Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019 Lunch – Enchiladas. Dinner – Enchiladas and Artichokes

February 12, 2019 Lunch – Enchiladas.  Dinner – Enchiladas and Artichokes

When you are getting ready to leave town you try to clean out the fridge.

 I ate granola, fruit salad, and yogurt for breakfast.



We had more than ½ of the 9x13 inch baking dish full of chicken enchiladas left after dinner last night.  They were so delicious I ate them for lunch at 1:00 topped with a fried egg and we ate them again for dinner with Artichokes.


Suzette discovered two boiled Artichokes in the fridge as she was trying to decide what to throw and what to freeze tonight. We froze Billy’s sour cherry sauce.

We decided to halve each artichoke and grill the halves.  We like Artichokes grilled and warm.  I cut each in half and Suzette sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and a liberal amount of Spanish olive oil
and grilled them.



While the Artichokes were grilling I made a dipping sauce by mixing 2/3 cup of mayonnaise, juice of ½ lemon, a pinch of herbs Provence, and ½ tsp. of Suzette’s homemade sorrel pesto.

Willy came around 6:45 and ate with us until his counselor texted him and reminded him that he had a session this evening, so he left hurriedly at 7:10.  We each showered and packed and were in bed by 8:30.

I toasted bagels and spread cream cheese on them and lay slices of Gravad Lax on each half and packed them in plastic bags.  Suzette packed the remaining tropical fruit salad in a plastic container.  We will have food for breakfast and lunch on the trip to Mexico tomorrow.

Suzette set the alarm for 4:45.

Bon Appetit


February 11, 2019 Lunch – Mega Pork Salad. Dinner – Chicken Enchiladas with Guacamole

February 11, 2019 Lunch – Mega Pork Salad. Dinner – Chicken Enchiladas with Guacamole

Today I spent 6 ½ hours continuously sitting at my desk editing the final draft of a filing for my water case.

At 2:30 I finished the project and decided to make a salad using as many ingredients as possible to clear out the fridge.

Here is the result.



I had to stop before I used up all the ingredients including last night’s PPI stuffed pork tenderloin for fear that the mound would collapse and make a mess on the table.

After lunch I worked until 4:30 when I drove to the bank and post office.

I knew Suzette would want chicken enchiladas, so I stopped at Lowe’s at around 5:15 and bought a package of five fresh chicken thighs.

When I returned home at 5:30 I fetched the mozzarella cheese and requeson and simmered the Chicken thighs for about an hour during which time Suzette arrived.  I de-stemmed and chopped the last six or seven stalks of kale.

Then I made a batch of The Shed red chili.  It is essentially a roux made with 2 T. of minced garlic,  ¼ cup canola oil, 2 T. of flour, and 1/3 cup of red chile that is diluted with 1 cup of tomato juice and 2
cups of water.

I used 1 ½ cups each of Clamato and 1 cup of water



I boned and shredded the cooked chicken thighs and put the bones into the pot that I had used to boil them and continued to simmer the pot to create a richer broth.  At this point, Suzette helped me assemble the enchiladas in a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex casserole.  I soaked 5 blue corn tortillas in a mixture of chili and broth to soften them and we lay the soaked tortillas in the bottom of the casserole . Then Suzette spread requeson, grated cheese and chicken on top of the tortillas.  I then softened 5 more tortillas and laid them on top of the first layer and Suzette added another layer of chicken meat, cheese, kale, red chili and requeson.

Finally I softened the last six tortillas and laid hem on top.  Suzette sprinkled shredded mozzarella on top as the final layer.  She then poured the remaining broth into the remaining red chili and we cooked it for abut fifteen minutes to thicken and then filled the casserole to its lip with sauce.

                                                        After 1/2 hour

We cooked the enchiladas about 1 hour until they gave off a cooked smell and the cheese seemed to be fully melted.

After 1 hour of baking at 350 degrees

While the enchiladas coked we made guacamole with two small avocados, two oz. of finely minced red onion, 1 T. of fresh cilantro, some of the PPI red chili with garlic, and salt.

Suzette fetched beers from the garage and we had a delicious dinner while we watched the Antiques Roadshow from Sarasota.

After dinner we ate the last piece of clementine cake and Suzette made Martha Stewart spiced pecans for the Bistro’s new salad and we went to bed around 9:00.

Bon Appetit


Sunday, February 10, 2019

February 10, 2019 Brunch – sautéed Onion and Kale with a Poached Egg and bacon. Dinner – Baked Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Caprese Salad and Sautéed Fresh Garbanzo beans and Asparagus tips

February 10, 2019 Brunch – sautéed Onion and Kale with a Poached Egg and bacon. Dinner – Baked Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Caprese Salad and Sautéed Fresh Garbanzo beans and Asparagus tips.

I awakened at 7:45 and watched Fareed Zacharia in bed.  At 9:00 I toasted 1/3 of a bagel and smeared it with cream cheese and drank a cup of tea with it.

Willy was coming over at 11:00, so I chopped kale and onions and garlic for a sauté and fried six pieces of bacon to crisp.

When Willy arrived Suzette pouched an egg for each of us and he toasted the rest of the everything bagel.  I sliced and toasted another 1/3 of a regular bagel and laid slices of Jarlsberg cheese on it.  We drank tea with brunch and watched Man City thump Chelsea 6 to 0.



At 1:00 after Willy left to play soccer and Suzette went to work I went riding.  Today I rode to Mountain Rd. So about five miles.



When I returned I took the Haddock water color to Fedex and shipped it to Billy.

When I got home I worked a bit and then ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich with a cup of tea.

Soon after I lay down Suzette arrived from her day at work. We each ate a bag of popcorn.

Around 5:30 we started cooking.  I popped the fresh garbanzo beans out of their husks while Suzette diced asparagus.

She then rehydrated some apricots and figs and peeled and added two Bosc pears that she then puréed in the Cuisinart.  She made a deep slit in one of the pork tenderloins we has thawed today and stuffed the fruit into the cavity

I made a Caprese salad with the three renaming aroma tomatoes, the 8 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves from the plant I bought at Sprouts several days ago and slices of red onion.  I made a simple balsamic and olive oil dressing with a dash of salt and pepper.




She then baked the stuffed pork tender in the oven for about thirty minutes and made the rest of the puréed fruit into a sauce by adding cognac and heating it.


When Willy arrived Suzette sautéed the vegetables and I dressed the Caprese salad and sliced the
stuffed Pork Tender and we plated our plates.





I chilled one of the bottles of 2016 Benton Lane Rose that was delivered yesterday.   We liked it a lot. It has character and body even though it is 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.


Willy and I ate Pieces of the moist Clementine and Almond flour cake.

We watched the Grammy ceremony and around 8:15 Willy left.

I started blogging while Suzette kept watching.the Grammys.

Bon Appetit

February 9, 2019 Lunch – Turkey Sandwiches  Dinner – Grilled Filet Mignons and Asparagus, Roasted Potatoes, Sautéed Onions and garlic and Clementine Francipan cake

I am sorry to note to those I have shared this blog with that the share function no longer appears to be available.  Its loss appears to be due to a “depreciation” by Google, whatever that means.

I worked from 7:00 until 2:30 to revise the water case draft.  I guess the huge protein and vegetable meal last night carried me through.

Suzette worked for about the same period, but in Los Lunas.

At 2:30 I toasted two slices of whole wheat bread, spread mayonnaise on them and then layered each slice with a slice of tomato, lettuce,  slices of Jarlsberg cheese, a slice of red onion and finally a slice of turkey breast.  I drank water with the rather thick sandwiches to help wash them down.

At 4:00 I took a shower and dressed, during which time Suzette arrived..

I went to the kitchen around 5:00. I prep most of the elements of each meal and Suzette cooks the food.

Today I started by butchering the 5.8 lb. beef tenderloin I bought last Wednesday at Sprouts for $9.99/lb..  It took 1 hour and yielded over a lb. of stew meat that we will make into Boeuf Bourguignon, 1 ½ lb. of fat and silver skin, 1 and 15 steaks for an average price of $4.00 for each 5 to 6 oz. filet.

Suzette cooked four strips of bacon in the microwave for two minutes and then wrapped four steaks each with a strip of bacon for dinner.

While I was butchering, Suzette made a clementine and almond flour cake.  Here is the recipe.

When the cake finished baking Suzette melted and drizzled the cake with the chocolate glaze Elaine had left last weekend made with butter and chocolate pastilles.



Suzette then chopped several potatoes and tossed them with salt, pepper, and olive oil an'd roasted them in the oven.

She then cut the ends off about a dozen asparagus stalks and tossed them in a freezer bag with olive oil.




We decided to sauté two medium thinly sliced onions and four finely minced cloves of garlic in butter and olive oil as a garnish for the steaks, so I sliced and Suzette sautéed them in a heavy iron skillet until they softened.



Sautéing the garlic

                                                    The sautéed onions and garlic

Charlie and Susan arrived a bit after 6:00.  They brought us a lovely bottle of 93 point Malbec Reserva from Mendoza, Argentina bought at Costco and some homemade ice cream and we started cooking.  The potatoes and cake were both ready, so the only thing Suzette had to do was grill the steaks and asparagus.  I opened the bottle of Malbec and filled glasses.

Soon Suzette brought in the asparagus wrapped in foil and the steaks and she plated four plates with a dollop of onions on each steak, a pile of potatoes and four grilled asparagus.




Susan’s plate
We all enjoyed our meal and surprisingly, drank the bottle of wine.

After dinner Suzette served slices of cake.  Everyone loved the combination of clementines and almond flour in the cake.  What we all noticed was how moist and dense the cake was, which is very different from a flour cake.




I cut a piece of cake for Susan to take home and Charlie and Susan left at around 8:20, so we were able to watch the last half of Death in Paradise on PBS.

We went to bed a little after 9:00.

Bon Appetit

Friday, February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019. Lunch – Cassoulet. Dinner – Shrimp Salad and Steamed Clams

February 8, 2018 Lunch - Cassoulet. Dinner -+Shrimp Salad and steamed clams

Today was interesting from a food standpoint.  I finished peeling and dicing three mangos and five oranges to complete the tropical fruit salad. Then I ate granola, yogurt, and fruit salad or breakfast.

Then I called Peter to invite hm to join me for Cassoulet for lunch.  When he arrived at noon I heated the PPI cassoulet and heated a baguette in the oven until the crust was crisp.  I sliced the baguette in half and put butter on the table and poured glasses of Paton-Clemente Tempranillo Crianza.  Peter loved the cassoulet, especially dipping the toasted bread into the bean, sausage, and duck meat stew.

I had an amazing day in the Market.  I sold Apple at 169.20 near the open and watched the stock go up and down. Finally five minutes before the close I bought it back at 169. 92 and watched in amazement as Apple rose to 170.41.  So instead of a $.72 cent loss, I had a $.26 loss.  A lucky opportunity to cut my losses when I guessed wrong about the market.

I took a nap in the afternoon and around 5:00 talked to Suzette about dinner.  She approved my plan to make a shrimp salad.  I boiled 15 large shrimp, peeled them and chilled them in the fridge. I then chopped a bunch of curly kale and lay it on a layer of romaine lettuce leaves. Then I diced three Roma tomatoes, sliced an avocado, and peeled and sliced 1/2 of a cucumber. I made a special dressing soaking a diced shallot in juice of ½ lemon for thirty minutes and then added 2/3 cup of prepared mayonnaise, a T. of horseradish, 2 T. of catsup, ½ T. of olive oil, and ½ T. of Amontillado sherry.

Suzette arrived around 6:30 with a bag of fresh clams, which she steamed in a fume made with white wine, butter and water plus garlic salt, and pepper.

I composed the salad by mounding chopped kale on the lettuce, then added diced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and shrimp.  Here is a picture before and after dressing.








Suzette brought the pot of steamed clams to the table and we forked them as we ate salad.  We opened a bottle of Luzada Albariño ($7.99 at Trader Joe’s) and found it really tasty.   We will buy more.  It was great with the seafood.

After I ate my salad I drank a cup of the rich clam broth.

Later I drank three cups of chai to help digest the huge meal.

This was a really healthy and filling meal, salad and seafood protein with a nice new wine.

A happy day of good food.

Bon Appetit

February 7, 2019 Lunch – Padilla’s Dinner – PPI Cassoulet

February 7, 2019 Lunch – Padilla’s  Dinner – PPI Cassoulet

Today after eating a bowl of granola, yogurt, milk, and blueberries I worked most of the day on the water case, the hotel closing, and the estate case and one other case.  I found time to go to lunch with Peter. We had discussed lunch in rather vague terms in the morning and then at 11:40 he turned up at my door, just as I completed reviewing a document.  I drove us to Padilla’s and luckily there were only five persons ahead of us waiting for a table, a new record.

Also luckily we were seated at a table on the far side of the large room away from the line where no one would stand or even walk by us, like being seated in heaven.  Here is a picture.


Peter ordered Beef Enchiladas with red Chile and a egg on top and I ordered the same with double beans and extra onions.

Then Peter told me a story he has never mentioned before of how he was separated from his mother for thirteen years at a young age after his father was imprisoned and executed.  Peter was born in Dresden and lived through the Allied bombing of Dresden, which lies within what became East Germany.  He told me his mother and he were trying to escape to West Germany to avoid living in the Russian Zone, but were captured by the East Germans and Russians, Peter did not mention his age but he must have been no more than eight or nine years old.  He said he was interrogated by a nice Russian officer and then a few hours later his mother passed him through a bathroom window to a pre-arranged coyote who took him to a friendly family who kept him a few days and then he was taken to an aunt’s home in West Germany.  His mother made her way to America by way of Switzerland and Canada 13 years later.  I did not inquire further into how Peter came to America, but I believe Peter resided in upstate N.Y. and obtained a college education at SUNY Purchase.

So we talked about refugees a bit but he is resolutely a conservative republican.  As  we talked Peter made it clear that his world view that things are really bad and can only get worse in the long run is the opposite of my view which is a disposition toward seeing things as potentially positive that enlivens one to make plans for a better future.

Finally, the food was served and we ceased talking and started eating.  Here are pictures of our respective plates.  Peter’s is the one with the sunny side up egg.




After the meal I ordered a box and my two sopapillas, which were served steaming hot.  After lunch I drove us home and after Peter left I worked until 5:00 when Suzette came home.  I ate six chocolate covered pecans and almonds and walked to the Country Club and back. Then I watched the news while peeling and dicing a papaya and pineapple until 6:15, when I left for meditation.

When I returned at 7:45 8 ate three small bowls of cassoulet and several small glasses of Paton Spanish Tempranillo Crianza ($4.99 at a Trader Joe’s).



Suzette had already eaten, but she drank a glass of wine.

After dinner I ate a few more chocolates and some ice cream and watched the news until 11:00, so I could get Rachel’s take on the news of the day.

I then went to bed and read Chapter Five of Goodbye to a River by John Graves, in which he paddles past the Boy Scout camp I used to go to near Kyle Mountain on the Brazos.  When I was in high school I was in a troop that canoed the same waters described in the book from the spillway of Possum Kingdom Dam to Worth Ranch Boy Scout Camp and sometimes further to Dark Valley Bridge or Hwy 180 at Mineral Wells. During the period when Graves and I canoed the Brazos from 1960 to 1964 it was a wild river and the four places mentioned above were the only public access points from the dam to Mineral Wells.  My favorite memory of those days was slipping downstream in a strong flow of relatively deep water which in the Brazos was about four feet deep and, because the water was crystal clear, being able to see clearly to the bottom, when beside and below the 17 foot aluminum canoe a five or six foot long alligator gar was swimming along the side of the canoe looking at us  from two or three feet below the water.  This impressive fish that was as long as we were tall and probably weighed as much as we did was clearly unafraid of us and I had the distinct feeling we were passing through its domain.  I love that stretch of the Brazos just like John Graves did.

I have several connections to John Graves.  His sister, Nancy, was the head Librarian at the Amon Carter Museum where my wife, Amy, worked for her and her assistant, Milan Hughston.  We were socially active with the small group of Museum staff and  I recall meeting John Graves at picnics hosted by Nancy at Hard Scrabble, his farm near Glen Rose.

To complete the connections to Graves, my mother knew him when   she studied creative writing at TCU during the period she was writing that preceded the opening of her cooking school.

As Elaine, my sister -in-law said last weekend, “You Simons are all writers.” Perhaps she is right.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019 Lunch – Hot Dog at Costco. Dinner – Teriyaki Salmon Grilled on a cedar plank with Steamed Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes and Celeriac


This was the first day in a week without a doctor’s appointment, vacation time in Taos, or physical therapy.  It was also the double discount day at Sprouts and I saw several specials that appealed to me in the flyer I received in the mail.

So at 12:30 I drove to Costco and shopped for a couple of personal items such as conditioner and a turista medicine prescribed by my doctor for my trip to Mexico.  I then shopped for several items we needed at home, including eggs, almond flour, butter, olive oil, and Brie cheese.  I then ate a hot dog garnished with relish, catsup, mustard and onions open face with a knife and fork.


I then drove west on Montano across the river to Coors to the new Sprouts store.  I went a little wild buying slicer tomatoes for $.88/lb., broccoli, kale for $.88 per bunch, a ½ lb. ball of fresh mozzarella, a fresh basil plant, a 6 lb. whole beef tenderloin for $9.99/lb., a 1.6 lb. fresh Atlantic Salmon filet, milk, chocolate covered almonds for $3.99/lb., 1 lb. of white mushrooms for $3.49, large artichokes for 2 fo $3.00, asparagus for $1.48/lb., a gallon of ice cream, and three avocados for $1.00.  I bought the live basil plant so we could harvest some of its leaves to make caprese salad and then plant the plant in the covered bed.

I enjoyed shopping for all the lovely food at good prices, but was tired by the time I loaded it into the car, so drove home around 3:00.  I called Willy and he said he would come for dinner at 7:00 and he suggested teriyaki salmon.

I made a simple teriyaki Sauce by heating 1/3 cup each of soy sauce, Aji mirin, and sake plus 1 T. of sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Then I placed the salmon filet in a gallon freezer bag and let the teriyaki sauce cool and then poured the teriyaki sauce into the bag with the salmon and put the bag into the fridge to marinate the salmon.

When Suzette arrived I fetched the cedar plank from the Shed and cut a length long enough to hold the salmon filet.  I gave the board to Suzette who soaked it iunder water in the tub.  I also simmered the two artichokes in water for an hour.  We will cut them in half and grill them with the steaks on Saturday when we host the Palmers for dinner.


At 6:45 we began cooking.  I de-flowered about 1 lb. of broccoli flowerets and steamed them for about 10 minutes while Suzette heated the grill and then put the salmon and board on the grill and cooked it 20 minutes.  Suzette also fetched the PPI Mashed celeriac and potatoes and heated them at 7:00 for a couple of minutes in the microwave on high heat.

I poured glasses of Picton Bay New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc I had bought recently at Trader Joe’s for $7.99, I think.

When the salmon was cooked Suzette brought it in and placed a dab of homemade cranberry sauce on each plate, then a mound of potatoes and finally some broccoli flowerets, and I lay 1/3 of the filet on each mound.

Here are pictures.







We enjoyed dinner and then watched some news. After Willy left around 8:00 I made a cup of Earl Grey tea and ate a few chocolate covered almonds.

We went to bed at 9:00.

Bon Appetit


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019 Lunch – Indian food at Wake for Sadrudin. Dinner – Iceberg Wedge Salad and PPI Beef and Duck Pepper Steak and Forbidden Black Rice

February 5, 2019 Lunch – Indian food at Wake for Sadrudin.  Dinner – Iceberg Wedge Salad and PPI Beef and Duck Pepper Steak and Forbidden Black Rice

This was a day with four small meals.  At 8:00 a.m. I a bowl of granola, yogurt, milk, tropical fruit salad and blueberries.

I went to my doctor’s appointment at 10:00.  At 12:00 I went home and worked a bit and was pleased to see the Market was up again.  As it turned out my portfolio increased 1% today, regaining almost ½ of the loss incurred since the beginning of last year.  Perhaps this time I will get off the roller coaster nearer the top before I suffer another 20% drop like last year.

I then put on a suit and went to the lunch for the family of Sadrudin.  I was able to meet his family and was served a lunch of Biryani rice and a Indian noodle dish with raisins.


A little after 2:00 I went home.

At 5:00 I took a walk and afterwards I made a mayonnaise, sweet relish, catsup, and olive oil dressing and ate a wedge of lettuce dressed with the dressing.


Suzette came home at 6:00 and at 7:00 we watched the State of the Union speech while I ate the last of the Beef and Duck Pepper Steak and Forbidden Black Rice from Saturday night’s dinner.

I enjoyed this rather diverse array of food.

I will pursue a Mediterranean diet like Billy and Elaine follow.

Bon Appeti






Monday, February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019 Lunch – PPI Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – Sautéed Sweet Italian Sausages with mashed potatoes and celeriac and braised cabbage

February 4, 2019 Lunch –  PPI Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – Sautéed Sweet Italian Sausages with mashed potatoes and celeriac and braised cabbage

The cassoulet was so filling last night that I was not hungry for breakfast.  At 11:00 I started heating a pot of PPI Miso Noodle Soup I had made last Wednesday.  I added water, some dehydrated chicken stock, sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine, five chicken filled mini-dumplings, two beef meatballs sliced, and two egg whites, which I guess technically made it an egg drop soup.  It was delicious. I garnished the soup with fresh cilantro and dipped the bits of meat and dumplings into a mixture of hoisin sauce and sriracha and drank green tea with it.

At 2:30 I went to my last physical therapy session.  When it ended at 4:00 I went to the bank to straighten out some issues in my accounts.  I made it home a few minutes before 5:00 and started to thaw out three Sweet Italian Sausages I had bought at Sprouts several weeks ago.

When Suzette came home and asked what was for dinner, I said, “Sausages, Mashed Potatoes and Celeriac and Braised Cabbage”.

This is one of Suzette’s favorite meals.  She was inspired to go to the kitchen and cook everything after I peeled and diced four Yukon Gold potatoes and a medium sized bulb of celeriac we bought at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market a week ago and fetch a head of green cabbage.

She simmered the potatoes and celeriac and mashed them with butter and half and half.  She thinly sliced ½ of a medium head of green cabbage and braised it with caraway seeds and the three halved sausages   I fetched two beers from the garage and chilled them in the freezer until dinner was ready.

Suzette plated the dishes with a pile of mashed potatoes on which she laid braised cabbage and two pieces of sausage.


Suzette loved dinner because it connected her to her German heritage.

We watched the Antiques Roadshow, but went to sleep before the end of the second episode at 9:00.

At 9:00 we went to sleep.

Bon Appetit

February 3, 2019 Lunch – PPI Enchiladas and Posole with a fried egg. Dinner – Cassoulet

February 3, 2019 Lunch – PPI Enchiladas and Posole with a fried egg. Dinner – Cassoulet

I woke up at around 6:30 and started watching Liecester lose to MU and CNN Sunday news and the Fareed Zacharia and then Meet the Press.

I rested after the news until Suzette returned from shopping with some lovely ceramics she bought at Goodwill.

She heated the PPIs from yesterday’s lunch at The Shed in a large skillet and added two eggs that she poached in the sauce.  We ate the result with a beer at around 1:00.

After lunch we each ate a bowl of ice cream.

I watched TV with Suzette until 3:00 when I rode my bike three or four miles.

Before I rode Suzette and I decided to make Cassoulet with the PPI duck and lamb plus the remaining beans and a can of favs beans.  Suzette also added a mirepoix of sautéd celery, carrots and Japanese turnips I diced.

Suzette combined all the ingredients in a large Le Creuset enameled casserole and baked it in the oven.  After it was cooked Suzette buttered a few slices of French baguette and wrapped them in foil and heated them in the oven and we ate them along with the cassoulet.

When I returned at 4:00 I took a shower, dressed for dinner and went to the kitchen.

I read on wine search that the preferred wine for duck was Pinot Noir.  At Suzette’s prompting I went to the basement and found a bottle of 2006 Londer Corby Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.  Suzette agreed that this was one of the best pinots we had ever tasted.  It had a medium color and a rich blackberry flavor in the front and middle and an elegant Pinot finish.  It made me happy we had visited the Londers and were members of their wine club and bought their wines and made me sad that that era has ended.


At least we are still enjoying the few wines we still have.

We loved the cassoulet and we have lots left.

This is one of those meals that is great because it combines an  unusual comfort food served with a world class wine

Cassoulet was one of the first dishes Suzette made for me when we started to datebook February 21 years ago, so this was like an anniversary dinner to celebrate all the fun years, food and wine we have made and consumed since then.

After dinner I put a few slices of Brie on the last piece of hot French baguette and later I had a sip of the liquor Suzette made with the European Juniper berries we got in Spain about ten years ago with a couple of chocolates.


We were in bed by 8:30 feeling wonderfully full of cassoulet and wine.

Bon Appetit


February 2, 2019 Lunch – The Shed. Dinner – Stir Fried Pepper Steak and mixed vegetables with Forbidden rice

February 2, 2019 Lunch – The Shed.  Dinner – Stir Fried Pepper Steak and mixed vegetables with Forbidden rice

Having fun gets in the way of blogging.  I am a day late writing this blog of the events of Saturday, February 2, 2019.

We awakened early.  I started by eating some of Rebecca’s leftover Posole from Gabriel’s and cake with cups of Earl Grey tea for breakfast.  Elaine ate clementines and Billy finished off the Posole.

At around 8:30 Suzette and I packed our bag, loaded the car, and left to look for garage sales, but did not find any, so we stopped to fill up the Prius with gas.

As we drove back north toward the square Suzette asked to stop at the World Grounds coffee shop at the corner of Kit Carson and Camino Pueblo.  I pulled into the last spot in the parking lot next to the road and waited in the car.  After a minute or two watching the gaggle of locals and their dogs sunning themselves sitting on the benches in front of the coffee shop in the warm sunlight, had a deja vu recollection of a similar screen from my youth probably in 1956 of Indians wrapped in their colorful blankets sitting on benches just a few feet away around the corner on the east end sof the Plaza in the early morning sunlight. I was struck by the arresting thought that these older hippies have replaced the older Indians in the timelessness that is a Taos. I walked next door to Ed Sandoval’s Gallery and looked around until Suzette joined me and we helped him move his palette and painting table outside his gallery.  As we helped him move the table, he said, “I always paint in the open air.”
I do not really care for his stylized compositioned of silhouetted figures, but admire Ed as a unique character, like the plein air painter Tony Maccaione used to be in Santa Fe.



At 10:00 we met the group at the church gym for the Taos market, a fag tag assortment of semi-professional crafts people.  I was attracted to the booth of a Potter from the southern end of the San Luis Valley about one hour north of Taos who sells in Taos on Saturday and Santa Fe on Sunday. I was attracted to her work because she hand builds shapes with using a black clay body that she then glazes with variations of a white crackle glaze and an amber glaze that contains clay that   creates a bright glossy black sheen.  I waited until all the pieces were set up and then selected this piece for $40.00.




Mickie was interested in finding a piece of Kilborn ceramics and Suzette said she had seen several at the Pieces consignment store south of town so we caravanned to Pieces.  Mickie did not see anything he liked at Pieces, so we drove south to Embudo to Kilborn’s studio and sales room that opened at 11:00.  Since we arrived around 10:45 we after drove along the Rio Grande and stopped for a brief hike to the river at one of the campsites.  Here is the view up the river into the gorge from that
campsite.  Embudo is the spot 15 miles south of Taos where the land and river flatten out and become assessable and there is a road and bridge that crosses the river.  Felix was tending the shop for
Richard when we arrived.  We took our time looking at of Richard’s pottery and art.  After a while
 Mickie selected a large platter decorated with cacti and red buds for $100.00.  One of the unique things about Kilborn ceramics is that because Richard is both a painter and a potter, he treats his ceramic shapes as canvases and decorates them with images.

                                               looking north toward the gorge



In the Kilborn Studio shop 

I also selected a medium square bowl decorated with a magpie and a pomegranate.  After we paid Felix wrapped and boxed the platter and bowl and we caravanned to the Shed in Santa Fe.  Our plan was to spend the afternoon in Santa Fe.  We parked at Owings Gallery.  Suzette, Billy, and Elaine walked to the Shed to get on the waiting list while Mickie, Rebecca, and I said hello to Nat, asked permission to park in his parking area, and looked around the gallery for about ten minutes and then
Owalked to the Shed when we received a call that our number had been called.  We were seated at a hexagonal table in one of the dining rooms.  Soon our order was taken.  We ordered Negra Modelos and guacamole and salsa and chips to share.  Rebecca and Elaine ordered Posole and tamales.  Mickie ordered carne adovado and Chicken enchiladas.  Billy and Suzette ordered chicken enchiladas with red and green chili (shortened to “Christmas”) and I ordered a No. 5, blue corn enchiladas, filled with
ground beef with double Posole with red chili and a mocha cake for after the meal (the cake is frozen,
so if you do not want a block of ice, you need to ask your waiter to let one thaw while you eat your lunch).  The secret to the uniqueness of the Shed’s red chili sauce is because it is constructed like a French cream sauce except the roux is made with oil and red chili powder and emulsified with tomato juice instead of milk, so it is dairy free. Suzette and I like dairy so we always order a side of sour cream at the Shed.


Chicken Enchiladas 


Beef Enchiladas with double Posole 

Here is the Shed’s red chili recipe.



We discussed what to do after lunch and we decided to visit three or four Art galleries.  We walked up Palace toward Peralta and I wanted to stop at William Cliff’s Gallery to replenish my notecards and to my amazement William Clift was minding the Gallery, so Billy, Elaine, and I got into a long discussion with him about his art and his various images while Suzette, Mickie, and Rebecca walked to Peyton Wright Gallery and Aaron Payne’s Gallery.  I have not seen William Clift since 1989 when I bought one of his 11 x 17 inch photographs taken from the western edge of La Bajada looking southeast down river toward the Sandias.  Here is the photograph.

I bought six cards and William said, “You should buy my book with 120 images of Mont St. Michel and Shiprock.  It is the culmination of approximately 480 photos of both I have taken over 38 years.  I had seen his exhibit of the images and the book three or four years ago at the Fine Arts Museum and recognized it as his greatest artistic effort.    I said I would buy a book for $130 and then looked at the two ink jet images, one each of Mont St. Michel and Shiprock framed on the wall that were included with the special limited edition copy of the book for $1,500.00 and decided on the spur of the moment to buy a special edition copy when William said, “These ink jet photos are better quality reproductions of the images than my silver gelatins.”  I guess because I like his work, I like his complete devotion to the craft of photographic art at the highest level, because he is New Mexico’s greatest living photographer, because he and I share a similar love of the subject matter, and I remembered Charlie’s telling me the same thing about his work, which made me realize that an ink jet image can be as good or even a better rendering of a subject, which is the true purpose of photography and photographers.

We finally left after about an hour when Suzette called to ask directions to Aaron Payne’s Gallery.   We met them at the corner of Marcy.

It was after 3:00 and Rebecca and Mickie wanted to go to the Gruet tasting room in the St. Francis Hotel to drink champagne.  Suzette, Mickie, and Rebecca walked to the St. Francis, which I will always think of by its older name, the De Vargas.

We drove and found spots on Gallisteo ½ block away and soon joined them in the lovely small garden attached to the tasting room.  Mickie and Rebecca ordered a flight of four champagnes, the Rose Sauvage, the Danielle Blanc de Noir, the 2012 Vintage Blanc de Blanc and perhaps the Rose Brut.  Since Suzette and I are wine club members we were given the daily selection, which is a taste of five different wines including three of the four mentioned plus the extended tirage, which is a non-Vintage rose mixture of rose and Blanc de Blanc champagnes aged three years, instead 1 ½ years. Aging imparts a nuttiness and complexity to champagne.  My favorite Gruet champagne at the moment is the 2012 Vintage Blanc de Blanc, with the Sauvage Rose a close second.  Even though they cost $30.00 and  $27.00 per bottle respectively I keep buying and enjoying them.  As Suzette says, “one must support local businesses.”

Finally, at around 4:30 we headed home, just in time to catch a major sunset that lit up large banks of clouds over the Sangre de Christos and Jemez Mountains.

Suzette and I agreed on the way home that the absolutely best way to overcome the ill effects of a spicy, rich, greasy lunch of enchiladas was a few glasses of bubbly champagne, as we burped pleasantly on the drive back to Albuquerque.

No one was hungry when we arrived home but by 6:30 Suzette and I decided to make dinner.  We decided to make pepper steak with the PPI grilled ribeye steak from Monday’s dinner when Willy said he would join us for dinner.  Suzette, Elaine, and I chopped the 1 ½ steaks, a red bell pepper, two carrots, two Japanese turnips we had bought last Saturday at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, ginger, garlic, sugar snap peas, four stems of bok Choy, and an onion.

I stir fried all the ingredients in a mixture of peanut oil and sesame oil and made a seasoning sauce with sugar, salt, soy sauce, cornstarch, water, and Chinese cooking wine. We also steamed the last cup of the Forbidden black rice Rebecca brought us from New York previously with a bit of chicken stock and Lilly pods.

Billy noted that I did not make enough sauce, but that was because some of the cornstarch spilled on the counter and I did not want to overcook the vegetables. The result was very pleasing to me and sufficiently sauced as I took one of the last portions that was more cooked and nearer the bottom of the wok, where the sauce accumulated.

I made a pot of Chinese gunpowder green tea and served it in the Chinese tea pot in the bamboo basket and in the matching Chinese tea cups Mother brought me from Hong Kong.

After dinner we tried to play the DVD of “From Hell to High Water” that Billy brought, but were unable to get the DVD player to work, so we watched an episode of  “Death in Paradise” from 8:00 until 9:00, after which Willy left and folks starting drifting to bed, because everyone is leaving on a 7:30 flight and we need to leave for the airport by 6:15, except I stayed up to discuss finance issues with Mickie, who works for a hedge fund in New York for a while.

After dinner Mickie asked for a vote on which of the three days of our vacation folks enjoyed the most and today won.

Bon Appetit