Lobos Alumni Enjoy the Heat

by

Craig Herrera:
Craig HerreraHeat from the “Land Of Enchantment” in our Bay Area… heat on my tongue anyway!  Do you have any comfort foods that remind you of a special time in your life, maybe your childhood?  For me, one type of comfort food is green chile from Hatch, New Mexico, specifically the smell of roasting green chile.  Once I smell that chile roasting I eagerly anticipate that spicy flavor on my tongue! If you’ve ever been to New Mexico and had southwestern cuisine, you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, what are you waiting for, you’ll have to try it sometime!  🙂

I recently joined about 50 people, most of them fellow alumni from the University of New Mexico (UNM), for a great green chile roast in Briones Regional Park.  That fresh scent of green chile being roasted in a steel drum filled the hills and it was like a bit of New Mexico in the Bay Area.  It was a beautiful day and we had so much great food to share while roasting our chile and sporting UNM Lobo Polo’s and t-shirts in our cherry and silver school colors.  It’s an annual event hosted by the UNM NorCal Alumni Chapter which has members spread all over the Bay Area and Northern California.   We had fun, ate great food and raised money to help fund scholarships for local students who attend UNM in Albuquerque, NM.

This was the third year I attended and every year the gathering grows in Alumni attendance.  This year I ran into a friend I had not seen since 1995, I met a woman who grew up a few miles from my hometown of Pojoaque and I made a lot of new friends.  And our chile orders are getting heavier too!  In all, we ordered more than 700 pounds of green chile which was sent to us from Hatch, New Mexico.    I roasted 50 pounds myself, 30 pounds for me, and 20 pounds for some friends who could not attend the picnic.  It’s like green gold for anyone who has sampled the flavorful pepper.  My freezer is now stuffed with that green gold and by this time next year that will all be gone!

I love to eat that green chili in the cooler months with chicken soup, or on my eggs in the morning or maybe on my chicken for dinner.  I’m no chef, but I can make a mean green chile chicken enchilada!  And if I ever feel a cold or a bug coming on, I just have some green chile on toast or in my stew and I feel so much better instantly.  Aside from the spicy kick I get when eating the chile, it has a lot of vitamin-C.  Maybe that is why I think of it as a comfort food, it reminds me of staying home sick and my mom making green chile stew for me.  Thanks mom!

It’s so much fun to be a part of this annual event with so many fellow Lobo Alumni!  And for me it’s a piece of my upbringing, my history, in my home… the Bay Area!  Que Bueno!  🙂

Craig Herrera
NBC Bay Area WeatherPlus Meteorologist

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