Monday, March 19, 2012

kinds of celebration

This lovely man, Manuel Archuleta, celebrated his 97th birthday a couple of days ago. He's been a master rancher, farmer, and irrigator for more than 8 decades. His land adjoins ours and through the years he has become a familiar figure in the distance with hat, shovel, wellies. Although he has slowed down a bit and isn't out there anymore every day, in all seasons, he's still going strong. We wish him many more happy birthdays. (The photos of him were taken one summer morning a year or so ago at the young age of 95!).

The Taos Acequia Association honored him recently by adapting his son's painting for their logo. Prints are available at the Des Montes Gallery and I was thrilled to go home with one today.

a writer's cakes
I drove through raining mud when I left the house yesterday afternoon for a meeting/tea at a friend's house in town. The wind blew in gusts and gales (we used to call them hurricanes back east), and filled the air with dust and dirt. When rain suddenly pelted down they combined and produced muddy rain! What a mess! However, once we arrived at Bonnie's place, all was well. In the spirit of Proust, she baked madeleines for her writer guests.
I had feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours...  (Proust, Remembrance of Things Past)

Tea, coffee, lots of words accompanied the luscious treats! (one of us was knitting, too - no, it wasn't me). Bonnie (who won the Gourmand International Award in Paris last week) made two kinds of madeleines: chocolate (help!) and lemon/almond (oh my!).

While we sat at her cozy dining table, we didn't notice the weather getting nasty outside. When we left around 7 p.m. (each with a few take-home cakes), thick wet snow was falling heavily. Visibility turned to zero as we each carefully drove home. I don't know about the others, but first I divided half of my shell-cakes with Ron (after all...) and polished off the rest with a glass of chilled Chardonney. sigh!

This morning we awakened to six inches of wet snow and lots of odd stuff, chairs, sculpture, garbage cans, cardboard, a blanket, strewn all over the place. Snow is already melting. Only thing we'll have to wash the second floor windows - they're splattered with mud.