Church for Christmas

Last Christmas, we were in New Mexico. It was a real treat for me to visit some of the oldest churches in continental USA while there. I love old churches, especially old living churches that have an active congregation. Our drive to Taos took us through Ranchos de Taos, a historic district about four miles from Taos. And, in Ranchos de Taos is the San Francisco de Asissi Mission Church, a historic church built by Spanish missionaries between between 1772 and 1816.

In spring, the community gets together to add a new layer of adobe —a mixture of mud and straw — on the outer facade to preserve their church.

It was a perfect winter's day in New Mexico: bluebird skies with nary a cloud in sight, sunny and cold.


Busy Shortcuts

Last week, I participated in a home market hosted by my friends Teri and Paul. We called it the Boulder Holiday Art & Gift Sale. Little did I know what I had committed to when I said yes to Teri back in September. By mid-November, I was in way too deep to back out.

I had canned as I do each year and then some. Thanks to guidance from my friend Archana, I made a small batch of tomato thokku and tomato chutney. Maybe I could use those. Medha was not happy that I was going to include the tomato chutney on my table at the Holiday Sale. I canned more of my peach-habanero salsa.My tamarind-date chutney is always a hit so maybe some of that. Some ghee? And a couple of spice blends. But which? I have always wanted to share my rest-of-the-world chhole masala, and I had a dear friend's mother's recipe for chai masala. And then there was that whole thing about labels. I figured that even if no-one bought anything I made, I would have lots of gifts for my friends. None of the effort would be wasted. And, it had a lot of love poured into it.

Before I knew it, it was the weekend of the sale and I sold out of both the thokku as well as the chai masala. I set out samples of all my canned foods, as well as chai made with my chai masala and chhole made with my chana/chhole masala.

IFR's table at Boulder Holiday Art & Gift Sale
My table at the Holiday Sale