There is a local food bank that provides food to low income people. They also provide information and classes on how to prepare inexpensive, nutritious and tasty food. They offer a six week class, and each week the participants learn a bit about nutrition facts, cooking techniques and they practice making a recipe. For this final meeting the participants were surprised to learn that they were going to have a competition; and that I would be a judge (based on my love of eating, and the fact that I was available ;-).
At this event, which was held at a school, the participants were randomly assigned to a team. First up they had to press a buzzer and correctly answer a nutrition question. Sorry the picture is so fuzzy:-p
The prize for each question was that they got to select a food item to use in their dishes. The categories were protein, fruits, vegetables and dairy. The secret ingredients that all teams had to use were: cauliflower, baby cucumbers and canned Mandarin oranges.
Then it was off to the races, make a meal using the secret ingredients, their choices and using the spices and extras available in just one hour.
Everyone produced something that was at the very least, edible ( I did eat a lot of cauliflower salads) and at best, quite delicious. I forgot to take a picture of the first dish, it wasn’t very pretty (but it was tasty). There was great teamwork and a lot of laughter and joy in the cooking. Everyone was named best in some category, and the participants got a chef’s knife and cookbook. Us judges had fun trying things, and I even learned a new recipe (fruit salad made with Greek yogurt and cinnamon).
Once upon a time, Las Vegas ( Spanish for ‘the springs’) was a prosperous destination place. Fred Harvey had built a resort hotel, and trains brought tourists. The Plaza hotel, which is on the plaza, was rather swanky at one time. Management have just re-swanked it and apparently the movie ‘John Carpenter’s “Vampires”‘ was made right here.
That movie could have played at the curiously named ‘Serf’ theater.
It’s been years since Las Vegas was prosperous, so there is lots of lovely decay to photograph. Back when I was in college, I remember one of my professors * used to come to Las Vegas every weekend to photograph things. (I saw that he later published a book of photographs of concentration camps, but I would rather see his Las Vegas.)
Like this lovely old bank that sits catty-corner to the Plaza Hotel, across the plaza.
This building is a remnant of the railroad tourist boom. Fred Harvey did a lively trade in flogging Navajo art and rugs to the tourists. Some of it was tourist quality and some of it was museum quality. The core holdings of the Heard Museum in Phoenix came from the Fred Harvey collection.
There is a group of investors who bought the old railroad hotel and are attempting to modernize it and make Las Vegas a destination resort again. Perhaps it will actually happen, perhaps it will stay the same.
- The first time I ever went to Las Vegas was for a class assignment from this professor. It was to visit the State Mental Hospital.
Here are more random shots of New Mexico. I was standing on the porch looking over at Santa Clara Mesa. Somewhere over there is the original village. When the railroad came, they picked up the town and moved it by the tracks.
I was still standing on the porch, looking north. That large pine tree is in Grandma’s yard.
Bits of the village, I remember when the cafe was open briefly (18 years ago), but mostly it has always been closed.
An elk crossing, but no elk were using it at the time.
The lonesome road into town.
Uncle Si’s truck. He bought it new in 1930 and never sold it, even when he bought the new one in 1952.
Raton (named for the Spanish word for rat) is the first town (village?) that you come to in New Mexico after going over the pass. Miss P and I stopped in on our way south and they were having a little music/street festival. And I love to go to local festivals so we gave it a quick cruise. (Miss P does not like them unless she gets something to eat, or finds something to eat on the ground.)
I don’t think people wear much tie-dye anymore, but it was available.
Marchiando’s store is still there after 102 years.
The beautiful stone building must have been a hotel at one time.
It was built to last. And it lasted longer than the need.
Some folks going for an old time wagon ride.
The movie house was having a cowboy poetry reading. Not quite as obnoxious as a poetry slam, cowboy poems are often funny or sentimental versions of a cowboy’s life.
And before the railroad came, Raton was part of the Santa Fe Trail. Until they put in the modern highway, the road was a series of switchbacks up to the summit at 7800+ feet. Must have been fun (not).
Once again when I was in town for the 105th annual celebration, I was struck by the incredible beauty of northern New Mexico. New Mexico is crawling with artists, most of whom can’t make a living at it (and a fortunate few who make a fabulous living).
But then I thought, ‘How can you live here and not be an artist?’ This time I stayed in a little old adobe house (because Miss P had to come along). I could see this old truck and the landmark out the back door. I was fascinated by the way the light changed. Of course in the harsh light of mid-day things look flat and unimpressive, but in the light of the evening, everything looks magical.
And the quality of light changes quickly, you have to grab it as soon as you see it.
This last shot is a rare sunrise view. (It’s rare because I don’t do sunrise as a rule!) And of course besides these pictures, there were the views I saw when I was driving around, although it is usually quite possible to just stop in the middle of the street ;-), there’s not much traffic. (And I possibly need a new camera.)
While I was cleaning up I found a couple of new additions to the collection that I had not photographed. And as ‘Back to School’ season is over, we are now moving into ‘Halloween’ season on the retail calendar. So here they are.
The chik-fil-a cow, it’s really quite adorable.
These two are vintage windups, around 30 years old.. My friend saved them after her kids stopped playing with them because they are so cute. She gave them to me because her sons didn’t want to play with them any more.
Hopping monsters, reduced to their iconic images and ready for the scary season (no, the scary season is tax time). Well they are quite prepared for Halloween and now so am I.
I was feeling the weight of owning objects, so I decided to sort through some bits and bobs. It’s hard to remember where and when I bought certain everyday items, like socks. But other seemingly ordinary things can have a surprising flood of memories attached.
A coffee cup that celebrates our two different colleges, purchased at the university bookshop. We had gone there on a trip to get new university sweatshirts.
A travel coffee mug that we purchased with the dog treat barrel at Christmas time. It was on special offer. Miss P still keeps her treats in the barrel.
A coffee cup that was a present from my mother. (Not her style, but I think I asked for this).
The advice from the de-cluttering gurus is to get rid of things that you are not actually using. I myself just told a friend that even when he sold his house, he could take the memories with him, but of course this is a lie. So what did I do? I got rid of all the candles that I had gotten as presents (a very popular girly gift to give), and all the Mason Jars I was saving (and not using), and kept these cups. Perhaps they will go away some day, but not today.