Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Where's Joe?

For at least a year now, a little figurine of the Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer has been floating around our house. It's an ongoing game. Joe gets hidden somewhere in the house, the first person who finds him exclaims, "I found Joe!" Everyone in the house runs to see where he was found. Then, the finder gets to hide Joe. Seems boring? Seems tedious? Seems like it would lose momentum?

Well, Where's Joe? provides as much excitement now as it did when we first started doing it. It's genuine. It's creative (you wouldn't believe all of the fun places Joe has been in our house). We've started a tradition. Joe might go hiding for a couple of hours or a couple of weeks. Of course we aren't constantly looking for Joe, but we sure enjoy it when he crosses our path.

I read a story about a similar game played by a family several years back. Long story short, the father had hidden Joe, passed away, and the family found Joe months later and it brought back fond memories and made it feel as if he were there playing with them in that moment. Needless to say, it was touching, and for some odd reason, Joe became the object.

Why Joe? I have no idea! We are Rockies fans. Love the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Giants. Chris went to a Twins game a while back, got Jared a little gift, and now, he is constantly a part of the family.

Natalie was the last to hide Joe this morning. Will we find him this evening? Maybe next week? Doesn't matter. It's something that is in constant motion at our house, and I love that. A smile and energy appear when we hear anyone in the house scream, "I found Joe!"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How the preschoolers honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We keep it basic. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a brave, humble and kind man that wanted everyone to treat one another with kindness and respect. Yes, we come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but we are all people. We read a wonderful book for youngsters by Doreen Rappaport called Martin's Big Words.  It's a beautiful book about a beautiful man.

Could I get that recipe from you?

It has happened to everyone. You're at a party or gathering and get the opportunity to taste a delicious morsel of this or that. It's something new, something different... something that your mother didn't make. It's not in your personal stash of recipes. So you say, "I'd love to get your recipe." Sure you could look something up on the internet, but there will be hundreds of results for your desired recipe. Now, most people will say, "Sure, I'll email it to you," or "It's in the Colorado Cache Cookbook." Easy enough. But have you ever gotten, "Oh, it's a family recipe." That's it? I even have a friend that is a caterer, and she is more than happy to share recipes and ideas. This is what it's all about, folks. Spread the wealth!
OK, I understand and respect tradition, but in my humble opinion, food is meant to be shared and enjoyed. The more the merrier, right? Well, in this first post, I will share a "treasured" Gallegos family recipe. If you can take pleasure in something that we have enjoyed for years, then that makes me smile. Please enjoy smothered pork green chile burritos, or green chile enchiladas, or just the chile…

Gallegos Pork Green Chile

3 TBS olive oil (if you happen to have bacon grease, the bacon grease is better)
1 lb. pork loin (or any cut that you prefer), diced
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup flour
3 cups green chili, diced (The best is fresh roasted green chile if available - please, stay away from canned)
1 ½ to 2 quarts of chicken stock

When making the sauce, first brown the pork in the olive oil or bacon drippings for about 5 minutes. Then add the onions and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add the flour and brown with the pork, onions, and garlic for about a minute. Add the chicken stock while stirring the pork mixture. When it comes to a boil, add the green chile and simmer. The longer the better. I usually make this in the morning and then transfer it to the crock pot to cook on low for the rest of the day. By dinner time it is great. Using roasted green chiles truly makes a huge difference.