A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Misadventuring in New Mexico

Our trip to Hillsboro became an adventure. It rained hard after turning north from the Hatch cutoff, in fact so hard that we stopped at the first dip--and indeed, it was full of rushing water. We waited for 20 minutes, a couple of other vehicles came along, and it subsided enough that we crossed it although it had a strong current and was up to mid-tire. Two miles later we crossed a shallow running stream (over pavement) and then came up on a big new drainage coursing across the road. We decided to turn around and take the long way on the freeway, but on the way back a new wash had occurred, a big one, so we were trapped between two flash floods. We contemplated spending the night in our car--no problem, plenty of food and wine on board, and we were on fairly high ground. In a half hour the far stream had subsided and we drove on.

We got to Hillsboro at dusk and the town was so dead, we thought the power was out. Not so--the town of 200 people or so was just quiet, asleep. We had reserved a room at the single motel, but there was nobody there. Dad checked his notes from making the reservation, and Room 7 was mentioned. The door was unlocked, so we made ourselves at home. The owner came over later in the evening to give us a key. We took a walk around town in the lessening rain, and then ate our cold supper of smoked salmon, Jarlsberg, crackers, fruit, and chocolate, with champagne--we were prepared, as usual. The room was clean and comfortable.

The next morning the town's single restaurant was open for breakfast and we found two stools at the old-fashioned counter. We waited an hour for breakfast because apparently the whole town was there, but it was worth the wait: I had a bowl of homemade pinto beans topped with a fried egg, melted cheese, and Hatch green chile. This absolutely replaces the loco moco in my book.

On the way we had lunch in Deming, New Mexico, which has a terrible freeway presence and we usually avoid. But we found a nice little shady downtown area with several restaurants, including Campo's. I had the best chiles rellenos of my life. They were advertised on the menu as "lightly crisped." I can't decide if they were lightly floured and deep-fried, or lightly battered and sauteed--anyway, it was mostly chile stuffed with cheese, and on top of that, a homemade tomatillo sauce. Wow. The place was busy, mostly because of a large family having a First Communion lunch with a little girl in a white lace dress.

After that lunch we visited the local winery, Luna Rossa, which had lovely vines hanging with grapes, and the wine was pretty good. We bought a couple of bottles. We'll share them when you visit us.

Monday, September 7, 2009


We went out for Italian pizza lunches at the two best places near here with Mary Ellen, and had a variety of 12-inch pizzas ranging from Margherita to prosciutto with arugula. Quite a worthwhile project, although fattening. I don't always succeed in getting my photos in order here, but a prosciutto, arugula, and truffle oil pizza is pictured.

And here's the cobbler recipe from your childhood.

Fruit Cobbler

Place in a baking dish or 10-inch pyrex pie plate:

4 to 6 cups prepared fruit (berries, or cut-up peaches, or a mixture)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Make biscuit topping:
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix with fork.

1/3 cup milk or water
1/6 (2 and 2/3 tablespoons) cup oil

Mix liquids and stir into flour mixture, stirring only until lightly blended. Drop by teaspoon blobs onto fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve warm, maybe with ice cream.