Autumnal Fives

chiliroastlaaleworks

Today is the Autumnal Equinox, the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  How was your summer? 

It was hot.  That is literally all I remember.  Too hot to do anything.  Every fucking day.  This is why I left AZ.  Here is a specific example.  We have lived here since 1997.  We have never had AC, and never really wanted for it.  Usually its just a brutal week or so of heat.  This year, June set another record for something like 15 days over 90 degrees in a row.  We finally broke down and bought a plug in room air conditioner.  You may not believe in climate change, but then you weren’t in Denver this summer.

It was a good summer, though.  I know these are first world complaints.  Went to a TON of concerts:  Eagles, Jimmy Buffet, Avett Brothers, Dead & Company, Umphrey’s McGhee,  and Pearl Jam in Seattle.  We rarely go to shows anymore because all national tours begin at $100 each (after fees andbs).  Almost done, but we have Beck this weekend at Red Rocks.

What’s the best movie to watch if you want to get into Halloween mood/autumn mood?

Not sure, I think it is the opposite time for that.  This summer was too hot to work outside much.  Plus, it was so hot and never rained… our grass and hay fields never grew.  I used to mow the aesthetic stuff (front and back lawn) about twice a month.  This year, I haven’t moved anything more than once.  My back acres of hay fields used to be waste high by June.   This year, they never got more than ankle high.  Still haven’t had to mow.  What does that mean in the big picture?  That was how we feed our horses.  For free, every summer, off our fields.  No big whoop for us, its just 3 horses.

I can tell you almost every rancher in the southwest does exactly the same.  This summer, it just didn’t rain.  Hence the insanity of the wildfires.  It cost us a few extra hundred bucks to import the hay that we couldn’t just feed off the pastures.  Now think of a cattle man with 2,000 head of cattle.   They all had to buy hay, too.  That will cost you at the grocery store.  That’s ok, though.  Remember, climate change is just a liberal conspiracy.  I am a liberal.  Someone please tell me EXACTLY how I am benefiting from this great swindle?  Getting to say “I told you so” won’t put out the wildfires, or feed the livestock, or put snow on the mountains.

My point was this, and sorry for the digression.  A little frustrated that last week was 95 and above all week… in mid Sept.  To answers your question is I am now getting around to taking care of the property.  Check all the fences for shorts, winterize and maintenance my swamp cooler, scrub, drain, clean, and fill the hot tub.  Junk like that.  It’s fun, actually, when the weather is mild.

What’s your favorite thing about autumn?

Magical, and stable, weather.  October is AMAZING in Colorado.  It is nice every single day, and stable.  Why did I mention stable twice?   BIG reason – April and May are nice in Colorado.  But it could literally be 65 one day and a blizzard the next.  Spring in Colorado is a big wildcard.  Oct, though… is nice. It is also much less windy in Oct.   Last Spring, the winds were so strong they broke my anemometer (wind speed measure thingy).  Plus, the leaves are changing.

Do you have any autumn traditions?

 

It’s the time of year to stock up on a year’s worth of roasted Hatch Chili’s.  You find the vendors on street corners.  They will have a temporary fence put up, and huge roasters.  Probably the same vacant corner that had firework tents a few months ago.  It is a short window of time.  You have about a month, tops.  They open around labor day, and are closing about now.  So, buy a year’s worth at a time.

 

Now my real secret, which I swear I invented.  I take the year’s worth of roasted chilis, and break them into about 20 ziplock sammich bags, and freeze those.  That way, you can pull out just a week’s worth at a time.  I do about 5 to 6 ounces per bag, which is about 3 big chili’s.

 

Then, it is soup and stew time.  To me, Hatch Chili season is as Colorado as Red Rocks and dogs at restaurants.  Even though the Chili’s are from New Mexico (Hatch, New Mexico… to be specific)… it really is a Colorado thing.  You don’t see these in AZ.

 
What smell brings you back to your youth?

 

Nothing I can think of.  Except, I have a HUGE fondness for the smell of vanilla.  Could be because poppa and momma used to work in a vanilla factory.  Or, losing my virginity on a vanilla farm.  May have been killing my arch enemy (let’s just say his name rhymes with Todd) in an old fashioned vanilla mill.  They will never find him.  Ok, kidding about all that stuff.   Vanilla ONLY comes from Madagascar.  The shit you and I are eating?  It ain’t vanilla.  Real vanilla is simply too expensive.

The part about me LOVING the smell of vanilla, though, is 100% true.

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