In Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk, with family. 

One of the first things the kids asked was if I would make Mexican food, so it was off to Food Lion for tortillas, queso, chicken, chicken broth, beans, and lots of spices and salsa. Soon the enchiladas were in the oven. A little while after that, the dining area was filled with satisfied diners. Lots of leftover chicken, so tomorrow we’ll pick up some BBQ sauce and have pulled chicken!

I’m so glad I know how to make Mexican food – the real way. I don’t do it much anymore, partly because it’s a lot of work and partly because it’s a lot of calories. Not good for a woman trying to lose weight.

But we had our Mexican meal, and today I went out with my sister and one of my nieces, and where did we end up? Why, a Mexican restaurant, of course.

My sister and I decided to split a quesadilla. It was crab, queso, and pico de gallo (fresh, uncooked salsa). It was outrageously good, and I wondered why I’d never done it before. I will now, for sure.

This place even had real Mexican Coka Cola! Mexican Coke is still made with sugar, not corn syrup, so it tastes like the Coke I drank as a child. Except I drank Pepsi, my mother’s preference. 

Whichever it is you drank fifty years ago, the Mexican Coke tastes just like it. There is no sugar content difference between sugar and corn syrup, but my taste buds know the difference.

A few years ago I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. I had no idea that cattle have been “reprogramed” to eat corn products. Cows are grass eaters. But feedlots here give the poor animals corn products. It’s cheap and keeps the corn farmers in business. People around this world are starving, but we turn corn into cattle feed so we here can have beef.

Pollan’s book is pretty amazing – and pretty scary. I highly recommend it.

Beef today doesn’t taste like the beef of our childhood. Sort of like Coke doesn’t. Both are now made with corn, and that alters the taste.

I rarely buy meat anymore. But when I do, I spend the money and buy the good stuff – range fed. There are a few cattlemen in Cochise County who still graze their cattle. It costs more because they actually have to keep their pasture free of mesquite, they have to plant grasses, they have to water the grasses, and they havemto either raise or buy alfalfa. But their cattle live well, and when they turn into steak, they taste great.

Here on the coast, though, it’s all about fish. Of course there are steak places, but mostly it’s fish and more fish. And I am not complaining!

In addition to fish, right now this area of the coast is all about smoke. Smoke from a few fires. Nearby, southeast of Nags Head, there is a fire in a bog. It’s burning five or six feet underground and there’s no way to put it out. It will burn and burn until here is a good rain, and the people here are hoping for rain just like Arizonans are.

The difference, of course, is that there will likely be a good rain here far before there’s one in Arizona.

North Carolina is in drought. People here are shocked and horrified that they actually have to put some water on their gardens. Fireworks shows are being cancelled, and fires on the beach aren’t allowed. 

But drought is so relative. Grass, unwatered, is still green. Rivers and creeks are running. The folks here have no idea what drought means in Arizona.

Our yards are parched and yellow. The San Pedro runs about a foot wide and less than a foot deep. Creeks don’t remember what water is. There hasn’t been a quarter inch of rain in our area since September. 

An update. There was a little rain last night. Mostly there was thunder, and wonderful lightning over the ocean. What a delight! And this morning, it is cool; the ground it wet. The weather report says humidity should hang out around 80% today. The weather report in my part of the world says the humidity has shot up now to about 35%. There are clouds! Could it be we will have rain soon?

I leave in a few hours for Raleigh and the airport.

Still haven’t see a dolphin.

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