News and Events
Summer Monsoons inspire Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Rain clouds come floating in, not to muddy my days ahead, but to make me calm, happy and hopeful. Rajuda.
August in Arizona and I am writing Thanksgiving and Christmas menus while we all melt in the heat of summer, praying for the every elusive “Monsoon” rains! I always find this a strange use of the word as I associate it with the stories I read as a child in reference to India and the Far East. Rudyard Kipling being one of my favorites.
So now I live in the high desert of Arizona, not the foothills of the Himalayas. No shade from the Bodhi Tree! We do have the Cottonwoods. I am reminded of what Kipling wrote “Gardens are not made by singing; “Oh, how beautiful, and sitting in the shade.” My garden is not that great, my excuse is not enough time to tend to it. Gardening here is a great challenge to mankind in Arizona. It is therefore with gratitude and humility that I thank and praise those that grow such amazing fruits and vegetables. It all started here with corn, peppers, beans and squash but that is not where it ended. It goes on and on each year regardless of what Mother Nature throws at the farmer. They keep planting and then go back for harvesting. No matter the weather, the insects, the rabbits or the deer they still keep planting. And let’s face it, what would I do without them? It has been a really hard year so far with intermittent rain and some very hot weather. Every year it gets hotter!
The last letter I wrote about the trains so here is some more news. The hotel has now acquired a rail car #52 from the 1950s and it is now parked on the spur line at the end of the platform adjacent to what will one day be a museum and art galleries. It is one of the first observation cars with a dome roof so it’s quite interesting. It also has a recreated private dining area called The Turquoise Room! Once it has been fully restored it will be there for all to see and enjoy. You will have to enquire with the hotel as to how and when this will happen. I think there is more information on line at the hotels web site or the Winslow Art Trust.
As we approach the holidays I am also reminded of our Winslow Anniversary on October 10th. It will be our 16th year here.
Every year I look back and reflect on the progress we have made. It is so easy of forget those first few years when Patricia tended bar and ran the door. I cooked at all meal periods. Never to set foot in the front at all for the first few years. Elated and petrified by returning guests as more and more arrived. Knowing only too well that we did not have enough staff. Setting up buffets for the holidays only to be overrun and pushed to the max. Those were long and arduous days made bearable by the gratitude shown by so many of you. Returning time and time again. We have so much to be grateful for. Thank you all for your loyalty and understanding. So as I look to next year, I am always thinking about staffing and will the guests return? It seems we always survive and even thrive in spite of such challenges. So it is onward and upward into another year.
Our world seems so full of turmoil and violence. The news is thrown into our eyes like a tornado of information. Swirling around us, engulfing us with its power only to leave and let us try to sort out the result of it all. At times I reach back to the simpler days of my childhood in Northern England. The summer nights after school I spent in the garden with my Dad as we tended to the vegetables and the flowers. While we had to grow food my Dad loved his Dahlias and chrysanthemums. We did have roses but the former were his favorites. I can still smell those nights and hear the sounds. It was truly a magical time. I could not have wished for a better childhood. We had no TV for many years so the news arrived slowly in the newspaper or on the radio. Needless to say our world was small and seemingly unaffected by the going on around the world. There was much turmoil in those days as there are now, however it was not quite so obvious.
Back to the simple, peaceful life of running a restaurant in Winslow AZ.
And also the running of the sheep! Well not exactly. This is a landmark year for the Churro Lamb Project. In the spring of this year I made a number of lambs available to Heritage Foods USA. Heritage sells only heritage breeds to restaurants and the public. It was so successful that they are taking
another 20 lambs late this September for the holidays. So if you wish to buy small cuts they will be available at www.heritagefoodsusa.com. They supply some of the finest restaurants in America as well as you.
This has been the first time this very rare breed has been available nationwide via a national distributor. True progress. I will have some Navajo Churro lambs also available in late September. They were raised by Irene Bennally of Two Grey Hills. As usual these will be whole cut carcasses only. They can be picked up in Winslow; however as some of you know I will deliver in the Phoenix area. If you wish to buy cuts only then please go to Heritage Foods USA and they will be happy to ship them to you. All of these lambs are processed by Sunnyside Meats of Durango, Colorado. They do an amazing job of cutting and packaging the meat. All is USDA inspected.
Lamb, pork, turkeys and geese. All heritage breeds along with the wonderful turkeys raised by Frank Reese of the Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch in Kansas. I will also have all natural turkeys raised here in Arizona by Byrnie Florea down in the Chino Valley. All will be on the menu over the Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Christmas is over the weekend so we will be serving the special Christmas Menu all three days. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
New Year’s Eve will be the regular menu with some nice specials. As is the tradition here all holidays are just like our regular days with an a la carte menu. So you can order and eat as much or as little as you wish. Many vegetarian and vegan options available also. All menus are now on line for your perusal. I will write another letter towards the end of October updating the end of summer happenings. Till then, safe travels, may we see you in Winslow where life on the edge is just another day in paradise!
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with sliver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. Langston Hughes.