"Stirring the Pot," Patricia Calhoun, February 13
I have been making my own version of green chile based (loosely) on the La Bola recipe in the venerable Colorado Cache cookbook for probably 25 years. Colorado owns green chile, and not only that, I like the Pueblo and Brighton peppers better than Hatch, though I'll take the New Mexico aliens if that's all the vendor has in late September, early October...
I grew up in New Mexico, now live in Houston, and travel to Denver a lot for my job. In Texas they have nothing close to green chile; therefore, when I do visit Denver, I frequent the several New Mexican restaurants throughout the area. Though I am always happy to get New Mexican food, even in Denver, the Denver restaurants have never met the quality of true New Mexican food only found in the state of New Mexico. Basically, it is good enough in Denver. It is the same in Phoenix, which also has many New Mexican-style restaurants — again, just good enough.
Please understand that New Mexican food is a tradition that goes back to when the Spanish settled in the 1500s and 1600s and brought their mix of food that combined with that of the established Native Americans. New Mexican food is very special because of a growing climate only found in New Mexico. And through the many generations of New Mexicans, it has become a tradition unique to New Mexico. As New Mexicans, we are very proud of our heritage and our food, and even though others have tried, we can't be fooled by even good enough.
Maybe you win, but you will never steal or reinvent New Mexico's pride, traditions or our food.
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"Mind Games," Melanie Asmar, February 6
Since the Ronald Reagan administration, many of the certifiably insane (Holmes!) have been mainstreamed, mostly for cost reasons, into the general population rather than treated and supervised in institutional settings where they have to take their meds. Worse, some antidepressants (SSRIs) have side effects like "suicidal and homicidal ideation or attempts," because the way they manipulate serotonin in the body causes hallucinations and dreams that seem real, and reality [seems] unreal. Thank our dear pharmaceutical industry for drugs that suppress one's own ability to produce adequate amounts of serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with well-being and happiness, in those already short of it. Disaster particularly strikes when a mental patient goes off his or her meds and lacks enough natural serotonin to draw on to keep body and soul together.
Mass shootings? Always look first to mental-health issues that have been swept under the rug by a thoughtless society and the overprescribing of quick-fix dangerous drugs.
Gene W. Edwards