Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Truth is Still the Truth................

My thought for this rainy Thursday morning, as it has been for the last few years, and something to keep in mind, when rumors and chaos abound. Stand tall, keep moving forward and know that the truth is still the truth.

If you live in Southern California, stay dry today if you can and drive carefully. God Bless you and stay safe!

Saturday, February 09, 2019

A Pot of Chile Verde (Green Chile)

Chile Verde

A pot of Chile Verde simmering on the stove right now, to be eaten tomorrow. Time consuming but worth it. Every chile roasted and peeled.
I prefer to leave my chilies whole and let them break apart, seeds and all, during the cooking, as opposed to chopping or dicing the chilies. I like the chile to be more of a vegetable than a sauce. I want it to have some bite to it.This is the way my father made it and his father before him.
It also makes a nice breakfast served over a couple of of eggs and potatoes.
This is my absolute favorite dish.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Cold Crisp Weather and Hot Beef Stew

A gorgeous blue sky once again over Southern California after a hard rain the last few days. It was raining just a few hours ago. Cool and crisp now! This is why I love Southern California.

It is also the perfect weather for beef stew.Today it is beef stew with stew meat and short ribs. The wife says I nailed it! It is pretty good if I do say so myself. 

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Village of Dona Ana, New Mexico 2019 Calendar

My thanks to primo (cousin) Ray Garcia for sending me the 2019 Calendar from the Dona Ana (New Mexico) Historic Preservation Committee.
Included in the calendar is the locally historic De La O Saloon (now the De La O Visitor's Center), brief info on my great great uncle Buenaventura De La O and the locally historic Half Moon Bar (owned by Ray's grandfather), where my grandfather Santiago De La O killed two men that attempted to rob him at knifepoint.
An absolutely beautiful calendar!
Thank you Ray Garcia!

Click on any photo for a larger view

Barbacoa Blues by Randy Garibay

Barbacoa Blues by the late Randy Garibay

A Saturday Morning Memory: Nick's Taste of Texas

I don’t always look back with sadness when I think about restaurants that are no longer here. There is always another one just like it, or fairly close, opening up someplace but Nick’s Taste of Texas is the exception. They closed their doors about four or five years ago. I kid you not, it broke my heart.
I’m listening to some good Tex-Mex music right now, looking out the back window at all the rain coming down and enjoying my second cup of coffee. The music brought to mind, the Taste of Texas.
The Taste of Texas was a Tex-Mex restaurant in Covina, California. It became one of our favorite places to eat for years. The restaurant was originally in Azusa, California. It was there that we had our first meal and when I say it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship I am dead serious.
My wife Jeri is from San Antonio, Texas, and she would often tell me about her childhood memories growing up in San Antonio with her family. One of her favorite memory was of the barbacoa cart on the weekends, with the man passing through the neighborhood yelling out, “Barbacoa, barbacoa!” It is a popular and much loved breakfast dish. Her father and all her sisters and brother would run out to get the barbacoa for breakfast.
I knew nothing about it. Whenever we were at a Mexican restaurant, we would order barbacoa but it was a whole different dish, according to her, I had no way of knowing.
One day, back in 1991 or so, my mother told us about a restaurant she had eaten at - Nick’s Taste of Texas - with Dave Gibson (they were married a few years later). We went to dinner with them one night and that was all it took. On our next visit I saw Barbacoa on the menu. We ordered it and “Surprise, surprise” it was the dish of her childhood.

Over the years, I tried just about everything on the menu but my favorites were the aforementioned barbacoa,along with guisado, BBQ brisket and ribs. The tortillas were incredible. There was only one salsa and it was all the salsa you needed. This was typical Tex-Mex fare, including Tacos, enchiladas and menudo (very popular there on the weekends) but if you were looking for more traditional Mexican food this was not your place.
The restaurant itself was a large industrial type building with rows and rows of tables. It was informal, noisy and comfortable, just like home. It was so much like home that on some days the breakfast potatoes were served sliced and fried, on other days more traditional home fries and on another day, who knows? But it was all good. Everyone that worked there was friendly and it was the people that gave this restaurant its real charm.

As great as the food was, the best part about eating here was seeing my wife happy and filled with good memories and eating her barbacoa. She was always at the heart of our visit to Nick’s Taste of Texas.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Throwback Photo: Dinner at Jack Demsey's in NYC

From 2004: Jeri and I were in Cape May, New Jersey for our son Andrew's graduation from the Coast Guard Boot Camp and decided to stay a couple of nights in New York before heading home. After walking out of the Empire State Building I saw Jack Demsey's Pub (I don't now why they omitted the P from Dempsey) and thought to myself, This is where I want to be!"

A very nice place. The owner came and sat with Jeri and I for a while. A friendly man with a sense of humor and a thick Scottish accent. I had the corned beef and cabbage and if I remember correctly, Jeri had the shrimp scampi or something very similar. Everything was delicious.

 Speaking of the Empire State Building: Jeri and I were sitting in a small bar/club called O's, adjacent to the Hotel Pennsylvania (I absolutely, positively and indubitably do not recommend this hotel),where we were staying, enjoying a few drinks and listening to a bluesy band.

I noticed people stopping, looking up, or kneeling and looking up, taking pictures. This kept happening over and over. When we left O's I looked over to my right and there it was, the Empire State Building. It was lit up and had a yellowish hue. Biggest Building I ever saw in my life. I thought it was amazing. I did what everyone else did. I looked up and took a picture. The next day we went to the top.We had a great view of the entire city and some clouds and all I could think about was, If a plane was heading for this building there was nothing i could do!" A sobering thought.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Things Learned......

If I have learned anything in my life it is this: 
We all have a great loss in our lives. Someone is gone that should still be here.We all miss someone.
We all have something in life that we carry with us, even if we don't speak of it.
We all have something that comes to us at night and disturbs our sleep.
We have all been let down at one time or another, and we have all let someone down.
We have all let go of a dream or two.
We all have a great fear.
We all have a sadness that we keep hidden.
We are all working through something.

Something else I have learned: 
God will provide.

Happy Birthday Nathan

Meranda and Nathan

Today, January 29th, would have been my first born grandson, Nathan Joseph Guardian's, 18th birthday.
He lived a scant four months before passing from SIDS. He is missed in ways that cannot be put into words.
In my mind's eye, on some days, I can see the wonderful boy he would have become and now I can see the amazing young man he would be.
Please keep my daughter Meranda and my former son in law Robert, in your thoughts and prayers today.
Still and all, we are grateful for the time that God allowed. My wife and I are grateful and blessed to be his grandparents! We will love you for eternity grandson.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Happy Birthday Jack "Little Red" Guerrero

Happy Birthday to our grandson Jack "Little Red" Guerrero" (Josh & Savannah Guerrero). Today he is three years old. He's growing up!! He is a true blessing to our family, to my wife and I. He is God's gift to us. Love you pass the stars grandson!