Helen Hunt Jackson said it best in her poem, “October’s Bright Blue Weather.” Where better to enjoy this stimulating time of year than in Rim Country? Nowhere are the skies so blue and endless than in Arizona. Gone is the summer heat, not yet here the chill of winter. October’s air is invigorating, scented with a hint of wood smoke. The news the other morning showed pictures of snow in Flagstaff and the San Francisco Mountain peaks covered in white. It seems awfully early to be having snow — is that an indication of the coming winter?
Cooler days call for hearty meals, and the following recipe from my friend Debbie, for Green Chili Stew, fills the bill nicely. It’s simple, versatile and can be made ahead.
1 lb. lean, cubed pork browned in 1 tsp. vegetable oil.
1/2 cup (or more to taste) diced onions, add to pork when it is half browned, continue browning together until onions are golden.
Drain excess oil, add one small can green chilies and one 8-ounce can of tomato sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir together and let simmer 1/2 hour.
More chilies can be used if desired, and diced or stewed tomatoes may be substituted for tomato sauce. Serve as a filling for tortillas, over bean burritos or with rice or noodles. Makes three to four servings.
Speaking of tomatoes, I saw on the Internet recently that in England, a plant has been developed that bears tomatoes on the top and potatoes on the roots. It is called (what else?) a Tom-tato.
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
Are you looking for new activities to keep you busy during the coming winter? Consider becoming a volunteer at the Senior Center or Thrift Store, 514 and 512 W. Main St. Numerous opportunities are available. Persons are needed to deliver Meals on Wheels to the homebound. For many, the delivery volunteers are the only people they see during the day, and your visit means not only a hot meal but also a friendly face and a few moments of conversation which brightens their lives. No driving is required; volunteers (called runners) have someone to drive the route, you need only to go from the vehicle to the living quarters. Nor do you deliver every day, you are given a schedule which fits your availability.
Or perhaps you would enjoy the friendly environment at the Thrift Store where you could sort donations, stock shelves, assist cashiering and packaging purchases or many other jobs. For information about volunteering, stop in the Center Lobby from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or call (928) 474-4876.
The Senior Center Pinochle Club is seeking members to play from noon to approximately 3 p.m. two afternoons a week. This friendly group also goes out for breakfast prior to the game every six weeks or so. For information, call Len at (928) 472-9302.
Time to stock up on warm clothes? Check out the bargains at the Senior Thrift Store, open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Pine/Strawberry SCAF and Thrift Shop
Volunteers are needed to assist with Tellabration which will be held Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Senior Citizen’s Affairs building, 3916 N. Highway 87 in downtown Pine. Help is welcomed to make cookies, set up for the event, hand out fliers and more. Inquire at the Thrift Store for information.
Have a formal event coming up? Maybe going on a cruise this winter? Several very nice formals have been donated to the Thrift Shop and are extremely reasonably priced.
The door of autumn
Gold on one side
Silver on the other —
Let us pass through softly.
— Irene Stanley