October 8, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

Unfinished business:

In an earlier newsletter I wrote about Harry, who passed away
last month. We had a number of emails asking how his wife is
doing. You'll recall I said she was blinded about 5 years ago
by a rare illness.

Beth is a tremendously independent woman. She has a
caregiver that comes by and spends time with her every day and
takes care of household details she can't manage on her own...
yet. Her goal is to be as close to 100% independent as possible.
Her friends and neighbors are helping. We'll be sure she has 
plenty of firewood for the winter and the snow is cleared 
from her drive so her caregiver can get in and other things 
she might need. I think she's going to be all right. She'll 
realize the loss of Harry for a long time. Those are wounds 
only time can temper.

I asked Beth if it was OK for me to publish her PO box and
email address so she could receive notes of support and she
was fine with that, but I thought about it and I wasn't.

I don't trust the net. Too many vultures out there.

If you would like to send notes of condolence or support to
Beth, send them to The Newsletter. We'll see to it that she
gets them. If you would like to send cards or letters, mail
them to my box. Don Vanlandingham, Box 47, Cloudcroft, NM
88317. Be sure to designate on the front of the envelope
that your message is for Beth.

Other unfinished business:

When I wrote about the chile, we received emails wanting to 
know specifically how we roasted them.

Keep in mind there are a myriad of ways to do it but the way I
was taught works good.

We use an expanded metal grill we used to use for our outdoor
fireplace. Any grill-type surface will do. We prop it off the
ground (a graveled area away from combustible stuff) with
cinderblocks. We line the chile up on it like you would a
bunch of hot dogs. With the blow torch, we roast each one
individually until they are scorched. Don't over-burn them. Just
enough to change the color from green to dark brown. Using
this method, it takes about an hour to roast a bushel of chile.

The peeling process seems to work best after the roasted chile
have been frozen before peeling. It seems to loosen the outer
skin more and make them easier to peel.

Be careful with that burner. It's basically a blow-torch. Most
propane companies have them for sale (around 50 bucks). If you
point it in the wrong direction (like at your foot) it can ruin
a good boot and leave a serious mark. My best advice is to
treat it like a loaded gun. Don't point it at anything you
don't want to incinerate.

It's probably best not to roast chile this way when there are
a bunch of pets and kids around. No matter how annoying your
brother-in-law is with his own advice on how to roast chile,
don't point the burner at him.

By the way...it's "chile" and not "chili" and as near as I can
figure, "chile" is both the singular and plural of the noun.
That's according to the label on the side of the box of Hatch
chile, their web site and the foremost chile expert I know, New
Mexico State University President Emeritus Dr. Gerald Thomas,
who was a little chagrined that his son-in-law doesn't know how

to spell.


Planning on a Christmas visit to Cloudcroft? If you intend to
rent lodging, you may have already waited too long. Cloudcroft
is a small village with limited lodging. Book now. Check
Cloudcroft.com for lodging or call the Cloudcroft Chamber of
Commerce. Most facilities are booked about six months in
advance for holidays.


We have about 20,000 Cloudcroft Online Newsletter readers per 
month. Thanks to all of you for subscribing. We have had some 
that are concerned that they have stopped receiving their

If your newsletter bounces or is rejected by a spam filter,
we automatically delete you from our list. If you do not get
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newsletter and then visit Cloudcroft.com and resubscribe.

We have several subscribers that say they forward the newsletter
to their friends and relatives. That's fine, but a better idea
is to subscribe for them. Enter their email address in the box
on Cloudcroft.com and they'll receive the newsletter regularly.
It doesn't cost them anything and if they want to cancel, they
can do so easily. We don't have one of those tacky programs
that keeps the newsletter coming whether you like it or not.

We never give away email addresses and never send spam.

Don Vanlandingham

Another unseasonably wet week. 0.6 inch since Thursday (10-2).

Hi 64 at 10:35 am Monday (10-4). Low 36 at 8am Wednesday (10-6).

For the Cloudcroft weather facts anytime you want them, go to
Cloudroft.com. It's free.
The colors are near their apex. Next week (our final week of
the fall foliage picture series), we will include pictures of
other areas in the Sacramentos showing their fall colors besides
our feature shot.


The Mountain Monthly...Cloudcroft's local monthly newspaper...
reached a milestone this past week with the publication of its
200th edition. Almost 17 years of service to the Cloudcroft
Recapture the almost forgotten ambiance of the Boardinghouse!
This updated version of a log home is furnished with comfortable
country antiques, complete with wood burning stove, decks that
overlook Cloudcroft, and a cozy kitchen where an old fashioned
breakfast is served daily. All rooms have queen beds, private
baths, and lovely views. Just a half block from the "boardwalk"
shopping area. For more information, call (888) 682-3601, email
lindalc@tularosa.net, or see the link to our web site on the
Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com:




Q - What eventually happened to "Biggun"?

A - I wrote about losing one of my favorite trees on our
property a few weeks ago. After over a century, the old lady
became diseased and, for the sake of the surrounding trees (and
my house) she had to be removed. The deed was done today. Here
are some pictures.



October 8 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Haggerman. 7pm.

October 10 -- Vienna Teng in Concert. Cloud Country Party Barn,
Cloud Country Estates (Hwy 82 across from Camp Chimney Springs).
Doors open at 6pm, concert begins at 7pm. Admission $10-$15.
For more info call Scott Klienman (505) 687-2156.

October 15 -- 2nd Bi-annual Community Appreciation Party. Open
Air Pavilion in Zenith Park. 5:30pm. Pot luck buffet with music,
dancing, and lots of fun. Bring your share of the food. Water 
and tea provided by Chamber of Commerce.

October 16-17 -- High Rolls Apple Festival. 9am - 5pm. Over 
50 arts/crafts vendors, local apples and apple products, food, 
kids' stuff, and entertainment. Admission, parking, and 
ambiance are free. For further information call (505) 682-1151
or visit www.highrollsfestivals.com.

October 16 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Capitan. 2pm.

October 23 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Mescalero. 2pm.

October 29 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Carrizozo. 7pm.

November 20 -- Chamber Banquet. Lodge Pavilion. Cocktails at 
6pm, dinner 7pm. Tickets available from the Chamber office and
Chamber Board Members. 

November 27 -- Beginning of Christmas in Cloudcroft and Santa

December 4 -- ULLR-fest.

December 11 -- Pet Parade on Burro Street. Cloudcroft.

February 4, 5, 6, 7 -- Mardi Gras celebration. Cloudcroft

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month,
5:30-7pm, in the Old Red Brick School House.

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links button.


Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30 every Wednesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.
Dear Newsletter:

So, what is the secret behind great roasted chili peppers? You
can tell us - we won't tell anyone.

Sara Taylor
Granbury, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Share your details. Do you hold the little critters with tongs
in one hand and the torch in the other or exactly how did you
go about it! 

My mother pierces them with a knife, drops them in hot oil, 
they come out evenly 'ready to peel', no stubborn places where
they are creased or curved. 

This job best accomplished out of doors on a camp stove. You'd
make a terrible mess inside! You place them straight in cold
water from the hot grease to stop the cooking process. The color
is wonderful! 

But... I am interested in the torch thing! Look forward to your
letter each week. Kind of like a letter from home. I'm down in
the Valley, in Artesia, dreaming of your tall, cool pines.

M. Clark

Dear Newsletter:

I'm sitting here anxiously awaiting the 'Rest of the Story'.

I know the tools needed: 1 weed blaster - but what comes next?
Since I don't have a pair of Los Alamos nuke-proof gloves, I
won't try holding the chilis up to the flame one at a time. 

I admit to leaving my fair share of brain cells lying around
unused, but I know pain when I see it. Short of that - do we
lay them out on a solid metal surface or a slotted surface like
on a grill? My question refers to the fact that on a flat 
surface they may stick and be difficult to remove in one piece.

And is there some 'trick' to knowing when enough is enough - 
roasted chilis can be almost solid black - but so can chilis 
that are burnt to charcoal.

Any tips?

Thanks and love your newsletter.


Dear Newsletter:

I'm 100% behind you on the propane torch for chile roasting. 
You can roast chile fast and thorough without roasting it to

I've lived in the Mesilla Valley all my life and have used a
weed burner for chile roasting for over 20 years. It was out
of necessity that I discovered the weed burner technique. 

Family and friends ask me to do theirs now because it comes 
out so well. Jalapenos do well also. It also works well for 
heating branding irons.

Gary W.
Brazito, NM

Dear Newsletter:

It was nice to learn that you can now roast chili peppers with
your new propane blow torch. We now have "the ingredients" but
you forgot to let us in on the secret of "how to do it".

We visited Cloudcroft two years ago and really enjoy your 

George and Connie Dailey
Tulsa, Okla. 

Dear Newsletter:

I chuckled the whole way through your article! I could just
picture you guys at the store "debating" the pepper-roasting

Let me just say that I am also originally from the Texas Hill
Country (Kerrville - but now live in Plano, Texas) and I gotta
say we do have our own way of doing things there. My mom roasts
her chilis on her "comal" (griddle-like thing) that has been 
in the family a good 50 years. She will roast on no other
"thing". I told her about the drum-roasting way we saw there a
few weeks ago and she just gave me a firm "No, no, no" in 

So you see, I guess there is no right or wrong way to prepare
the peppers because they're just so darn good any way!
Sandra in Plain-old Plano, Texas
(Cloudcroft Wannabe) 

Dear Newsletter:

Don, as a born, raised and lived in New Mexico all my life 
native, I too am addicted to the wonders of green chili. 

I too have tried to roast, peel and freeze my own supply. This
caused burned hands both from heat and the capsicum in the
chili. I have found a wonderful place called Baca Chile in 
Mesquite, NM. They do what ever form of roasting, peeling, 
chopping, drying, grinding etc. you could ever image to these
wonderful fruits. All you do is call Jeannette and tell her
in what wonderful form you would like your chili to be in and
pick it up. 

My husband and I prefer “Joe Parker 5 packs”. This is five whole
roasted and peeled Joe Parker variety chilies frozen in quart
zip lock bags. I order 3 cases each year about this time and
pick them up already frozen and use them for the rest to the
year. After many trials and tribulations this is the best found
chilies secret in these here parts! 
I know most of you think you must do this yourself for the true
chili experience. Trust me after 30 years of doing it the hard
way; this is truly the best experience! Take it from a native 
who knows!
D'Niese Mills
Mayhill, NM 

Dear Newsletter:

My wife and I love Mexican food as well. And one of my MUST 
DO'S when in the area is Margo's in Alamogordo. I just love
their Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas. You wouldn't happen to
have any influence on obtaining the recipe would you? No one
makes it like Margo's.
Steven Fiddler
Moreno Valley, CA

Dear Newsletter:

I've fought the roasted Hatch green chilie war again THIS year,
using a Frisco, Texas grocery store roaster for my 30 pound 
bag of "hots". They turned out better than LAST year's which 
were boiled to mush...at least THIS year we finally got them
95% peeled and frozen and they are very good. 
You absolutely MUST tell us more about the "weedburner method"!
How to, how long, how hot, how blistered, how charred, how easy
to peel, ALL that stuff! Pleasepleaseplease!
Tony in Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Don, Glad to hear about your Chili Roasting Triumph. 

We are roasting chili's in Nashville with my Yankee wife and
we break down and buy a can for our turkey sandwiches every 
once in a while. 

This year the garden HYPED, kicking out the poblanos and 
jalepenos. We get HATCH canned enchilada sauce here at WILD 
OATS. We also have been saved by a man from Wichita Falls who
opened up a mesquite BB-Q restaurant. Thank GOD. This 
Tennessee BB-Q is tasteless to say the least.

Well, God bless you fine folk in southern NM. 

Peace from
Chris in Guitartown

Dear Newsletter:

Hi, I think I am ready to think about your wonderful country
now. I used to visit my sister and brother-in-law often (Paula
and Neal Bingham) and always love going into town and seeing
the friendly, wonderful people. They are always ready to give
a hug and smile. 

I truly miss seeing all of you and someday may make it to the
village again if so I will appreciate my hugs and smiles....

Sue Wallace
Odessa, Texas (as you can see why I love the forest and 
mountains. Odessa is fine if you like the end of the earth or
as Paula always called it, "the armpit of Texas").

Dear Newsletter:

Question--in one of the Geico commercials (the one that 
features the little green Gekko) there is a man plus the 
Gekko driving up a mountain road, grooving along and then 
they pass through a tunnel that looks like the one on Hwy 82
from Alamo to Cloudcroft! Does anyone know if it is the
one? Cute commercial.

Love the newsletter, even though we won't be up there as often
since we sold our summer place there. But will be back 
whenever we can!

Linda Kelley
Spicewood, TX

Dear Newsletter:

I lived in Cloudcroft from 1973 to 77 just across the street
from Ernest and Bida Rogers. Ernest always predicted the weather
with his bear fat. He said it took a while to figure out how
to use it, but I never saw him be wrong. Regretfully I did not
get enough instruction from him, on many things, before he 
passed on. 
I will be passing through Cloudcroft in just over a week and 
look forward to spending the night in the clear mountain air
and taking a few pictures of the aspens.
John E. Jacobsen
Corona de Tucson, AZ

Dear Newsletter:

I live in a small town in west Texas called Kermit It is some
3 hours from Cloudcroft. I enjoy your newsletter very much.

I work full time and have little time to go to your wonderful
place. Thanks for the pictures with the fall colors, it is a
great breath of fresh air from my otherwise crazy life. I will
be in Cloudcroft in March for a week and can't wait to just
relax and enjoy this way of life. 

Thanks for a little relaxing period that your newsletter gives

Jeanetta Bickle and Family
Kermit, Texas 

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Copyright © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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