22 May, 2005

*The RCM*

The Real Chile Men (tm)

A Story about people who are just like real friends! (inside joke)

These are the "Real Chile Men." They are celebrating (with their families) Hubby's graduation, and Kenmeneezer's two-week leave from Iraq. Hubby is on the back row, left. Guess which one is the Army dude? (grin) Virtual Toblerone for anyone who gets it right!!

Honestly, these are most all of Hubster's best, best buddies. We've been through thick and thin together. Once a year, they go on a journey to New Mexico to hunt and bring home hundreds upon hundreds of pounds of Big Jim chiles to freeze for their families. This summer will be their 12th year to go. They camp, eat, hunt chile, eat, sing and play guitars, mandolins and harmonica around the campfire, eat, swim and hike, eat...you get the picture.

In the late spring, early summertime, these manly men--businessmen, computer dudes, photogtraphers, teachers, a part-time Starbuck's barrista, and a munitions specialist--begin to write poems, ballads and tales in preparation for their journey at summer's end. With apologies to more famous poets and authors of the past, they even create spoof re-writes based on well-known works, such as "Chile, Chile Burning Bright," "Charge of The Chile Brigade," "The Grinch Who Stole The Chiles." They've redone ballads from The Pirates of Pinzance, Poetry of Robert Frost, Edgar Alan Poe, and *so* many others. Twelve years' worth of writing and re-writing.

One of the most notable songs written was a mandolin instrumental by my Hubby. It is called "____'s Lugubrious Lulluby," for one of the RCM (who shall remain nameless) with serious snoring issues. I think these men are brilliant.

This tradition began with Wadeboam, the brightest (clothed) one of the bunch. He grew up in New Mexico, among the chile farmers surrounding the Hatch, N.M. area. Hubby joined him that first year. Now, he makes the journey at the end of each growing season with Normanshalalhashbaz, J-braham, and the rest of his buddies to literally bring home the best chile in the country. It beats store-bought, hands down. The stores around here stock and roast them, now, but their roasting fires are too hot, and they burn much of the good meat, rendering them almost useless, so we continue to grill our own to prepare them for freezing. Then, we have a fiesta of food and music with all of our families!

This year, The RCM (tm) are adding a special family camping trip to our summer, so that the families can join in on ~some~ of their fun. They are all excellent cooks! I think the wives and children will probably do a lot of the clean-up.

Some of the items on the menu:

~ Cheese corn grits with green chiles
~ chile rellenos
~ chicken enchiladas w/ chile
~ cilantro corn, maybe with some green chile added :-)
~ beef tenderloin topped with green chile
~ breakfast burritos with chorizo and green chile
~ and some really scrumptious fried fruit turnovers and dutch-oven cherry dump cake for dessert.

We are blessed with precious friends and family. It's going to be a wonderful summer, even though we will be continuing on with some summer school studies, so the kiddos don't lose ground in math.

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