I Before L and E – The Grammar of Good Eats
I have the greatest best friend in the world. Knowing a ex-pat New Mexican like me is missing home more than ever in the Fall, she decided to poke the bruise. Because why not?
And being my best friend, she knew right where to hit for maximum impact. She got me right in the green chile.
Over this past weekend, she sent me a text with a photo taken near Las Cruces and the words “New Mexico misses you.”
So of course I damn near wept. I mean, my nostrils long for the scent of roasting green chile. And Zozobra just happened. And the State Fair is going on. And the Balloon Fiesta is coming up. It’s the best time of the year to be a New Mexican. And oh damn, why again did I move to California?
So I replied and waxed rhapsodic about the virtues of green chile. How I missed it. How maybe I could find some again this year at Whole Foods. How my local hippie grocery store carries dried red chile pods that are labeled as being from New Mexico.
I was lost in a land of happy thoughts and green chile dreams when my best friend who is teaches English at a local high school, said…
“Did you notice it was spelled c h l i e?”
Truth was, I hadn’t noticed. I was so busy trying to locate the green chile smell in my memory banks and bring it back to my nose. So I looked again. Sure enough.
Then I laughed. I considered making a crack about the sorry condition of public education in New Mexico, but that’s just hitting below the belt.
To be honest, the photo of a hastily hand painted sign made me miss New Mexico that much more.
Oh Fair New Mexico. How I love you you, your green chile and your bad spelling.
Love you so.
Photo courtesy and copyright 2013 my best friend in the world. Don’t steal it without asking!”