Never shall I forget the Christmas dances at Taos, twilight, snow, the darkness coming over the great wintry mountains and the lonely pueblo, then suddenly, again, like dark calling dark, the deep Indian cluster -- singing around the drum, wild and awful, suddenly rousing on the lost dusk as the procession starts. And then the bonfires leaping suddenly in spurts of high flame, columns of sudden flame forming an alley for the procession.*
Over the years my friend Judith Bronner has photographed this event (here, the plaza in front of the North House at dusk, just before the procession), and I share one of her pictures with you.
|"Christmas Eve", Taos Pueblo © 2010 Judith Bronner|
When guests at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House return after the Pueblo festivities, a cheery fire and steaming bowls of posole await them. This spicy hominy stew, a dish for celebrating life’s blessings, is served throughout New Mexico. It can be made either with red or green chile. The recipe here (below), made with pork and using dried red chiles, is quite traditional. However, chicken, turkey, or vegetable protein may be substituted for the pork. Enjoy.
3 pounds boned pork roast cut into 1" cubes
1/2 head of garlic peeled and chopped
A large pinch of Mexican oregano
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 large (industrial-size) can hominy
Salt and pepper to taste
2. Put the chiles to cook in a medium sized pot. Cover with fresh water and gently boil until chiles are very soft.
3. Let the mixture cool and using a favorite method, blend the chile and the water to make a paste and strain.
4. Put the cubed pork, oregano, garlic, onion and salt into a large heavy pot and cover with water. Boil meat gently for 30 minutes.
5. When the meat is soft, add the chile and hominy and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture is boiling nicely. Add oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, ladle the posole into heavy bowls and serve with thinly sliced cabbage and radishes, quartered limes, and fresh corn tortillas.