It's Always Somethin'


Geeze Luisa, it seems like we can’t we get a break from all the excitement over here in Cerrillos, New Mexico. Every day there’s always something worth writing about, and today my neighbors and I essentially had to shelter in place because a pair of desperadoes were running from the law and prospectively armed and dangerous.

Albeit the community text chat regarded the matter with a touch of humor, especially after the fugitive couple was reportedly apprehended, there was enough serious sentiment being shared that everyone was locking up their children, men and chickens.

There was even side talk of buying rifles and baseball bats and suggestions that I should stand guard in our watch tower.

Rather conveniently, I was on my way to TJs, when I received the call about police and FBI activity in our area. So, heeding the warning I decided to stock up on cheap wine, gin and bourbon- just in case this turned into a hostile or hostage situation. If anything, I was now prepared to herald, be the beacon and faithful guardian of Horny Toad Road in the turret.

Admittedly, Trader Joe’s price point on their proprietary bourbons made the assumption of such lofty responsibility all the more enticing and easier to assume. So much so, that I’d be willing to turn our walkie-talkies into police scanners, if only to catch up with my buddy Ashish back East, who has a room full of bourbon in his McMansion in Jersey (see BAR photo).

That said, I have to say that I’ve tasted a few dozen different brands of bourbon and my favorites tend to be the cheapest on the shelf: Evan Williams, Four Roses, Old Grand-Dad, Maker’s Mark and Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, which I particularly appreciated the few times I’ve had it. In other words, there’s a lot of hope here for TJs stock of Kentucky distilled spirits.

Anyhoo and either way, we grew our little speakeasy in The Shed by a couple of pretty amber-colored bottles and replenished the wine rack with not nearly-two-buck chuck, but a good selection of red blends and cabs for under six bucks each. It was a gamble, but if I can drink my favorite French equivalent, La Veille Ferme, as if it were water from the Fountain of Youth, than I figure I might as well give these all half a chance too.

After all, there’s a state penitentiary right down the road (you know you’re close when you start seeing the “Don’t Pick up Hitchhikers” lest you want to inspire a sequel to Kalifornia or Natural Born Killers signs) and Albuquerque, meth capital of the world (if you believe make-believe TV) ain’t too far away either. So, might as well stock up for the long haul here at Hacienda Dominguez.

Moreover, I love to cook with wine, that is, open a bottle and drink it while I’m cooking, which I’ve been doing a little more of lately.

Tonight, it was a red meat sauce with browned onions, roasted garlic, and fresh herbs including spicy oregano, fragrant rosemary, piquant basil and an earthy parsley; all atop some sautéed zucchini noodles in rosemary and pepper infused olive oil.

Tomorrow, I’m thinking we’ll use the leftover sauce to pour over some roasted polenta with smoked mozzarella and roasted cherry tomatoes, which means I get to open another cheap bottle of red of course, ‘cause when you live in Outlaw Country you just never know when a couple of criminals will show up at your back door offering you a free kitten…