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Posts Tagged ‘Albuquerque New Mexico’

Flag of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image created...

(Photo Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

In the fall, the streets in Albuquerque and surrounding communities are lined with ristras—long (or short) collections of red chile pods tied together. Ristras are used for ornaments, and (if natural) may be used for cooking throughout the winter and into the spring.

Green chile is not gathered into ristras, but rather is roasted. The pungent odor travels hundreds of feet around the outdoor fire roasters. Hungry New Mexicans buy the now black and green pods by the sack and store or freeze them for later use.

In the winter, flu and virus epidemics make local residents hunger for the red and green delights they have stored away. One local eatery that specializes in New Mexican cuisine is Flying Star, a café chain that has been in business about twenty-five years and is “still cooking.”

Graburritos (a linguistic pun that tells customers what to do with this dish) are big, thick rolled burritos stuffed with scrambled eggs and covered with cheese and red chile, green chile—or both. For just a little more, a graburrito may be “smothered” with additional melted cheese and a double portion of  freshly prepared chile sauce.

Does chile really stop the winter flu and colds? Are graburritos medicinal? No scientific data exists at this time, and none is projected.  Albuquerque au pairs and host families may wish to conduct their own research!

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Flag of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image created...

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Albuquerque is a semi-desert area–with lots of sandy soil, cactus, and a humidity factor that plummets during most of the year. Temperatures make extreme changes when the climate is dry, rising and falling as much as 50 degrees between day and night.

Host children (and Host Families) in New Mexico may enjoy learning about these changes at a site designed especially to teach children about deserts.

The example given is the Sahara Desert, where summer temperatures exceed 100 degrees during the day and drop to 50 degrees or less at night. Albuquerque isn’t as extreme as the Sahara, but it still requires an understanding of how to dress in layers and how to keep hydrated.

Au pairs with native skills in desert and semi-desert lifestyles (and those who develop these skills in caring for their New Mexico adopted families) will recognize Albuquerque weather on this website.

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English: Photographer is V. Green - it's a pho...

English: Rio Grande in Albuquerque, NM(Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

A wonderful thing has been happening in the publishing industry for the past few years—the publication of free magazines and newsletters of very high quality that are targeted for specific audiences. Rio Grande Family is a free magazine for New Mexico families (including families with au pairs) that has recently won the 2012 editorial and design competition award for the Parenting Media Association.

The December 2012 edition of RGF (Volume 2 Number 11) contains information on area events, and a variety of departments (“Facts & Fun,” “Family Health,” “Great Reads,” and others) that are keyed to active involved families with children.

The website for Rio Grande Family is www.RioGrandeFamily.com .

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English: San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church lo...

San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church, (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Old Town Plaza is a major tourist attraction in Albuquerque throughout the seasons, but it becomes a magical place for Christmas. Luminarias are paper bag lanterns filled with sand and a candle that are said light the way for the Christ Child throughout the Southwest, and particularly in New Mexico.

Local residents gather to fill the bags and arrange them in elaborate decorative patterns—transforming the historical Plaza into a Christmas Eve place of enchantment and festivities that conclude with a quiet evening Mass at San Felipe de Neri Church, originally built in 1706.

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