Closure

On January 26th, the small town of Colfax lost part of its soul. A perennial favorite of the locals and hungry travelers on I-80 for seven years, Cafe Luna closed its doors for the last time.

It was the sopas with carnitas that hooked me. The very first time I ate at the cafe in 2015, it was located on Depot Street, in a hole in the wall. Well…an even smaller hole in the wall. Mario’s music was playing, Lauren was still nursing Lola, the vibe was super cool and casual, the food was great. What more could a customer want? For those of us who were regulars, it was as comfortable as hanging out at a friend’s house. We got excited when the back of the building was opened up for more seating options – (yay!); we counted the days as Lauren waddled around, working right up to her due date with Mael, who then became the town baby; we watched in dismay as the news of their separation and divorce ultimately became public knowledge.

But life goes on, and Mario continued the business, experimenting with different ideas. Some of them were hits, some were misses. He was just about to re-open the back after a massive redo to what was surely going to be a hit when he discovered his lease wasn’t being renewed.

Moving, no matter how well planned, is generally a messy endeavor. Locating another site for your business can be tiresome, very expensive and usually requires lots of time. The new owner of the building, for whatever personal or business reasons, gave Mario three months to vacate; Mario chose to end it after one month.

The last business day, Saturday, I ordered a favorite of mine. I would have liked to order the whole menu so I could make the savory goodness last…but it wouldn’t have. The food was always made with fresh ingredients and wouldn’t have kept well. Instead, I ate it slowly, trying to remember the textures, tastes and smell.

Monday rolled around and I was back at the cafe with my camera to take pics for Mario on a different project, so I snapped a few while there of the progress being made. All the little knick-knacks that made the place so homey were packed up, the walls were uncharacteristically bare, and an empty McDonald’s bag sat on a table, a telling sight in this room. The cooler that normally held the drinks and salsa and other condiments was turned off, no happy music came from the kitchen where Mario normally spent his work day. It was, after all, just a place with four walls, a roof and a floor.

I have asked Mario several times if he plans to continue looking for another local site. His response is general and vague, and he assures me if something good comes up, he’ll pursue it, but for now, he’ll be working at Dine ‘n Dash.

So ends that chapter of Cafe Luna on 38 N. Main Street. We will miss you.

Advertisements

Bar Knitting

You don’t have to drink to enjoy the view.

As many of you may already know, I have a local crafts Facebook group called “Colfax Stitch ‘n Bitch”.  In an attempt to increase participation, I added another meeting day to include the people who couldn’t manage Thursday evenings.  Sunday afternoons seemed a good thing.  I also wanted to change up the venue a bit and set up a poll with possible sites and threw in a red herring.  With my sense of humor being what it is, that was a given.  The red herring?  A local bar called The Red Frog that boasts the best mountain view that I’ve ever seen.  I haven’t been to that many bars, much less those that feature views, so, take my word for it.  It’s beautiful.  The Red Frog was chosen, so I posted it was, and quite a few people were excited about the event. There were some members who declined because it was a bar; I get it.  Otherwise, I thought I’d see a few new faces.

I like taking my bowl with me!

I showed up on time, made my way back to the patio and was surprised to see how busy it was.  In general.  The patio part of the bar is just that – open to the elements.  With only a roof, there’s no heating, no air conditioning.  You deal with what nature gives you.  It was 95 degrees F that day.  With the shade and a little breeze it was tolerable enough.  I saw the one remaining table available and I grabbed it up.

And there I sat for 30 minutes, knitting and drinking my virgin mango margarita.  It was delicious.  I expected someone to say something to me. A lively bar is not where you’d expect to find a middle-aged woman knitting, but all I got were some second glances and everyone went about their drinking and/or eating.  When a spot cleared up at the open viewing area, I quickly gathered up my gear, switched seats and continued to nurse my drink.

All-in-all, it wasn’t a bad time.  I rather liked it and intend to return either alone or with more people.  As for my group, I called them all wimps!  I may not have a group much longer….

One of My Favorites

It’s been awhile since I’ve made an entry, because I have been so frustrated with my little “fan art” project, not even a third of the way through.  I was just going to make three beanies with a design.  That was it; however, I have tried two separate methods to achieve the

No way was I continuing with this method!

Removing the stitching

look I want, and have failed miserably!  I tried intarsia in the the round. The method used a modified short rows hook up, and you actually went back and forth. Not good.  The site of the join was lumpy, bumpy and quite easy to see.  I went to my LYS where I was told to use duplicate stitch instead.  So I tried the duplicate stitch which, apparently, I’m not that good at.  Stitching on fabric knitted with fingering weight yarn is beyond what my eyes want to do anymore, even with reading glasses!  The hat itself is fine.  The pattern that I attempted to duplicate stitch over the fabric, not so good.  As you can see, I am in the process of recycling the hat itself and someone (my husband) will get a nice, bright red toque.

This one worked!

That was actually the first time I’d worked with fingering weight yarn for something other than a pair of socks, and the process took way longer than I thought it would.  So, learning from this disaster, I changed the design, and employed worsted weight yarn.  The results?  Not as fancy as I would have liked, but at least it was completed, and I can carry on with my life!  Will I try fingering weight yarn again?  You bet.  Will I try the same design again?  Yes, because it was supposed to be correct.  Will I post it?  Eh.  Maybe.

If anyone out there has successfully created designs with duplicate stitching on fingering weight yarn fabric, please let me know what your secret is!

Now, on to one of my favorite subjects – food!  The title of this blog is referring to the food, not the knit fails!  I thought I would share this with you, as it is a good all around pork recipe that can be incorporated into many other foods, and is not seasonal, even though it’s cooked in a crockpot.  I originally posted this on Cafe Luna’s blog to see if I could get some other fab recipes from locals here in Colfax using Mario’s salsa.  So far, I’ve been the only one.  Maybe that will change?  For those of you not fortunate enough to live in the area, substitute your favorite green salsa in lieu of Mario’s blend.  You guys have any good recipes that uses salsa?  Post it here!

Glenda’s Gringo Slow Cooker Pork Chile Verde

2 lbs. pork, preferably a little fatty, cut into one-inch cubes

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pint Tenderfoot Salsa Verde

flour for coating

salt and pepper to taste

cooking oil

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high, then add onion and cook until almost transparent; add the garlic.  Cook another minute, careful not to burn the garlic.  Remove the onions and garlic from the skillet and put into your slow cooker.  Add more oil, if necessary; should cover the bottom of the pan.  Coat the pork in salted and peppered flour and brown the meat in two separate batches.  You’re not trying to cook the meat at this point, you’re just caramelizing the proteins to give the verde a richer flavor.  Mix all ingredients together in your slow cooker and pour the Tenderfoot Salsa Verde over the mix.  Remember, the slow cooking will render out meat juices, so you may not want to use the whole pint.  That’s up to you.  Anyway, cook on slow for 6 – 7 hours, high for 3 – 4 hours.  Makes a nice meal with leftovers!

The original posted here – https://cafelunacolfax.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/salsa-recipes/

If you want rice to go with, here is a recipe of mine:

https://nittinninja.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/chile-rellenos-casserole-and-green-rice/   –  Scroll all the way down for the green rice recipe.  It’s worth it!

 

Making My Own Job

I know that a lot of you spend a significant amount of time online, mostly checking on your social media. I mean, who doesn’t like to spend hours on Pinterest, getting new ideas for your next big project, after you purchased all the goods needed for the last big project, which you haven’t started yet, before going back on Pinterest and discover new ideas for that next big project!  Uh, wait – Am I the only one who does this?

With the onset of cooler weather, business at the cannabis clinic has slowed down, so I’ve been able to spend even that much more time online, and it’s driving me crazy!  So with that in mind, I approached the owners of my favorite Mexican eatery, Cafe Luna, and asked if we could do a trade in kind.  As their Facebook page was seriously neglected, I offered to do their social media in exchange for their wonderful food….and they accepted!  It’s been a whole week, and I think I’ve upped their game.  I’ve also had two free meals there %-D.   One happy camper here.  Seriously, if you’re in the NorCal area, you need to check this out.  Wonderful, excellent food.  But don’t take my word for it; check them out on Yelp!, the reviews on their FB page and Trip Advisor

Cuddly Colfax Bear Hooded Cowl

1546176_737553206329839_7123790170351236806_nHey everybody!  As I sit here in my home, sipping a lovely butterscotch latte, I’m feeling quite magnanimous.  Also, I figured since it’s been over a month since I posted any freebie patterns, that it’s about time.  I am especially endeared to this pattern as I was inspired by local surroundings.  I feel fortunate to live in the great state of California, and really lucky that I am a native.  I also understand that many of you who live elsewhere have a dim view of my beloved home based on the reports of others, or you had a bad experience yourself (just to remind you, those happen everywhere).  I currently reside in the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountain range, where bears, mountain lions, deer, raccoon, foxes, coyotes, etc., roam free.  I know they’re in our neighborhood because they leave little “gifts” in the most conspicuous places, but I don’t really mind because I love being here.  Besides, I’m already picking up after my dogs and cats, what’s a little wildlife scat going to hurt?

Anyway, after all that, here’s a link to the pattern and for those of you who don’t crochet or just don’t want to be bothered I have included a link to my online shop, as usual.  I also keep all my patterns and some others I find online on my Crafting Links tab, where it’s broken down into Knit and Crochet patterns.  If you just click the tab with choosing from the drop down menu, there is a form where you can upload your own pattern.  Enjoy!

Pattern

Etsy