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.
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.
In the Kilborn Studio shop
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.
Beef Enchiladas with double Posole
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.