"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December seasoning

Season of seasoning, 5 by 7 watercolor card
Season of seasoning...December means making a big pot of chili, where I come from, New Mexico.
But to make it with the right seasoning, you need chile peppers. The state question is "Red or green," and when eating out there, I always ask for "Christmas" (both), on the side, never knowing which one will be so hot I only use it sparingly.
Now we buy red chile powder in New Mexico, and green chiles for roasting. Both go into the frig or freezer until time for making chili, or green chile stew, or posole. Other ingredients come from the store, but never include canned chili.
The results, including how much "bite" there is,  vary with every batch as there are no set measurements for the red powder or green chiles added to the big simmering pot. There's always enough to freeze to bring out with the next cold snap, and I've found the "bite" tends to increase with time.
Every time I visit New Mexico, I think of chili and chiles, especially seeing the red chili pod ristras hanging from adobe walls, more than decorations, but part of the seasoning of the season.
(Day 10 of 31 December watercolors)

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