Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Mexico garden. Clovis, N.M., 2005. Posted by Picasa

New Mexican cuisine not just green chile

By Ryn Gargulinski

Real New Mexicans don’t eat green chile quiche, someone recently told me.

After thanking the person for the insightful information, I pointed out I never asked in the first place.

But it did get me to thinking what real New Mexicans do eat.
When I lived in the Land of Enchantment, I ended up eating the same thing I ate in Brooklyn, N.Y, which is the same thing I ate in Troy, Mich., which continues to be the same thing I eat in Crescent City, Calif.

Yes, I’m one of those people who have fallen into a food rut, with the same type lunch in my lunch box every day since 1984. This way I don’t have to waste precious time wondering what’s for lunch.

And I thought my grandma had odd eating habits when she put ketchup on everything from salad to salmon.

The only time I’ll sway off my regular dining course is when the food begins to give me hives, like the time I ate chicken sandwiches for two weeks straight in 1987.

What I’ve found at diners is pretty much the same thing at diners across the United States.

This includes chunky omelets, clunky BLTs and the infamous open-faced turkey with the mushy bread underneath. There’s a place in Idaho that actually manufactures that bread. Don’t be fooled — the bread does not get soggy from lounging beneath the ooze of turkey gravy; it actually comes that way, soggily specific for the open-faced sandwich.

The New Mexico diners also have this weird thing called “Texas toast,” which sounds like a hunk of bread braided with hearty slabs of beef. To my amazement, I saw they were simply talking about challah, a fluffy, white bakery delicacy most popular in New York’s Jewish delis.

I didn’t find a lot of them in New Mexico, nor did I run across many sushi joints, Chicago-style pizza parlors or anything fresh from the ocean.

The “catch of the day” meant neither cod nor herring, but usually ended up being the steer that wandered closest to the hatchet.

I haven’t seen a real bagel in more than a year.

What I did find in New Mexico, however, were chiles on nearly everything. Well, maybe not on the French toast that was really Texas toast that was really challah bread, but it came as a sidedish to the chicken, a main dish part of the omelet and even nestled between the turkey and the soggy bread from Idaho.

What I also recall was paying $500 for fresh-picked vegetables. Of course, we made this cheaper by growing our own. This was much more economical at $499, after adding up the cost of seeds, hose, hoe, hippopotamus-shaped sprinkler, water bill, Miracle Gro and a set of stainless steel meat cleavers to hack through the hard dirt earth in which to plant the stuff.

And we never got around to growing green chiles.

Ryn Gargulinski writes for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. Contact her at: ryngargulinski@hotmail.com

This column originally appeared in the June 25, 2006, issues of Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico.
The blue-green limit. Posted by Picasa
Sea lion carcass on the seashore. Pebble Beach, Calif. Posted by Picasa
More gorgeousness on the seashore (that's really a river shore). Posted by Picasa
She sees butterflies by the seashore. Posted by Picasa
An angry man and the unbeknownst Tripli-CAT. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 18, 2006


my dog
tonight acted like a
nursery rhyme well she
was kind of nimble she
was awful quick but those
weren’t the rhymes she
thought of when she did
her thing and she did not eat
fat and she did not eat no
lean she did not stick her
her thumb – or paw – into a blackbird pie but
she found out, quite on accident, the neighbors
hotwire their chicken’s fence so she went
weee weee weee all
the way home.

-Ryn Gargulinski.06.18.06

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Zola after sampling some flowers. Posted by Picasa

A donkey demon head amidst a bed of leaves. Posted by Picasa

A bridge for dad because he misses the one in Brooklyn. Posted by Picasa
Van Gogh wanna be. Posted by Picasa
A bridge to die for - or on. Posted by Picasa

The place in Eureka where they still use pliers. Posted by Picasa

Sailing the harbor blue. Posted by Picasa

See sea lions, see? Posted by Picasa
Your ship coming in in Eureka. Posted by Picasa
Art spot in Eureka, Calif. Posted by Picasa

A fine specimen of the art to be found inside Eureka's Accident Gallery. Posted by Picasa

The water fountains in Eureka are just like the ones in Santa Fe. The ones in Tucumcari were a rusty hose. Posted by Picasa

The dog in Eureka that wanted to eat Zola. Posted by Picasa
Boatyard in Eureka, Calif. Posted by Picasa
Boatyard in Eureka, Calif. Posted by Picasa
Wipe your feet. Gregg's favorite boot cleaning toy, this one in Orick, Calif. Posted by Picasa
Gasquet dawn. Posted by Picasa
An oft-used toy in Orick, Calif. Posted by Picasa
A tricycle in Orick, Calif. Posted by Picasa