Monday, August 18, 2014

Hatch Chile Festival

It's the middle of August 

and once again time for

Hatch Chile Fest.

Hatch Chile Festival is when local restaurants

 feature specials made with Hatch chiles

and the grocery stores sell everything 

from fresh or roasted Hatch chiles

to all kinds of products made with Hatch Chiles. 

It's a time for thousands of pounds

of Hatch chiles to make their way to Texas 

from the fertile soil of the New Mexico

Hatch Valley along the Rio Grande River.

The long, green peppers

can be mild to very spicy and hot.

As they ripen

they begin to turn red.

The dried rusty red ristra

makes a beautiful and colorful

decoration for the home.

Legend says that hung on an outside

door,  it will keep the devil away

and bring one's home good luck.

Here at home, my "chef" takes advantage

of the roasted chiles available this time of year.

He cooks up special dishes made with

the spicy, freshly roasted Hatch chiles.

Then he adds a few packages to the freezer

to have on hand later in the year.

Tonight he is making Green Chile Stew,

a favorite recipe from the famous

Pink Adobe Restaurant, Santa Fe, NM.

It's the perfect occasion to use these festive

textiles that were a gift from

Michael Lee @ Rattlebridge Farm.

They are beautifully

woven in bright colors, and .   .   .

Embroidered with

red hot chile peppers.

These southwest inspired dishes

are hand painted and produced by

Clay Arts, San Francisco.

The colors within the green chile stew

are echoed in the vibrant stripes

that radiate out and form a border.

The stew is spicy hot so

I like to serve warm 

corn tortillas on the side.

The recipe calls for pork, but the chef

chose to use chicken in this version.

Either is an excellent choice!

You can find the recipe here.

It's been voted 

Best Green Chile Stew in Santa Fe.

Click here to read about a 

previous meal I shared 

made with Hatch chiles.

Hatch Chile Festivals Signal Summer's End
Linking to Cuisine Kathleen's 
End of Summer Challenge

Summer Challenge @ Cuisine Kathleen

Is there a Hatch Chile Festival 

going on in your local grocery store?

Also Joining

Monday, August 4, 2014

Touring Through Blogland


Last week I was featured at Ash Tree Cottage where Susan and Bentley invited me to join the Blogland Tour.  Susan and her husband have recently relocated to Texas from Idaho, so that makes us fellow Texans.  We've been blog friends for several years, and I'm excited about the prospect of getting to meet Susan and her sweet companion Bentley now that she is back in Texas.  Susan asked me to join the tour and answer 4 questions to give a bit of insight into Hyacinths for the Soul.

What am I working on right now?

I'm trying to reenergize my creative spirit.

Recent months have found me in a creative drought.  I lost my mom last November, and though she lived a long, full life, the reality of this loss hasn't been easy.  In an effort to refresh and revitalize my spirit,  I've begun an ongoing project this summer ~ purging closets and cupboards and donating things to local charitable thrifts, in an effort to declutter and simplify our home.   I'm also concentrating on eating a healthy diet with more fruits and vegetables.  Walking has become a daily routine; most days, morning and evening.  And, I'm back to yoga!

How does my work differ from others in this genre?

I like to mix it up!
Eclectic pretty much defines my blog.

I created this blog on a whim in 2009 with the encouragement of Maggie @ Normandy Life,  Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch, and Debbie @ Confessions of a Plate Addict.  Each of these ladies took me under their wing, encouraged me, and "held my hand" along the way.  I've been passionate about interiors since childhood, and there is no question I was born with the collecting gene.  Gardening, stitching, entertaining, and travel are also high on my list, so it felt like a natural fit to focus on these aspects of my life.  Hyacinths for the Soul is mostly about friendship, fluffing one's nest, and sharing a creative spirit.

Why do I write or create what I do?

I write to share my passions.

As a retired elementary teacher, the writing and creative aspect of producing blog posts appealed to me.  I soon discovered it was a perfect creative outlet and one that offered a like minded audience.  What I didn't expect was the connection it would generate with generous, creative individuals across the globe.  The most rewarding aspect of blogging for me is the friendships that are spawned through the simple act of sharing ideas, sources, and common interests.

How does your writing process actually work?

Snippets of daily life are my muse, 
but it's the photos that inspire my words.

Blogging has literally changed the way I look at things.  My camera is always at the ready to snap photos on neighborhood walks, or capture vignettes in the homes of friends or at local shops.  Tables are set and photographed here at home, and I frequently snap my husband's culinary creations, a look at my garden, some new find, or our sweet Sadie girl.  I'm always mindful of what might make an interesting blog topic.  It's these snippets of daily life that are my muse.  I never know what might spark a new blog post, but the photos guide the writing.  I think most who read blogs such as mine are more interested in photos than lots of words.  They want a quick look, then move on.  I hope I offer something both interesting and a bit educational at times.

Touring Through Blogland Continued

I'm pleased to introduce you to three distinctly different, but very talented ladies who have agreed to join the tour next week.

Maggie is a long time real life friend.  She is a Brit living a dream life in France.  We meet in 2000 at the 2nd Annual Quimper Club International Meeting that was held in Washington, DC.  Needless to say we share a love of France and French faience, but also much more.  Maggie and her husband have visited in our home and "the chef" and I have had the privilege to be house guests at their beautiful home, a 16th /18th century former Presbytery, in the Normandy countryside.  Maggie shares wonderful photos and snippets of an authentic French country life. 

Emily is another real life friend.  We too share a love of France and French faience, and it was through our blogs that we became friends.  I encouraged Emily to join the QCI.  We met last fall at the QCI Annual Meeting held in St. Augustine, FL and will soon meet up again at the September meeting in Nice, France.  Emily is an avid photographer and often shares photos from her travels.

Debbie is a friend I hope to actually meet some day.  We share a love and passion for MacKenzie-Childs pottery, gardening, and entertaining.  Debbie and her husband live in upstate NY and enjoy summer and winter sports in the Adirondack Mountains where they have a cabin.  They also love to travel to the Florida Keys.  Debbie frequently shares scrumptious recipes, and the delicious product is usually served on a wonderful piece of MacKenzie-Childs pottery.  

Thank you to Susan for inviting me to join the tour and to you for joining me today.  Please visit Maggie, Emily, and Debbie next Monday, August 11 when they will share their own thoughts for this tour.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

There's a New Girl in Town

This sassy miss came home 
with me from a recent estate sale.

It was love at first sight for me.
She is a Staffordshire
 begging spaniel jug or pitcher.

I'm not certain about her pedigree,
though I feel certain she is definitely vintage.
Perhaps a vintage reproduction.

What matters most is she is black and white 
and the perfect companion to this gentlemen
who I've had for several years.  

He too is a black and white begging spaniel
jug or pitcher with a tricorn hat.

Don't they 
make the perfect pair?

I think perhaps Mister is of newer vintage,
but that's OK,  he fits right in with
all of the Courtly Checks around the house.
He was a thrifty find at Goodwill some years ago.

They could easily be
parents to these two sweet pups.

Yes,  I feel as if
a family has been reunited!

They are currently part of a vignette
on the dining room buffet.

I gathered a group of 
Courtly Check pieces and filled
them with summer hydrangeas.

Along with a piece of
figurative art by a favorite NY artist.

Tell me!  Do you have a fondness for
these Staffordshire dogs?
Are you a fan of black and white?