• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
gfron1

Silver City Culinary Extravaganza

127 posts in this topic

Next weekend is becoming a convergence of eGullet members to my little town. Verjuice and Kerry Beal will be arriving to participate in a weekend of activities being offered in Silver City. Kerry will be conducting a day-long workshop and so I've built a weekend around it. On Friday there will be a private chef experience in one of the most flambouant houses in the area. On Saturday, I'm hosting one of my monthly cheese club parties (which are the biggest party in town). So I thought what the heck - let's share it with the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The stage is set...

The web is spun...

The die are cast...

What lies in store...

in the land where Billy the Kid wore a dress;

in the land where Main Street is an open sewer ditch;

in the land of two of the most historic bars in the state;

in the land where the most famous resident was a philanthropic prostitute?

Stay tuned!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No dresses.

Maybe a skirt. Maybe.

I'll dress in sepals, wearing topnotes of carnation and elderberry.

I also plan on donning hideous edible onesies and chaps with beguiling panache.

On second thought, I wouldn't want to embarrass our host.

I'm hungry. Can we eat now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's talk a bit of food. Silver City definitely adopts its pace from just south in Mexico. Our community is about 50/50 Hispanic/Anglo. Family, friends, community far out-trump work and productivity (Yes, I'm kind of an oddball overachiever). So a lazy morning is typical. For me, I'm up with the sun and normally whipping up a dessert component to be assembled later that night. Today was no exception.

gallery_41282_4652_1828.jpg

You'll notice the hand-crank grinder. It was a gift by Kevin Knox, author of Coffee Basics, who lived here for a short while and quickly befriended us and our specialty food store. He also taught us the correct way to brew coffee and tea (not that you'll see me do it correctly, but he did teach us).

I'm working on a dessert from the Amernick book. For some reason I have procrastinated on this dessert for weeks and weeks. It will be done today! Like always it will be one piece for me, and the rest to friends and neighbors. This is going to be a huge pumpkin pecan bar thing (11x17).

In the Mukka Express topic people always want to know if these things work. For me - everytime, and I'm not a coffee guy. But, you put enough chocolate in anything and I'm happy as a clam.

gallery_41282_4652_10293.jpg

Today I used a locally roasted Ethiopian and sweetened it with a great syrup from Montana called Liquid Planet. We actually have two great roasters in town - A.I.R. and Bornsen. Both roast dark and so appeal to that type of coffee drinker. For me it really doesn't matter, but it means we always have fresh coffee. At home we usually fill up with Peet's.

gallery_41282_4652_20069.jpg

So I'm all caffeined up now and back from sharing lemon caramel tartlets at church, walked the dogs on their first walk and am settling down to so more prep for this weekend.

gallery_41282_4652_1057.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I'm working on packing for this weekend although I don't leave until Thursday. I'm spending Wednesday night in Buffalo because the plane leaves so early in the morning.

Because the last leg of the trip is on a small plane I have to watch the weight on my luggage - and of course there is always that 'one more thing' that you want to add. I'm taking two bags because I need to pack molds, finished chocolate (which are all vacuum sealed with the foodsaver), a few bulk ingredients and of course gifts - can't go visiting without gifts. I figure once I arrive and unload I should have a couple of shirts left in the bag for my return. Oh yeah, and a skirt.

After checking the weight on both bags and satisfying myself they were legal - I realized I haven't packed the metal bars yet - damn!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob,

Seriously wishing I was your neighbor. In the meantime, why don't the links to your store work for me? Do you have to log on first, or have an account?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darn it all! I just returned from spending a bazillion hours driving to/from a long weekend in Deming, NM and may well be doing the 48+ hours round-trip drive again in a couple of weeks. (If Jensen is reading, she'll know why I was there.) I wish I could be there for your Silver City "do"!

We had an absolutely awful trip, food-wise. The non-food parts of the trip were awesome! Wonderful weather, wonderful people, and a bunch of other good stuff...

This was our 2nd year-end driving marathon to NM and back. I'm a GRITS who never imagined I be happy living anywhere that's not green 365 days a year. After spending a few days there, New Mexico is now #1 on my list possible retirement spots!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be talking a bit more about Silver tomorrow. We're on a bunch of top 10 places to live lists. When you were in Deming, did you get to el Rey Carniceria? I think its the best butcher shop I've seen in two decades. They also have one of the best burgers I've had in ages down in Columbus at the Mexican border.

And as far my store link (its not shilling since we do less than 1% of our business through the site) it works for me - no password needed, but we're getting ready to overhaul it so we can get 2% of our business through there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll be talking a bit more about Silver tomorrow.  We're on a bunch of top 10 places to live lists.  When you were in Deming, did you get to el Rey Carniceria?  I think its the best butcher shop I've seen in two decades.  They also have one of the best burgers I've had in ages down in Columbus at the Mexican border.

And as far my store link (its not shilling since we do less than 1% of our business through the site) it works for me - no password needed, but we're getting ready to overhaul it so we can get 2% of our business through there.

The home page loads for me, but if I click on any other link I get the following message:

No input file specified.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonight I had dinner at the home of Janey Katz and Suzi Calhoun - artists. Janey's work has been featured in national catalogs - she cuts up old cars and turns them into animals (Critters in the Hood). Suzi does ceramics which you'll see in a sec. They're dear friends and the ones who shared space with our store when we first opened. This was my chance to talk with them about locations for Friday's meal and some meal planning.

Silver is a big arts community. The history of our town in order: Mimbreano, Apache, mining, ranching, hells angels (70s), hippies (70s/80s), artists (80/90s), and early retirees. All of those aspects still exist in our community. Most any house will be filled with art here. Janey and Suzi's house actually was an old fort that held Geronimo before he escaped. Because they are gallery owners, they have oodles of fun art like this ceramic fast food trash.

gallery_41282_4708_62571.jpg

Janey also has a thing for stuffed animals. She only buys them when they're moth eaten at garage sales - she's actually very anti-hunting. This is Ernie.

gallery_41282_4708_621.jpg

And look ma, there's a skunk on that fridge.

gallery_41282_4708_53512.jpg

The other thing you'll find in every house is dogs. Not dog (I don't know anyone with only one), but multiple. They've lost a couple this year to age - they're pug people except for Darma. Darma lost all of her hair last week to Suzi who is spinning it at her gallery and making scarfs and hats.

gallery_41282_4708_37601.jpg

They still have Moana (below) and Tyrone.

gallery_41282_4708_9918.jpg

Anyway, walk in there's the obligatory gauc (in Suzi's bowl) and salsa.

gallery_41282_4708_30226.jpg

Dinner itself was salad, squash and steak.

gallery_41282_4708_27548.jpg

I'm not much of a red meat eater. Its not political or ethical, its just my preference. But tonight was a humongous TBone (which everyone was saying is very rare to find here).

gallery_41282_4708_56916.jpg

Dessert was a flourless bought at Bad Ass Bakery. Her slogan is "If you don't like it, make it your own damn self." I usually do.

gallery_41282_4708_27802.jpg

Then I had to run to be with a friend who's dog in not doing well. He just lost his other dog a few months ago. We do a lot of pet comforting around here. I'm off for bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because we're in the middle of nowhere, today is about preparing for procurement. We don't have easy access to many ingredients, so we're trying to nail down the menu and get requests off to Verjuice who can pick up big city things at Whole Foods.

So while I sat over my breakfast (dessert leftovers) of pumpkin cheesecake with pomegranate seeds...

gallery_41282_4708_9051.jpg

(I know this is totally the opposite of the brand new blog that just started on dieting.)

I was thinking about perspective. Most people on eGullet have the perspective of their home towns and states/provinces, etc. And I think when people look at maps of states in the Western US, they don't realize the immensity of these land masses. The four counties that make up our region are larger than some Northeastern states. The Gila Wilderness that surrounds us is also larger than some of those states. So let's start with New Mexico itself.

gallery_41282_4708_45586.jpg

You can see us in the bottom left. Albuquerque and Santa Fe are higher up and I circled El Paso since it and Tucson are the next closest big cities. ABQ is 4 hours away at a minimum. SF is 5 hours. Las Cruces is 2. Tucson and El Paso are both 3 hours. Las Cruces is getting to be a bigger city, but its not quite there in terms of amenities.

There are many surrounding towns, most being about an hour away (Deming, Lordsburg) and they don't offer much that Silver doesn't already have. But for my paying job I run meth treatment programs in all of those communities which means one hour commutes each way a few times each week. Big city folks do that too, but they only go a few miles.

Then there's the Gila Wilderness. Its huge and its old. Its so remote that you can pick any of the hundreds of trails and never see another human being. Every now and then you do and its kind of scary. The Wilderness has many claims to fame, but the Gila Cliff Dwellings are the most notable. We won't have time to get up there since its a 2 hour drive in windy mountain roads in the winter. Too bad because there's a great little German restaurant halfway up and lot's of hot springs. Here is a map of HALF of the wilderness.

gallery_41282_4708_29524.jpg

Work calls, so more later. BTW, its raining which is fairly rare and they're predicting snow. For us that means ground cover that will be gone by lunch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The snow has come and gone. Its all melted. Just little sprinkles now.

For lunch I thought I should make sure my favorite Mexican places are still good. There's no one good Mexican restaurant, but everyone does one or two things very well. Since we have a huried schedule I hit my favorite burrito joint.

gallery_41282_4708_30622.jpg

Don Juan's. He used to be a guy in his car on the side of the highway selling out of a cooler, but now he has a little shack that is about 10x15 feet. Today they had a special Avacado burrito, and then my favorite - the chile relleno burrito. The Chile Relleno buritto is a whole relleno inside of a tortilla with beans, rice, etc. Normally its too hot for me to finish, but today it was mild enough for a Canadian :wink:

gallery_41282_4708_64872.jpg

And just so they get their props, here are the pooches - Lexi on the right and Lucia on the left. Lexi is a blue tick hound/blue heeler mix. Lucia is a min-pin-poo (miniature pinscher/poodle).

gallery_41282_4708_8433.jpg

And Lucia always demands a bit more "me" time.

gallery_41282_4708_42154.jpg

How cute is that little beast!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally scored the cheese for Saturday...not my greatest find, but very approrpriate...more on that on Saturday. By the way, I get all of my cheese from San Fran through my wholesale distributor. They have easily 500 different cheeses for me to select from. Unfortunately, no chocolate cheese for this order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, wait a minute, you didn't say anything about SNOW. That's one of my reasons for leaving Ontario this time of year.

I'm going to check out some cheese to bring along - something Canadian. Maggiethecat suggested a cheese called Sauvagine, which she suggests will have us groaning with pleasure. Apparently smuggling will be necessary because it's unpasturized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you were in Deming, did you get to el Rey Carniceria?  I think its the best butcher shop I've seen in two decades. 

Our group met at the Denny's next door to organize for each day's activities and I did notice the butcher shop. But, it wasn't open at 6 am and it was closed by the time we returned to town in the evenings. Maybe next year! I'm trying to figure out how we can swing spending more time out there... like maybe a month! :smile:

I just learned that if we return in February, we'll be going to Roswell, rather than Deming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roswell huh....get ready to buy your tourist t-shirt.

Verjuice has a bit more time here than Kerry, so I'm going to show her some of my favorite food finds - very likely El Rey. I've built it up to be the king of butchers (get it?), but it won't compare to a huge Chicago butcher or NYC butcher. But these guys have moved in from LA and are doing it all themselves. If you remember way back to when Ling challenged me to make an animal product dessert/aka meat, they were my go to guys. They to order processed a cow for me to get true suet (not just fat). Its a small little shop but its fresh and done with true craftsmanship. Folks around here say they have the best carne asada anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonight I inked the deal for our site for Friday's dinner. This house will not let you down. Our store shot a cooking show there a few years ago using my climbing partner who is in film school as the director. It ran on cable access to great fame (both viewers saw it). Our host, Larimore, has been sick, but he assures me he will be well by then, which is great since he is an outstanding host.

Switching gears. One of the fun aspects to owning a store is the samples. Today I recieved chocolate bon bons and tea. The bon bons came from a company called Sweet Life Chocolates. The maker spends half of the year here in town and the other half up in a cold state somewhere. I found them to be a bit large for my liking, but very smooth and well flavored.

gallery_41282_4708_30781.jpg

The other sample came from our tea provider - Vital Tea Leaf in San Fran. Ming is a Tea Master, and a fabulous entertainer. When Tyler and I visited his shop two years ago, we enjoyed it so much, we walked out with $150 in teas. We then promptly came home and opened our own miniature version of his tea room using his teas. I'll be sure to host a little tea tasting for the gang. Ming sent a bunch of samples including this High Mountain which he describes as "Refreshing green tea with a kick of fresh green flavor. Mellow green tea great for relaxing and cleansing. For those who are interested in becoming strong tea drinkers."

gallery_41282_4708_28710.jpg

I'll give it a try in the morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Must... try... relleno... burrito... Seriously, you would never find things like that here (that's why it has to be me making them). Freaky painting on the exterior of the shack though.

Sounds like you guys are going to have a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll be able to embark on such adventures when/if I get my wings.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The end of the storm

gallery_41282_4708_17100.jpg

These are the Burro Mountains, and home of the famous Tyrone open pit mine.

Jumanggy - that painting is not uncommon around here - its part of the Dia de los Muertes celebration (Day of the Dead). You'll see countless references to skeletons during our dinner on Friday since one of the hosts, Carlos, is from Mexico City.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm going to check out some cheese to bring along - something Canadian.  Maggiethecat suggested a cheese called Sauvagine, which she suggests will have us groaning with pleasure.  Apparently smuggling will be necessary because it's unpasturized.

Kerry, you implied above that you're driving to Buffalo, and thus keeping your flights entirely in the US rather than dealing with international flights. IYHO, is it easier to smuggle good cheese on land, or in the air?

(Not that either of us or anyone else on eG would ever dream of doing anything along those lines, of course! :wink: )

Wish I could witness the festivities first-hand, rather than vicariously.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.