What’s an "e" among friends…..?

I love me some Arnold Vigil. I read his column in the ABQjournal all the time but have never blogged about him, mainly because he seems to say it all just right. I usually can’t even comment more, he got it and wrestled it to the ground with perfect words.

Mr. Vigil is the epitome of New Mexico to me, and reading his column makes me homesick. I usually need a hug after reading his hilarious stuff…..(heh!)

But I just had to put up something today. He wrote a column so spot on that I had to highlight it.

I believe the quote of the day is thus, “…it’s not that they didn’t teach me, it’s just that they taught me wrong.” A feeling shared, I’m sure, by the many victims, er, students of the vast New Mexico public school system.

Today Mr. Vigil takes to task those who forget that our chile comes with an e, not an i as in chili. Now…both chile and chili have value…I enjoy them both. And I’ve often enjoyed some chile on my chili….

This whole topic came up again in reference to that kerfuffle in Madrid, (briefly blogged here) where the folks in that small town didn’t take too kindly to some east coast outsider wanting to have a festival there (and capitalize on the popularity of the movie “Wild Hogs”.) The guy totally blew it (and forever marked himself an outsider) by dropping a big fat steaming “i” where once an “e” should be.

This quote has forever endeared Mr. Vigil to me (as I’ve ranted in these very pages about the “Christmas” issue):

“Personally, I was afraid that if they did spell chile the other way, they might have got our upstanding lawmakers to temporarily change the official state question as well. That’s right, “Red or Green?” would have changed that weekend to “Mustard or Mayo?”— much more palatable to the rest of our hamburger-eating nation. And the official answer, you ask? Why, “July 4th,” of course, a colorful splattering of both condiments, with maybe some Taco Bell hot sauce thrown in.”


Note To Mr. Vigil: ORALE! You got it right, brotha!

My Happy Meal

In one of those “I saw something and that gave me an idea for something else” moments, I was scanning the Albuquerque Tribune today and looked under the “Photos” heading where sometimes they have little “Viewfinder” vignettes with a cool black and white photo accompanying. Today there is a link with the title Viewfinder: His happy meal.

It’s a cute little story about a dog. But that’s not the point of this post.

Just reading that title in my stressed out work haste made me think about food, comfort food (it is my lunch hour, after all). I have been so tweaked out with work and personal issues that I have been eating a LOT, lately. Taking to fats and sweets and salty to try to make me feel better about a life that feels on the verge. It’s doing nothing to help my waistline and doing even less to improve my mood.

Nonetheless, as I sit here with rumbling in my tum, I had a thought upon reading that title “What meal would make me happy?” Kind of like a turn on “If you were on death row, what would be your last meal?”

My mom wasn’t that great a cook, so I don’t have a lot of “home cooked” stuff I could list. But let me take a stab at it.

If I had to eat a last meal and there were no space or calorie limitations on my tummy, here’s top ten what I’d have:

1) My best friend’s homemade chile rellenos. She makes them with chile grown by her uncle, the flavor is fantastic and she has just the right batter to make them light and delicious. Alongside her with her pressure cooked pinto beans, she makes the best beans, hands down.

2) Beef Lasagne from Sodini’s in San Francisco. And the seafood linguini…..

3) Fried Calamari from Caesar’s down near the Wharf in San Francisco. And the Minestrone….

4) The green chile chicken enchiladas with an egg and sour cream on top from Gardunos….and a couple margs…I love Gardunos mix. And the carne adovada……

5) Pretty much anything made by my brother-in-law, but his mashed potatoes rock my little world…….

6) My mom’s tortillas “back in the day”. She can’t put the finesse on ’em like she used to, but circa about when I was seven years old and we’d come home from Saturday Mass and she’d roll ’em out and I’d cook ’em on the griddle. Layer on marinated beef or game meat, cheese and you were off to the races……

7) Anything from Legal Sea Foods in Boston.

8) Hamburger. All of the following:
A green chile cheeseburger from Blakes.
A Whataburger.
A Fuddruckers hamburger circa 1986. (I went recently, it’s yucky now, but back then it was da bomb! ).
A carefully cooked thick burger over a campfire on a bun that *might* have a little sand or ash on it but who cares because you’ve been swimming in the lake/fishing/ hiking/ skiing all day and you are FAMISHED and besides you already ate two hotdogs……

9) My own chile con queso and chips

10) Huevos rancheros from this restaurant in Albuquerque that is now defunct and it will plague me all day until I can remember the name……

Honorable mention:

Biscuits hand made by the mom of my college roommate along with her homemade apricot jam….next to two farm fresh (I pulled ’em this morning) over easy fried eggs.

Homemade ice cream (my best friend’s recipe) and a couple of my homemade chocolate chip cookies

Anything from Chopies, Nopolitos or Sadies

An Owl Burger (the one in San Antonio, NM, not the Albuquerque location)

Pizza from New York City, preferably the borough of Brooklyn….

Anything from the Aqua Grill in SoHo.

A good old fashioned Polish buffet alongside my Midwest family in South Bend. Ah the fried chicken! And the sausages! And the saurkraut! : drool :

Crabs, lobsters and clams straight outta the pot by the pool at the home of my best friend from high school. Ah, those were good days…..

I’m sure there is a lot I’m missing, but that’ll do for now. I’m happy. And hungry.

: rumble :