists and enough vertical area to host Aerial Artists as well as being fully equipped with audio, visual and security staff. As Crossroads wound down the stage cleared and the fog machines fired up, disco lights came on and we watched the younger crowed move in on the larger dance floor. I was surprised at how many older people stuck around to watch the kids dance. As we tapped our toes and marveled at the scene, we realized it was late, past our bed time, that maybe we weren’t cool enough to stay out too late, but just long enough to appreciate the fun we can still have in our own backyard.
Cava Santa Fe Lounge – Eldorado Hotel & Spa 309 San Francisco St. Santa Fe, NM 87501(505) 988-4455
Skylight – Concerts, DJs, comedy & dance shows – 139 W San Francisco St Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 982-0775 http://www.skylightsantafe
All about New Mexico Chile
Excerpted from an article by the National Park Service www.nps.gov/petr/learn/historyculture/chile.htm
What is the official state question for New Mexico? Answer: Red or Green?
Chile Ristras in New Mexico
Ristras are the strings of chile you see hanging along fences, on patios and on portals all over New Mexico. In the Fall, you can buy ristras at farmer’s markets and roadside stands. Ristras are sometimes used for decoration, and are said to bring good health and good luck. More often, they are hung up to dry for later cooking and eating.
Why does New Mexico grow so much Chile?
New Mexicans consume more Chile per capita than any other group in the United States. It is an essential ingredient of “Mexican or Southwestern food,” the fastest growing food sector in the United States.
New Mexico has an optimum climate for growing pungent Chile with low annual precipitation, irrigation is essential and increases pungency. Too much water, however, can encourage diseases and the fruit will be less pungent. The high desert climate provides a high intensity of sunlight, warm days, cool nights and daily breezes, which help to dry the plants after a rain or morning dew. Several hundred varieties of chiles are grown in New Mexico, including New Mexican (green and red), cayenne, and jalapeño.
What is the difference between red and greed Chile fruit?
Red and green fruit represent two developmental stages of the same Chile fruit. The plant produces green fruit, which turns red if the pods are left on the plant. The red fruit is usually dried and ground into Chile powder. Green Chile is roasted and peeled for fresh consumption, canning or freezing.
Chiles are an important source of vitamins and many essential nutrients. A green Chile pod can contain six times as much vitamin C as a Florida orange. The content diminishes about 30% with cooking and is almost completely absent in dried Chile As pods turn red, the vitamin A content increases until they contain twice the vitamin A of a carrot. Chile pods also contain high concentrations of vitamins E, P (bioflavonoids), B1 (thiamin) B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
So, what do I do with those dried red Chile pods?
To make Chile sauce, select 12 to 14 large pods to make one pint. Pick those without any mold, disease, insect infestation, or decay, and be sure that they have not been sprayed with a plastic or shellac for decorative purposes. Remove stems, seeds, and yellow veins from the pods (leave the veins if you want a sauce which is more pungent). Wash the pods in warm water, changing the water several times.
Place the washed pods in a warm water for 30 minutes to one hour to rehydrate them. Add water as needed. Then, simmer for 10 minutes. The pulp will become soft and thick and separate from the skin. Place the pods and some water in a blender and blend until smooth puree is obtained. Run the puree through a colander or sieve to remove bits of peeling.
In a sauce pan mix one cup of the Chile puree, one cup of water, one minced garlic clove (optional), ½ teaspoon salt, two tablespoons vegetable oil, and simmer for ten minutes. Add ½ teaspoon crushed oregano leaves (optional) and simmer another five to seven minutes.
Store leftover puree in freezer.
“A Quick Staycation in Las Vegas, NM” by Anna Soeiro
I will never again say: “There’s nothing to do in Las Vegas, New Mexico; why go there?”
Traveling with ‘Tweens is always a trip but our overnight visit at The Historic Plaza Hotel was a vacation. What a beautiful building and how exciting it is to see this historic hotel being remodeled, this time by new owner and famed hotelier Allan Affeldt. Although we did not get room 310 where the ghost of Byron Mills resides, the spirit of the timeless travelers who have stayed in-house resonates in the walls.
Michele Obama, James Spader and the Longmire film crew have all spent quality time under this impressive Italianate facade. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders held their first reunion here, as have many families and celebrity-seekers today!
The food at The Landmark Grill in the hotel was well presented, with the red chile flavorful and just hot enough. The smoky salsa and divine lava cake made our dinner. The staff is top-notch, they even helped me with my dead car battery, refusing a cash tip – old fashioned service at its best!
The Plaza Hotel offers a number of room options, including plaza views and interior options. We stayed in an over-sized Victorian Double King room. The first thing I noticed was how tall the ceilings are, making the room feel spacious and gracious. Lace curtains and period piece furniture filled the room with ambiance, and provided work and reading space. A small dressing area, roomy bathroom and fluffy pillows created a comfortable resting spot. My daughter was particularly impressed that the hotel provides makeup wipes and full size shampoo and conditioner in the marble lined shower. The antique desk and free WiFi was great for ‘Tweens diary writing and checking email.
We enjoyed breakfast at a local favorite restaurant, Charlie’s Spic n’ Span. The meal was generous and satisfied those of us wanting a protein-filled start for the day. I ordered the stuffed bean sopaipilla. For the kids, the homemade donuts and cinnamon rolls reminded us how sweet and delicious cinnamon rolls can be.
During our short visit we met nice, considerate shop owners and residents who reminded us of the small town charm now missing from much of Santa Fe. The art galleries and gift shops, including Paper Trail, are now new favorites of mine. We were going to visit the Montezuma Castle after breakfast but my car battery was dead again. The hostess at Charlie’s and Chris, (nephew of Charlie), helped me with my dead battery problem after our breakfast, leaving the three of us feeling happy and well cared-for during our short but sweet visit to Las Vegas, New Mexico.
The Historic Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, NM is THE destination hotel for the true Las Vegas, New Mexico experience. For reservations contact the hotel at http://www.plazahotel-nm.com or call 505-425-3591.