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Luncheon at a Hacienda, Part One

Are you bored with me telling you how lucky I am? Well, here it comes again. I have friends who live in an actual hacienda. I met them through my oft-mentioned hero, Ruth Alegria. You'll be hearing more about the friends in the near future as they're the ones helping me to import the rare beans from small farmers in Mexico. But today, I wanted to share with you one of those meals that stays with you for a lifetime. You take an excellent cook, an unbelievably romantic location and a hungry stomach and you end up with a lifetime memory of a meal that just won't quit. Coming up the road to the hacienda, you wonder if it's for real or a movie set left over from Emilio Fernandez. It's the real thing! Mex-aug-2008-102 Mex-aug-2008-115 I can't tell you the glee I felt when I saw the table set for the meal. Can't you just tell that good things are on their way? Mex-aug-2008-152 Mex-aug-2008-175 Locally foraged and pickled mushrooms: Mex-aug-2008-196 Mex-aug-2008-216 To start things off, a molote! Filled with beans and chile sauce before being slow-roasted on a comal. These are little bits of heaven. Molotes Here, served with a delicious cactus paddle salad. I could have lived on these two things and been a happy fellow: Mex-aug-2008-213 The view from the table, in case you forgot for a minute you were in a hacienda: Hacienda-2008-248 A fiery salsa I believe made from tomatillos and deArbol chiles: Mex-aug-2008-218 I would like to tell you that I was pleasant company and witty and bright and my Spanish was like singing but I think I was a broken record, going on and on about all the wonderful food. There may have been drooling involved, but I don't think you can blame me. To be continued....

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