<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d32078707\x26blogName\x3dcucina+nicolina\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://cucinanicolina.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://cucinanicolina.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d7867789571083647791', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script><!-- --><div id="flagi" style="visibility:hidden; position:absolute;" onmouseover="showDrop()" onmouseout="hideDrop()"><div id="flagtop"></div><div id="top-filler"></div><div id="flagi-body">Notify Blogger about objectionable content.<br /><a href="http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=1200"> What does this mean? </a> </div></div><div id="b-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" width="80" height="24" /></a><div id="b-sms" class="b-mobile"><a href="sms:?body=Hi%2C%20check%20out%20Orangette%20at%20cucinanicolina.blogspot.com">Send As SMS</a></div><form id="b-search" name="b-search" action="http://search.blogger.com/"><div id="b-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" width="112" height="15" /></a><a id="flagButton" style="display:none;" href="javascript:toggleFlag();" onmouseover="showDrop()" onmouseout="hideDrop()"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/flag.gif" name="flag" alt="Flag Blog" width="55" height="15" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="b-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" width="72" height="15" /></a></div><div id="b-this"><input type="text" id="b-query" name="as_q" /><input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /><input type="hidden" name="ui" value="blg" /><input type="hidden" name="bl_url" value="orangette.blogspot.com" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_search_this.gif" alt="Search This Blog" id="b-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google Blog Search" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value='orangette.blogspot.com'" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_search_all.gif" alt="Search All Blogs" value="Search" id="b-searchallbtn" title="Search all blogs with Google Blog Search" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value=''" /><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="b-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div><script type="text/javascript"><!-- var ID = 32078707;var HATE_INTERSTITIAL_COOKIE_NAME = 'dismissedInterstitial';var FLAG_COOKIE_NAME = 'flaggedBlog';var FLAG_BLOG_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/flag-blog.g?nav=3&toFlag=' + ID;var UNFLAG_BLOG_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/unflag-blog.g?nav=3&toFlag=' + ID;var FLAG_IMAGE_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/flag.gif';var UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/unflag.gif';var ncHasFlagged = false;var servletTarget = new Image(); function BlogThis() {Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection) {Q=x.selection.createRange().text;} else if (y.getSelection) { Q=y.getSelection();} else if (x.getSelection) { Q=x.getSelection();}popw = y.open('http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?t=' + escape(Q) + '&u=' + escape(location.href) + '&n=' + escape(document.title),'bloggerForm','scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes');void(0);} function blogspotInit() {initFlag();} function hasFlagged() {return getCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME) || ncHasFlagged;} function toggleFlag() {var date = new Date();var id = 7793856;if (hasFlagged()) {removeCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME);servletTarget.src = UNFLAG_BLOG_URL + '&d=' + date.getTime();document.images['flag'].src = FLAG_IMAGE_URL;ncHasFlagged = false;} else { setBlogspotCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME, 'true');servletTarget.src = FLAG_BLOG_URL + '&d=' + date.getTime();document.images['flag'].src = UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL;ncHasFlagged = true;}} function initFlag() {document.getElementById('flagButton').style.display = 'inline';if (hasFlagged()) {document.images['flag'].src = UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL;} else {document.images['flag'].src = FLAG_IMAGE_URL;}} function showDrop() {if (!hasFlagged()) {document.getElementById('flagi').style.visibility = 'visible';}} function hideDrop() {document.getElementById('flagi').style.visibility = 'hidden';} function setBlogspotCookie(name, val) {var expire = new Date((new Date()).getTime() + 5 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000);var path = '/';setCookie(name, val, null, expire, path, null);} function removeCookie(name){var expire = new Date((new Date()).getTime() - 1000); setCookie(name,'',null,expire,'/',null);} --></script><script type="text/javascript"> blogspotInit();</script><div id="space-for-ie"></div>

Feb 14, 2007

Love Letter to

Lately I find myself in love with the smell of places: the sharp, bay-leaf infused air of Pt. Reyes, the stinging, salty sea-smell of the Pacific, the loamy, soil-rich fragrance that marks Sonoma County. Scent and memory are, for me, intertwined, and Northern California does not lack for delicious and wonderful natural aromas -- here, the air is thick and complex with water and earth and fog.

But underneath all of this -- underneath all my deep and enduring love for coastal California -- is the scent-memory of the dry, clear, piñon-scented air of New Mexico.

I visited the state four years ago for just a brief trip, but it burrowed its way into my heart and stamped dusty desert footprints across it. Is it possible to miss places one has visited merely once? And yet, I do miss it: the cold, clear stars; the sweet, smoky, air; the flat, dry land rimmed by mountains; the shining ribbon of the Rio Grande cutting through the canyons; grey casinos huddled like rocks against a vast expanse of dark earth; the bones of the Spanish settlement laid bare and forgotten to the sun. I've often asked myself if I lived there, would I feel land-bound, hemmed in without an ocean? Somehow I feel I would not, for there is the grand river, and the wide-open.

This, then, is my love letter to New Mexico on this trumped-up holiday celebrating all things garish, and lovely. It may be an unconventional Valentine, but it is mine nonetheless.

Today, rather than plying myself with chocolates, or other sweets, I remember the fry bread I tasted for the first time in a little restaurant in Albuquerque. Instead of dressing up for a meal at a fancy -- and overpriced -- restaurant, I wish for my down vest, a necessary accoutrement for clambering up wind-swept rocks to explore abandoned pueblos. I remember strongly the sweet smell of the ever-burning piñon wood fires, smoke curling into the bluest sky. I would like to bake my obligatory dessert in a mud oven, rather than in my own tiny, indoor specimen. I want to cook with sage and piñon nuts, and all the other wild herbs and plants that were used by native people long before Europeans landed here. I want to bring the outdoors into the kitchen.

It is true that some places are close in your heart forever. I choose the Sierra Nevada, the Yosemite, a point on the edge of California, and the stretch of land in between Santa Fe and Taos, as mine.

I was in love with the whole world and all that lived in its rainy arms
-louise erdrich

Wild Sage Bread, from the Pueblo Indian Cookbook, by Phyllis Hughes

1 package dry yeast
1 cup native or cottage cheese
1 egg
1 tb. vegetable oil
1 tb. sugar
2 tp. crushed dried wild sage
1 tp. salt
1/4 tp. baking soda
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups flour

Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Beat together the egg and cheese until smooth in a large bowl, then add the oil and yeast.

Pre heat oven to 350 F. Beat in the flour mixture slowly, beating vigorously after each addition until a stiff dough has formed. Cover dough with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, knead for a minute, then put into a buttered loaf pan. Cover and let rise 40 minutes. Bake for 50 minutes.

Piñon Cakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup piñon nuts, ground to meal
2 tp baking powder
1/2 tp. salt
2 tb. sugar
2 tb. butter or olive oil
1/2-1 cup water

Sift flour, piñon, salt and baking powder together. Add the butter or oil and mix thoroughly. Add water a bit at a time to form a medium dough.

Knead dough for 5 minutes. Cover and let stand a few minutes. Divide the dough into egg-sized balls and roll into round cakes about 1/8-inch thick. Cook on a stove-top griddle, or bake in a 350-degree oven [recipe does not specify for how long, but I would say until slightly puffed and golden]. Serve hot, with honey.


Anonymous Sean said...

Mmm ... lovely. I lived in Santa Fe for two summers, working at the Opera, 1990-1991. I miss it terribly and have not been back since. You've inspired me!

3:34 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I like that Nicole, claiming a place that is yours. It is good to know what places are yours -- where you come from -- even if you have only been there once, or even if you have never been there.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your recolection of New Mexico, coupled with the comfort of food,was a lovely and image laden read.


1:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Directory of Food/drink Blogs Food & Drink Blogs - Blog Top Sites