Newsletter February 2017
Happy New Year Everyone.
Taking time to reflect upon the year gone by takes on a greater weight as I accumulate more years. This is my 70th! Last year we spent time in Germany, Switzerland and England visiting friends. It was a wonderful experience bringing with it memories of a simpler time that has slipped into our history books. Was it better? Was it happier? Well I will leave you all with that to ponder upon those often asked questions.
I have to say that standing in the garden on Church Road in Billingham , England where I spent the first 11 years of my life I was overwhelmed by fond memories of gardening with my Dad, tending to the chickens, harvesting the vegetables we grew. I had not been back to that house in many years so it was quite an experience. Visiting the local butcher shop that is still open that was next door to my Dad’s office. Sowerby and Sons. The grandson now running it so many years later. The same white tiled walls. Metal meat rails and hooks still firmly embedded in the ceiling of the building. He still makes the bacon and sausage himself. I bought some and took it back to my friend’s home in Middlesbrough where we had a delicious English breakfast. That holiday was all about visiting friends. My school friends in Newton Aycliffe to my chef friend and his family in Bern, Switzerland. It was a very special visit, great times spent and many memorable meals. Yes even in the North of England where you can now find delicious food. One memorable day we spent driving over the Yorkshire Moors to the coast so we could spend the day in Whitby and have fish and chips for lunch overlooking one of the few small fishing fleets of boats that go out into the North Sea each and every day to bring in fresh fish. It was delicious. In Switzerland where I trained as a young chef in the 60s with my friend Res we spent time walking and relaxing in
Born by the river. Res and I worked at the Schwiezerhof in Bern. Another day on Lake Biel. There we walked around St. Peters Island after a ride on the boat and ate lunch at the Klosters Hotel that was once a Monastery. Such a magical place with wonderful food and the company of very special friends.
Now back to this magical place we call home – Winslow Arizona. Well after all that is what life is all about when all is said and done. Family and friends. Our thanks go out to all of you that have continued to support us here in Winslow for the past 16 years. Our years here have been filled with wonderful memories and we have made many friends along the way. Last year was once again busy full of special moments. Our lives and business seem to be “far from the madding crowd” that seems to have taken hold of this great country. We are all effected by the happenings around the world even though I do feel at times that in Winslow we are so far away from it all. Still we are blessed by so many visitors from all over the world that are drawn to this remote high country destination. Life in the high desert, winds howling across the desolate landscape, sunsets that define the magnificence of nature’s ability to be able to amaze you and startle you at every vista just when you think you have seen the best another one is set before you. It’s an amazing place. The mountains above Flagstaff are covered with 10 feet of snow so far and more is expected. We have had a nice amount of rain but sadly not really any significant snowfall. We still have time for more storms so hopefully we will have more rain and snow in the weeks ahead. I know the hard working farmers that grace our tables with their bounty will be happy. We had a nice crop of apples, peppers and herbs from the gardens of La Posada this year. Our quince trees did not provide us with fruit due to a late frost. Hopefully we will have better luck this year.
The Churro Project continues to make significant progress as we reached national distribution through Heritage Foods USA. For those of you all across the country you can go on line and order some Churro lamb and have it shipped to your home. They also have many other meat options, all from Heritage Breeds. Last year I served “Red Wattle” pork and it was amazing. In fact it produced so much fat that I rendered all of the lard I could we are now making wild chile tamales using this lard. For those of you closer to Winslow or coming this way I do have a few Churros that have been processed and boxed by the whole animal. So each box is a little under 30 lbs and the cost is $9.50 per pound. I can at times deliver this in the great Phoenix area so just email me at email@example.com so we can arrange pick up. All boxes contain all cuts wrapped and labelled. Neck bones, arm chops, rib chops, loin chops, boneless legs and shoulders, tied. Shanks left whole and ribs trimmed as Denver ribs. Trim is ground into one pound packets and bones are cut up and bagged. The flocks are growing so even with the 30 head of sheep going to Heritage my supply is now more than I can use each year. Last year I bought 136 head of sheep. When we started this project I was happy to buy 4! So let me know if any of you are interested.
As to the year ahead. My special Valentines Menu starts this Friday February 10th and runs every night through the 14th. The menus are just like our regular menu with some special dishes to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Offering roast Arizona raised filet mignon of beef with Lobster tail. Lobster Raviolis. Fresh Swordfish. Churro Lamb Shanks “Chicos” braised with McClendon’s smoked and dried sweet corn. Crispy fried Oysters with Chorizo and corn salsa. This is also an amazing time of the year to enjoy the bounty that is from Bob McClendon and his team down in Peoria. Asparagus, Cheddar, purple and the pale green Romanesco cauliflowers. All
the salad greens and herbs. Meyer Lemons and Blood oranges. All of these items are now on our menus each and every day.
As to the year ahead, well I cannot predict what it will bring. I can only assure you that Chef Angel, Chef Jesus, Chef John and the crew will be here doing our best every day to make sure you have a wonderful meal while visiting us. Johnny, Tanita and Dennis along with all of the front of the house staff will be there to serve you and make sure your visit is a memorable one.
The next special menus will be for Easter Weekend on April 16th and Mother’s Day on May 14th. For each of these holiday weekends we serve the same menu starting on the Friday night and running through the Sunday night. This way our local families that have to work the railroad on Sundays can always celebrate on another day.
With all of that in mind we will wish you all safe and exciting travels this year. May they be filled with blessed memories of moments and friends that together never fail to enrich our life experience. We are as always forever humbled and grateful for your support. I am reminded of what Winston once said.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill.
You have all given us so much.
John and Patricia