Sunday, July 3, 2011

Good Bad Food

This weekend was my 20th high school reunion. I graduated from Silver High School in Silver City, New Mexico. Silver City is a really neat place, very unique because of its isolation.

One of the things I miss frequently about Silver City is the food. Silver City is very close to Hatch, New Mexico, where they grow the world's best green chili...literally. Like some vineyards produce superior quality grapes, Hatch, because of combinations of minerals in the ground and water, and temperature and elevation, produces incredible green chili. The local cuisine revolves around the chili. There are styles and methods of cooking unique to that area. You can find similarly titled items in other places, but that's the extent of their similarities.

I had a food-tour plan. Silver Cafe for lunch on day 1...two beef burritos, smothered in "green." That means green chili sauce. It's milder than the red, but that's not why I chose it. I chose green because it tastes more like the chili to me. I can get good red a lot of places. The Silver Cafe was still had to walk through the kitchen with over-hanging sign reading, "Employees Only," to get to the bathroom.

My waitress at the Silver Cafe was an older, apparently clumbsy woman. She had red chili all down the front of her shirt. She wore big sunglasses even though it wasn't particularly bright inside. Apparently they were prescription glasses, but she needed bifocals. When she read a ticket, she had to put her reading glasses over the top of her big sunglasses.

Dinner that night was with my host and his wife. It was very metropolitan and upscale, something like 7 courses including a locally raised lamb chop. That was fine dining indeed! But, only a very small salad (high quality greens, no dressing) came with dinner. No other fruits, vegetables or fiber.

Breakfast the next morning was red menudo at the Grinder Mill. The Grinder Mill had also not changed, other than some paint that had obviously been laid over everything that wasn't simply stapled to the wall. What is it about good hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are run daily by their owners? The food is always superior and basically home-cooked.

After breakfast I tried a new place in town, a coffee shop. It was superb coffee by any standard. The thing that stood out though was the bathroom. The building was downtown, where the curbs are still the height making it easy to dismount from a horse, or slam your car door into the curb. The buildings are 19th century adobe. It's old! The bathroom was through a door, up a step, around a corner, down a hall and through a door without a handle. You walk in and see the sink. Then, down a 15 foot hall to the left, you see the toilet...a true thrown.

Lunch the second day, shortly before leaving, was a combination plate at Jaliscos. That included two chicken tacos, enchilada with an egg over-easy on top, chili relleno, rice and beans and all covered in "green."

Now, the "green" is of course green chili, but its' mixed with a lot of cheese. Everything is served with freshly made tortilla chips. Tortillas are lard and flour...chips are deep fried and salted. Man, it was good.

This morning I woke up and my knee bed, after a night's sleep. My shoulders hurt. My hands hurt. I had a sore throat. I was really tired.

I planned to get up in the morning and go for a ride with my wife...I didn't want to because I felt like crap, but knew it would be the best thing for me, physically and emotionally. I missed her (she didn't go with me).

We drove to Patagonia, Arizona and rode around the old 19th century adobe homes and the town square. Then, my wife drove home and I rode my bike the 30 miles back. After about 6 miles I started to feel a lot better. In fact, perhaps because of the excessive fueling up I had done, I was really strong. There are some large, long hills on that ride and I roared up them with ease. I used to have to push just to make it. Today, I had to remind myself to push to keep my heart rate elevated!

Anyhow, I think that eating all of that good bad food made me feel pretty crappy this morning...there's something to it. It's not just nut-job health-freak talk! :D

I've had time to think and come to terms with having to take another two weeks off of running. I can still ride, have a nice bike and live in an area people travel to so they can ride in beauty, comfort, safety and have a challenge.

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