Sunday, December 15, 2013

Better with Age: Mistel, de Nuevo mexico

An old Santa Fe acquaintance posted this on Facebook With the admonition that, since it takes about two weeks to "mature, you need to start, basically, yesterday.
"Chimaja root" is also known as arrowroot, the same as is found in babies' teething crackers.
She writes:
Back in the 1970s and 80s when the Christmas eve walk along Canyon Road and the Acequia Madre area was much more locally oriented, the house owners used to set up little tables and provide biscochitos and tiny cups of warm mistela. I loved that tradition, but when I came back several years later, after moving to Montana, I was apalled at the "tourista" feeling of the stroll and found that the house owners didn't even come outside any more. I still do a traditional New Mexico Christmas up here and make both sangria (Corky Lusk's recipe) and occasionally mistela. I'm attaching a photo that shows you how to make it, but you need to start soon as it takes two weeks to "cure." I think its worth it and that you will enjoy it as a special traditional treat.
Bueno! Salud y pesetas y amor y tiempo para gustarlos.

Ahorita, La Noche Antes de Chreesmas!
"La Noche Antes de Chreesmas! "

T'was the night before Christmas and all through the casa
Not a creature was stirring, Caramba! Que Pasa?
Los Ninos were all tucked away in their camas,
(Some in long underwear, some in pajamas.)
While mama worked late in her little cocina,
El Viejo was down at the corner cantina
Living it up with amigosone a gavacho!
Todos MUY contento y PO-quito borracho!
Stockings were hung con mucho cuidado,
In hopes that El Santa would feel obligado
To bring all the children, both buenos Y malos,
A nice batch of dulces y otros regalos.
Then, outside in the yard, there arose such a grito
That I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito.
I ran to the window and looked out afuera,
and who in the world do you think? Quien es era?
St.Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero!
And pulling his sleigh, instead of venados,
Were eight little burros approaching valados.
I watched as they came, and this quaint little hombre
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:
" Ay, Pancho! Ay, Pepe! Ay, Cuca! Ay, Beto!
Ay, Chato! Ay, Chopo! Muraca y Nieto!"
Then standing erect with his hand on his pecho,
He flew to the top of our very own techo.
With his round little belly, like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea.
Then, huffing and puffing, at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,
He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos,
For none of the ninos had been very malos.
Then, chuckling aloud, seeming muy contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone como el viento,
And I heard him exclaim-Ese, this is verdad
"Merry Chreesmas, A todos, Feliz Navidad!"

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