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Powder magazine is sponsoring a throwdown of Ski Towns and we need your vote! New Mexico is currently up against Montana and the two are neck and neck. We need your vote tonight by 10:00 pm EST to advance to the next round.
To vote for Taos Ski Valley and other New Mexican ski resorts using facebook, click here.
From Splurge Taos.
Check it out. A limited number of these certificates, so act now!
The editors of Forbes magazine “leafed” through the top fall foliage destinations to come up with 10 that they think are worth a look. Making the list was our own Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway; an 85-mile loop through the Southwest’s mountains, valleys and national forests that are currently covered in gorgeous fall foliage:
It’s not your run-of-the-mill autumn scene, but a trip on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway will change your perspective of what fall foliage looks like. Aspen trees explode in bold yellows; cottonwoods transform into gold and red; and purple cinquefoil adds a little flavor. September and October are the best months to roam this 85-mile trail around Taos, Red River and Eagle Nest, and the valleys, mountains and mesas make this the quintessential Southwestern drive.
I happened to take a leisurely Sunday drive today and snapped a few pictures of Taos Ski Valley’s autumn in all its glory (click on the pictures to enlarge). It’s no wonder so many folks drive up here to experience this heaven on earth. I have to say, until recently, autumn had been my least favorite season. But moving here can change a man’s mind. Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar explains why fall has never been about death and dying, but the highest time of living!
Merry Autumn by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Such principles are most absurd,—
I care not who first taught ‘em;
There’s nothing known to beast or bird
To make a solemn autumn.
In solemn times, when grief holds sway
With countenance distressing,
You’ll note the more of black and gray
Will then be used in dressing.
The seed burs all with laughter crack
On featherweed and jimson;
And leaves that should be dressed in black
Are all decked out in crimson.
A butterfly goes winging by;
A singing bird comes after;
And Nature, all from earth to sky,
Is bubbling o’er with laughter.
The earth is just so full of fun
It really can’t contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.
Don’t talk to me of solemn days
In autumn’s time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.
Why, it’s the climax of the year,—
The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
Just melts into thanksgiving.
Jennie Iverson has just published her first cookbook, Ski Town Soups: Signature Soups from World Class Ski Resorts. I’m pleased that Taos Ski Valley is represented in this beautiful book — The Blonde Bear Tavern contributed two recipes, and The Bavarian shared the recipe for its famous Bavarian goulash (featured on the book’s cover).
Jennie is a wife and a mother of two boys; she tells how her family savors days on the mountain. Not only does she love the snow, but she has a general adoration of winter. She’s enthusiastic about making soups, stews and chilies in cold weather, and relishes a cup or bowl in front of the fire with her family.
Over the past three years she embarked on a journey to hunt down the best soups as she traveled to Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Whitefish Mountain., Big Sky, Moonlight Basin, Heavenly, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Park City, Vail, and Beaver Creek. What grew from these travel experiences was what she describes as a perfectly balanced recipe for life: a ski town, a comfortable restaurant, and a yummy bowl of soup. As she likes to say: “Although soup is typically meant to simmer, life is meant to boil!”
The Ski Town Soups cookbook is a must-have souvenir for skiers and foodies alike. The book is a beautiful, colorful rendition of 60 North American ski resorts, restaurant dining rooms, renowned chefs, and over 100 unique soup recipes with ultimate regional flare.
I’ve had a chance to preview this cookbook before it’s available to the public and I’m happy to recommend it to anyone who loves soups, chowders, bisques, and chilies. The recipes are conveniently categorized in these sections. Each recipe is rated with a “difficulty level” from “easiest” to “most difficult”. The recipes were shared by some of the best chefs in North America’s mountain resorts and features beautiful photographs not only of the delicious dishes, but of the continent’s most beautiful mountain getaways.
The book’s foreword is provided by Kelly Liken, who, along with her husband, owns Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, Colorado. She begins by saying, “It has been said that the mark of a great chef can be found in their creation of a great soup.”
Oktoberfrest is a 16-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It runs from late September to the first weekend in October. Oktoberfest is one of Germany’s most famous events and is considered the world’s largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. Countless communities across the world also celebrate this beer festival, and Taos Ski Valley is no exception! Our celebration is Saturday, September 15th.
History of Oktoberfest
Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became King, married Princess Terese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. Everyone in Munich was invited to the festivities held on the fields at the city gates. The fields were named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s Meadow”) in honor of the Princess. The locals refer to the field as Wies’n.
Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the event’s closing that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.
Two Classic Dishes
Along with the ubiquitous bratwurst, pretzels, and (of course) beer, there are two other dishes that abound during Oktoberfest season: Obatzda (cheese and beer dip on rye bread) and Datschi (fruit-topped cake).
I turned to The Blonde Bear Tavern’s Consulting Chef, Andreas Dirnagl, for these classic recipes (klassischen Rezepten). Andreas’s parents (pictured above) are Bavarian natives, who moved to the United States shortly after their 1957 marriage.
Chef Andreas gives us background:
A Bavarian specialty in the beer gardens, Obatzda is really more of a spread than a dip. Use a good hearty rye or dark bread (sliced works best). Place a slice of bread on a plate with a scoop of the spread on top. Garnish with onion, chive, and paprika. You can also serve radishes with salt and butter on the side. Yum!
Note: For a more authentic texture, set aside about 1/3 of the Camembert in a small dice and then fold it into the finished product. You may also use a bit of the rind.
Datschi (pronounced dah-chi) is a Bavarian word that means any of a variety of fruit-topped cake. Again, Chef Andreas gives us background:
Commonality is that the dough is pressed into a straight sided pan (Datschi comes from the verb detschen, which means “to smoosh”). There is no rim built up on the edges of the dough, and it is topped with some form of fresh fruit. Streusel topping is optional. The dessert is served simply on a small plate, usually topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
These cakes are a mainstay of every Bavarian bakery and major open air festival, as they can be made in big sheets. Fruit topping is variable, although plum is the most common. If you want authenticity, you need Italian plums. Remember in baking – if it eats sour, it bakes sweet and vice versa. Italian plums look kind of like plum tomatoes (as opposed to regular plums, which are round) and are quite sour if you eat them raw. When you bake them they become sweet / sour.
This recipe is from my mom, Inge, and is quite common in the Bavarian neighborhood where she grew up:
For the Cake
For the Optional Streusel
For optional streusel:
If using apples, use a tart variety. Peel, core, and slice into about 1/2″ wedges. You can also use about a 1/4 inch layer of apricot or raspberry jam or jelly if you have no fruit on hand. If using jam or jelly topping, then streusel is no longer optional – rather double the streusel recipe and completely cover the jam/ jelly topping with streusel before baking.
Oktoberfest at Taos Ski Valley
This year looks to be the biggest and best Oktoberfest in Taos Ski Valley. And it’s FREE fun for all ages.
The day will feature an authentic Schuplatter band and dancers, German beer and food, activities for kids, Brat eating contest, Yodeling contest, Alpenhorn blowing contests, and more.
Our Village stores will be offering pre-season blowout prices on ski gear and sporting apparel.
*A Note about the Black and White Photo Above:
At my request, Andreas sent me an Oktoberfest picture with his mom (whose Datschi recipe she graciously shared) and dad (who is now deceased). He sent the following accompanying message, which I think bears repeating:
The year was 1957 and Mom was 28. This is Oktoberfest as it used to be. Mom is on the left with my dad immediately behind her. They would have been married all of 4 months at this point. Behind my dad is my grandfather (mom’s dad). The woman on the right is my Aunt Maria and the man with his arm around her shoulder is her husband, my Uncle Siegried (my dad’s brother). The other man is a stranger who photo bombed the picture.
Mom says that she and my Aunt went for a walk to see the sights at Oktoberfest and the men stayed back in the tent to save the seats. By the time they got back, the men were ripped and as she passed by to sit down my uncle grabbed her beret and wore it for the picture.