Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fall Traditions of New Mexico


Saturday I made a special trip to start my yearly stocking up on green chile from Hatch, NM. I buy it already roasted and then bag and freeze it. I like to buy from several different places because each batch is normally slightly different. I try to buy enough to last the entire year because after harvest time it is hard to find. So that was the first of many stocking up trips to come. Also stocked up on Hatch red chile powder, though I prefer green chile there are many things that only red will do for. Most New Mexicans, myself included, are chile snobs. We know that we have the best chile in the world and nothing else will do. We also eat a lot of chile, we eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner -- snacks too. The farmer's market I went to was packed with other people stocking up on chile. BTW, you do not want to peel or touch NM chiles without gloves -- if you make that mistake you will pay for many days.


It is also Santa Fe Fiesta time. Frankly, I don't attend the fiesta normally, but it is very popular and people come from all over the world. This year is the 400th anniversary of Santa Fe, so I would hope that the fiesta is even better than normal. My favorite thing and probably the most popular part is the burning of Zozobra (or old man gloom). It isn't exactly Burning Man, but it is a 50 foot man and best of all -- he screams, moans and his arms flap about while he is burning.


Here in Albuquerque, we have the State Fair starting this weekend. It used to be the 2nd largest in the US, but I am not sure if that is still true. As you can see, it has a large midway. Aside from that, there are lots of cultural events going on in the Indian and Hispanic Villages. Tons of great food (my favorite part), lots of animals, horse shows, concerts, several art galleries and much more.


Next month, on Oct 3rd, starts the event that Albuquerque is probably most famous for - the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Once again, something that people from around the world come to see and I never go to. I never got because 1) you have to get there at the crack of dawn 2) it is cold out in Oct at the crack of dawn. However, we do often go up to Sandiago's at the tram and watch the balloon glow at night. I like that because we avoid most of the balloon glow traffic and can sit inside where it is warm sipping margaritas while we watch the glow below. We also often do that on 4th of July. Not as spectacular as being there in person, but good enough for me since I don't care much for crowds.

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