31 July 2010

the heat! the heat! and breakfast burritos....


I had the good fortune to be chosen to perform at the National Flute Association Convention in 2007. I had the bad fortune for that convention to be held in Albuquerque. It's nice there, but it's really hot in August.

When I finally reached Albuquerque, I saw... dirt. No grass, no trees, just dirt. Don't get me wrong, the people of Albuquerque seem quite nice. Even the meth addict stumbling around my motel parking lot in the wee hours of the morning was easy going. And the food--well, that is absolutely amazing. The red chili, the green chili, the breakfast burritos (see below) at the place the cops tried to shut down but the people rebelled--get it all! I was in heaven whenever I ate there. But the heat that lasted literally from sun up until sun down, the dirt, the slow moving vehicles in traffic jams all over the city at every hour of the day and night--here was the proof that hell exists and the dead are walking the earth. They're nice dead people and they have good taste in food, but they are living in hell, nonetheless. And now I would be staying in hell, too, for the next four days.

I drove through what seemed to be a business-oriented shopping district, naturally, and made my way to the original downtown area. I had discovered this inexpensive little motel while looking for ways to stay near Old Town, famed for its great food and lively nightlife situated around an ancient town square that felt like you were a million miles away from America (I stand by this description). Of course, I expected it to be a bit rough around the edges, but this was beyond rough. This was the kind of neighborhood that they visit again and again on the television show Cops. Suddenly windows were broken or covered with boards, dirty children with no shirts or shoes played with fistfuls of dust--even if the motel was within walking distance of Old Town (which it barely was), you'd have to be suicidal to do it.

I awoke the next morning to a man bellowing in Spanish underneath my balcony. Apparently my neighbor was an acquaintance of his, and she was none too quick to help him. The sun was already blazing through the blinds, and when I stood near the window it felt a good twenty degrees warmer. I looked outside and saw various people wearing as little clothing as legally possible. I stepped out onto the balcony and instantly felt surrounded by warmth. I could sense sweat coming. I rushed back into my cool(er) room and I looked at the clock; it was 6:18am. Ugh.

I don't know how people do it. But for the breakfast burritos at Frontier Restaurant, I might return in February.

New Mexico breakfast burritos

(The mass quantities are for freezing, and then you've got instant gratification when you're too tired and impatient to cook later.)

1 tablespoon olive oil + half onion, chopped + spinach
6 eggs + 1/3 cup milk + salt and pepper to taste + 8oz. jar salsa or green chili
10 flour tortillas, extra large
10 strips of Morning Star breakfast strips (or bacon)
2 boiled russet potatoes, thinly sliced
cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese

Cook bacon or fake-on as directed. Set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet and sautee onion until transluscent. Add spinach and just wilt.

Meanwhile, beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together in bowl and pour into skillet with spinach and onion. Cook eggs into a soft scramble, then add salsa and finish cooking.

Heat the tortillas so that they are soft and pliable. Fill each tortilla with one piece bacon/ fake-on, three or four slices potato, egg mixture, and crumbled cheese. Be sure to distribute evenly amongst all 10 tortillas! Wrap each tortilla, set on cookie sheet, and freeze 1-2 hours. Wrap individually in foil, and place in freezer-weight bag. Will keep several months this way.