Wednesday, October 12, 2022

You and Me Chasing Rainbows, In the Sun

It was finally here, the day I get to sit next to my sister in her car and we drive to go get Taco Bell boxes, laugh uncontrollably, cook together, hike, and have a full week ahead of us to fun and frollick.  I'm visiting her in Colorado, one of the very few luxuries I afford myself each year.  Looking over at her in that little bucket hat and sweater I get verklempt. She really is a kick and a genuine foodie. 

Knowing the long flight jet lag, our first food stop was to pick up Taco Bell boxes, something I've heard of and always wanted to try.  These were giant and filled with exotic fast food craziness.  Tacos within tacos, crunchy and soft, a plethora of oral sensations. The toasted burrito was surprisingly good but we both felt our guts go into trauma for two days afterwards.  Well worth it!

A Frozen tamale breakfast the next morning with poached eggs and guacamole, featuring fresh garden cherry tomato pico de gallo.
Sister's fresh garden ingredients made the difference in all the condiments this year.  She had fresh peppers, tomatoes, carrots, herbs, beets, you name it! 

Freshly picked carrots, zucchini and beets from the garden to roast with chicken that night.

Pizza from Victorio's on another night with side salads

back yard view that never gets old

Sister's Marigold Bird Cafe
I went in to pick up our delicious toasted subs and the kid immediately shouted from the counter in his young Barney Fife voice, 'Just to warn ya, the toaster is broken, I tried to fix it but I cain't.  I'm doing the best I can!'  I'll admit I was super disappointed but he was so apologetic and frantic that I had to say, 'Hey, I'm getting a giant sub, how bad can it be?  These are not big problems".  And we all had a laugh.  Later, I was able to use his same line when I got on sister's nerves.  And it's good for anytime, because often, it's so true.  We're all doing the best we can and failing miserably each day. Life is getting harder to do the simplest of tasks and routines, to continue with this comfortable, yet semi-empty charade.

Not to sound like a religious fanatic, but I often pray for what I call blessings to occur during my trip. These adventures come accidentally and then turn out to be the best of times.  Because we aren't good planners, at least so far, we count on these chance happenings. Like this day, we drove to have a picnic up at Lake Isabel and accidentally found these amazing secluded picnic tables right along a small river and giant aspens.  You could park right up to the tables for ease.  We picked up foot long Italian subs and brought a cooler of iced drinks and chips.  The feeling of sitting at the table and just breathing the fresh air, being in that gorgeous setting, laughing with someone you love, can't be beat.  Hearing the river behind and the clapping that the leaves make in the wind, the smells in that setting reminds me of playing outside by the creek of our first house, with sister as little goofy girls, pretending to fry fish which were leaves on a fake campfire.  How much fun we had together so long ago and being able to share that feeling again, truly is a gift.  A giant crow came and scooped up the remaining bread from the table as we left.  Everything about that day felt sacred.  We talked honestly about some hard subjects and if was comfort to me, to be able to confide in someone that I knew I could trust.  We all, hopefully, have these people in our lives but that doesn't mean they are any less special.  These are the things we should celebrate.
Puffy Omlette partial fail for R's b'day, along with turkey sausage and potatoes
Like all omelettes, these puffy ones can easily go awry without the right pan or temperature, and did.  
Have you heard of Chili Crisp??? It is insanely addictive and nothing like I've ever tasted. This was similar to getting turned on to a great new band!  
I made my now famous Monkey Bars (another Woman's Day recipe)  but bananas were green as tree leaves and although good, not as amazing without the overripe fruit needed to be spectacular. 

R's late night birthday meal
After not being able to decide whether to go out or stay in, we ended up picking up a to-go order at High Octane.  I got the Cuban and fried pickles. This was pretty delicious, although the woman on the phone was so incredibly friendly but when we walked in, you would have thought it was 1910 and two Indian squaws walked into the neighborhood saloon.  It is a Mormon town and we felt the looks and stares, some prejudice.  I didn't want to admit it before, but now experiencing it some years in a row, I accept it.  Such a strange thing coming from New York, it's almost shocking. A lot of folks are chill and friendly though and cooler, younger folks are moving in that hopefully will squash that redneck feel of an otherwise cute-ass small town. 
We bought some pork country ribs from a sweet grocery clerk that gave us a tip that raspberries were growing wild under the Rye bridge.  I made a nice crock pot sweet potato stew that included a good cup and a half of homemade hot sauce.  This is an old Woman's Day recipe that I tweaked and always love. They suggest El Paso but putting in your own puts this baby over the top.  It's also much better in a dutch oven but for times sake, we were able to slow cook it while we went on our daily excursion. 

Daily five mile walks around the nearby lakes provided spiritual uplift and time to contemplate what's for dinner!

A family of deer thought nothing of allowing us to pass, a new familiarity for them that is not best for all.  Later, we saw a fawn on the road and later still, a fox feasting on the carcass.

Nights were spent in matching fleece pajamas with lots of teas and tinctures, scary movies and snacks!

Waking up with the sunrise, priceless.  Although a close second was waking up to a giant buck's antlers hitting the window inches away as he ate the flowers on the porch. 

a happy foodie surrounded by artichoke dip, dinner salad, endless ice tea and spaghetti and meatballs.  

Breakfast of poached eggs on avocado toast with chili crisp

A toasted breakfast burrito for the road
Me and Sis Chasing Rainbows in the Sun

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