Softly plump women of a certain age in flowy skirts, hats, and arty jewelry, wandering through Indian galleries with dreamy expressions on their faces. A common Santa Fe sight and it makes me miss my mother terribly. She had a closet full of flowy skirts and I’m currently wearing a large hammered silver pin in the shape of a bird that was once hers. It keeps the neck of my dress closed. Come to think of it, the skirt on this dress is a bit flowy. Have I crossed the line?
The last time I was in Santa Fe, many years ago, it was with my mother. She loved this city and had lots of artist friends here. I remember little about the trip except that I was in my twenties, restless, and sort of a pill. My mother and her friends seemed willfully uncool. Why did they dress like that? Why were they so worried about a little sun? Did they never tire of looking at ristras, silver earrings, and pottery?
Total turnaround. I now love energetic, open, art-loving older women who travel and paint and aren’t trying to be cool anymore. It warmed my heart every time I came across a group of them yesterday, enthusiastically tasting chili-spiked chocolate elixirs or photographing adobe churches. What I’d give for a do-over of that long-ago trip to Santa Fe with my mother.
The culinary highlight of yesterday was not the chili-spiked chocolate elixir, though that was pretty interesting. The culinary highlight was a blue corn donut with a blueberry-lavender glaze from the Farmers’ Market. It resembled an old-fashioned donut, but was a lot more substantial and complex. Craggy, purple, crunchy, gritty -- it sounds weird, but it was a winner. I am so irked that I didn’t bring my camera.
The eating low point was a stupid seafood salad at a hushed, overpriced restaurant where I sat next to a table of merry women in flowy skirts. They were having a ball.
Today, I need to try a green chile cheeseburger at one place and some chile cheese fries at another and then my work is pretty much done.