Saturday afternoon, December 3:
After a snowy beginning, the day turns sunny. The morning whizzes by as I write and answer emails, and as I work on new blog pages about the solar project.
Around 1:30 Bridget and Spike surface from the bedcovers.
As we walk around the campground, I get the urge to go someplace. I pack my shower tote, toss the crew in the PTV, and make a stop at the shower house. Then we’re off to Hatch, New Mexico!
I’ve never eaten chili rellenos before.
I don’t know exactly what they’re made of, but a reader wrote that the chili rellenos he had at The Pepper Pot in Hatch were the best he’s ever eaten. We take Highway 187 south and pass through the little towns of Arrey, Garfield, and Salem along fields of cotton, groves of pecans, and chili farms. I haven’t eaten since breakfast at eight and I’m very hungry.
The Pepper Pot restaurant is easy to find.
It’s right on the main street. I pull in alongside the building. Uh-oh. Not much activity around here. I walk over to two ladies driving out of the parking lot.
“Is The Pepper Pot open?” I ask.
“Oh, no. It closes at 3:00.” The driver sees my reaction and adds, “Go over to that door in back. She’s still here and she’ll probably sell you something.”
I knock on the back door and a pretty girl in her teens opens it.
“Excuse me. Those ladies leaving said to come back here. I came here because I was told you have the best chili rellenos.”
She calls to someone inside and then invites me in. I stand just inside the door of the restaurant kitchen. A lady smiles and says, “Hello.”
“I’m sorry to bother you. I drove all the way from Percha Dam for your chili rellenos. I’ve heard they’re very good.”
She smiles. “How many do you want?”
“I don’t know,” I admit. “I’ve never had one before. I’m from Georgia.”
This makes her laugh as she takes out a metal container from the refrigerator. I peer over at the container. She says, “They’re two dollars each.”
“Okay. I’ll take three then.”
While she’s grilling, I introduce myself. The young girl responds, “My name is Maria. Her name is Maria, too, but we call her Chayo.”
The plan is to eat one or two of the foil-wrapped delights on the way back to the campground, and save the other for later. I eat two, cheese dripping onto the steering wheel. The third one keeps whispering my name. Boy, these things are tasty. At the risk of a bellyache or worse, I consume the third.
I’m back at the campground now and I’m happy to report . . . so far, so good!
Oh you poor deprived Child.. How old are you and you just got your First real
Green chilie? Well, congratulations.
Oddly enough I was going to email you about a simple meal recipe, So, Once you get the grin and green chlle wiped off your face, drop me a line.
Hi, Old Texan,
So chili rellenos is a rite of passage . . for an easterner like me.
I got an email that you’d sent me a message at the casita forum but I couldn’t find it. I’m always interested in recipes that are simple.
I tried emailing you and it didn’t go through. How about putting the recipe here?
I love reading your Blog you are so much fun and such a cool lady. Jay
Thank you, Jay!
I have never eaten chili rellenos but with you telling about that cheese dripping down I am sure ready to try one or two or three. Hugs and nose kisses for you all from us!
I think Old Texan will agree . . .you’re living a deprived life until you eat one . . . or two or three!
I just LOVE it when folks comment on where you should go in an area and what you should see and eat.
I’ve never had chili rellenos either and they always sounded hot to me. Being from Virginia, I’m not much used to Mexican or Southwestern food so I was mighty interested in what you thought and now I want some too!! 🙂
The ones from The Pepper Pot pack some heat, but not a lot. I’d say they’re between mild and medium.
Ok…….. now Chuck and I will have to go down to Hatch, visit Pepper Pot and test out the Chili Rellenos! I too am a chili relleno virgin! LOL! I have eaten a lot of Mexican food, but like Sherry…. these always sounded too spicy hot to really tempt me. I always order mild wherever we go!
You have given me a new quest…………. !!!
The pepper does have kick, but I think the cheese tamps it down.
Howdy Sue & crew,
Now you’ve been baptized into the cuisine of caliente!! Of course there are HOTTER chiles and
they are there in Hatch, if you want to try them… DON’T LET SPIKE EAT’EM THOUGH!!! Snow in Mew Nexico sure is pretty!!! You take great pics!! Can you imagine going to a cafe after closing time and getting served in the East??? Green chile salsa on meat is a wonderful condiment!!!
Don’t stick around and get ‘snow-bound’ in the mountains before you get to the Grand Canyon State…
Good luck and hope you’re having a great day!!!
I thought the same thing about getting served after closing time in the East. I wouldn’t even bother to ask.
Geri may not have told you, but you just ate at one of our favorite resturants. Never had the Chile Rellenos though. Their breakfast are supposed to be REALLY great too but we keep getting there yoo late. Their b’fast ends when they get their first lunch order, sometime tween 845 and 10am. It’s tough having to eat enchiladas or some other yummy lunch item!!!!
I was thinking of stopping by The Pepper Pot again when I head south, before turning west to AZ. Unfortunately, it’s in a cramped space in town, no good place to park the Casita hooked to the PTV, and I have to keep the PTV nearby because of the crew.
I’ll get back there again when I return to NM.
Isn’t that one of the great things about doing the sort of venture you’ve undertaken – the nicest people just keep popping up, going out of their way to be helpful and friendly. Seems to happen a lot for people who are on significant journeys. It’s one of those mutual benefit situations – feels good to do a little something for someone when you’re given a chance to do so…
I do seem to meet very friendly people! Here on the blog, in campgrounds, and on the road.
Hehehehh , welcome to New Mexico and Mexico you have just sampled one of the delights of the regional dishes that has delighted me for decades ! I love, love. love them and hatch makes sone of the best either side of the border. Many such surprises will spice your life once you indulge in the delights of the dishes of the South West and Mexico. Many more delights will entice your if you are brave enough to give the a try. 😀 I love the cuisine of the South West and Mexico such flavor such spirt and imagination make me drool with anticipation.
I’m already hooked on Southwestern cuisine! I love green chilies.. I’m glad I have a brick of green chilies in my freezer. They sure do make an omelet perk up.
It’s always been a myistery how Hatch can have great food like this yet the canned Hatch enchilada sauce is blah. Too bad, too, ‘cuz the eatin’ is wonderful when it’s “real” (not canned).
Now I know to avoid the canned food from Hatch.
Gotta say that I was surprised to see the snow you photographed. You’ve got more snow than NYS has at the present time. I know it always snows someplace on 12/3(on my birthday) and this year it was in your neck of the woods even though it is 22 degrees here right now and the snowguns on the ski mtns. are running. But just the sounds of your Mexican meal sounds so good. Instead I am sitting here facing a birthday cupcake without the spice.
I’m sorry I missed your birthday. My computer died before you commented, so I didn’t read it until today, Sunday. I hope you had a wonderful day!
Now you’re eatin’. My wife (Juanita) and I took her 95 year old Grandma on a 1,500 mile trip in our fifth wheel a couple of years ago. We stopped in Hatch and ate grilled chilies at one of the road stands. Grandma drank margaritas with us every night. When we got to Virgina City, she insisted that we hike up main street and get a drink at the Bucket of Blood Saloon. How’s that for a neat Granny?
Your Granny sounds like a lot of fun!
You have my mouth watering!
I don’t want to eat my cooking tonight. I want more chilie rellenos!
My Cajun relatives will probably shoot me on sight, but you are now getting into what I consider the tastiest food in the world, almost anything cooked southwestern style. Southwestern style Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are really special. Good luck.
Now you’ve got my imagination going . . . Christmas dinner Southwestern style . . . yum.
To all of Sue’s loyal bloglover’s….. Sue’s computer woke up dead this morning! 😦 She hopes it is just the battery and will try to be back online ASAP! We just happened to run into her at WalMart a few minutes ago! She is getting some more finetuning done to her solar and will be camped at Caballo at least until Wednesday.
Geri, thanks for the update. Now if I could find out the status on “Me and my dog” – I can quit worrying about all my blogging friends for today. 🙂
(“Me and My Dog” = http://dewelldesigns.blogspot.com/ ) haven’t seen her post in a couple days.