19 August 2012

Staying at "home" in Treguier, France

Today my story about Brittany, France appears in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "At home in Brittany". Even with two almost full pages devoted to the story and photos, I realized it might be fun to add some extra photos here to showcase Lucia's fabulous Maison de Granit in Brittany that you can rent. 
                              opening our shutters to a new morning in Treguier
                                   every kitchen should be such great fun to work in!
I REALLY wanted to buy this,but even I had to admit it might be too heavy for the suitcase
                                                 I even loved the egg cartons!!
Okay--we didn't just buy food at some of the markets--we found shoes at one!

I could go on and on--but I must stop. If I had the crepe pan, I would go make some crepes
now. I'm seriously thinking that I may have to buy one next time I'm there.  It wasn't THAT heavy. 

16 August 2012

Hot Times in Hatch, NM

Sometimes the sweetest events are spicy too. It's chile harvest season in New Mexico--and we're talking a hot time--literally. The last time I was there for the Hatch Chile Festival, the temps hovered in the upper 90s and the sunshine was beating.

But it was a great time and I'd love to go again (anyone up for a road trip?) I could use
a 50-pound burlap bag of the roasted chiles to take home and freeze for making all sorts of wonderful recipes during the year (until the next harvest! And please no comments about the 100 pounds of Montana flour I'm still making use of --another story). Many of the people I met when I was in Hatch came from Texas with huge coolers to buy their stash of chiles by the way. I envied them!

Hatch is about three hours south of Albuquerque-- and driving into town visitors are greeted with a fiesta of colors and scents. Hand-turned gas roasters are everywhere and the air is infused with this incredibly seductive scent. They don't sell the freshly roasted chiles by ones or twos (most people buy 50 or more pound bags of the roasted chiles)--but vendors are happy to give a sampling. Tasting a hot roasted chile fresh from the roaster, sprinkled with salt, I was addicted. I immediately had visions of selling these at the Minnesota State Fair. They'd be awesome, and perfect--and they can be served on a stick! 

At outdoor markets, vendors braid bright bunches of red and multicolored chile ristras to sell on the spot as well. They're cheap and beautiful. You can also buy all sorts of fresh chile powder--the best. The festival itself has become a rather huge affair, and takes place a few miles out of town, set up under  tents. More roasters and food shacks there hawk everything from chocolate chile pecan brownies to the biggest seller of all when I was there two years ago--a fresh mango, stuck on a stick, peeled, squeezed with lime juice, then rolled in chile powder. There were the requisite chile eating contests (even the Chile Festival princesses took part in those) as well as a Mexican "yell" competition.  But pictures can tell more than my words....sample the following: