Almost missed the balloons! UT [Sautéed Pork and Squash]

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed” [Kahlil Gibran]


The Monuments today are not so quiet. The wind is howling. It’s talk is of chapters as when the pages turned there is a halt in between a few. There is a traffic of clouds up in the skies, it is a reel with no beginning and no end, it is only a matter of eternity as one can sit in and get lost in it’s shapes and hues at any given time as intermissions do not exists. It is a strong and powerful space that surrounds us, it is however a bit as being on edge when trying to imagine and visualize the past present laying here no more today. The softness of the land gave way for the stronger soldiers given birth by Mother Earth when she mated with Sun to stand alone and apart and keep vigil on their followers. Massive in all shapes and colors, redressing throughout the days and nights, from dark to light and all in between when the Moon as now present will not let them rest.


Spirit and I are here just being. We are on a different site from the past couple of years, a bit more protected from the elements. The sand is still blowing around us however keeping a coolness in the air as being in the 80’s today. There is no Internet connection, as often I try to get away from it, it is one added reason of our calmness and more time spend savoring these moments. I have no doubt, as it is something I have been trying to come to terms with. It is just not here and we will go to town every few days to post and retrieve what is there. I keep thinking and telling myself I don’t spend much time on it, but the little that I do does take away from our time together, cooking and reading. This takes me back to the old days when there was nothing besides an old torn map and people we met. I enjoy this, and so does Spirit.


This morning I did not wake up early enough. I think my body just gave up last night trying to catch up with the past week’s excitements. I felt Spirit move around and as I opened my eyes his ears were propped up. The balloons! He was hearing as I did also by then, the balloons burning up their propane in short bursts. All this time I thought they would be here next weekend as it is always the last weekend in April. But here they were. Without even a cup of coffee I grabbed my camera and went outside as it is the most beautiful sight on an early morning when the winds are resting.

Balloons Balloons

A truck stopped by us, old Friends that remembered our presence every year and it was a treat to see them as one year had passed and the question was “how was your year?”. The calmness in the air gave me a chance to make some coffee as suddenly they were starting to drop as a slight northerly wind was picking up and one of them decided to make a landing only a few feet from us. Front row seat this year it was. Short visit. We missed the food by the time we arrived to their campsite. It was then on a ride to Mexican Hat, a ride to Bluff, not much has changed, it seems as every restaurant is up for sale and the tourists are so few from Europe’s cancelled flights.

Valley of the Gods  
Valley of the Gods  

I have felt a lot of goodness from others lately. Total strangers that have only read the words laid out on these pages. It is as doors with well oiled hinges keep opening up ahead of us as we move on these roads, some familiar and some new. The familiar ones however have become as never seen before, bringing me always to the realization of the changes taking place within me. It is the same old pair of eyes and ears, the same senses which maybe even have aged a bit more, but my hope to see this Life in a new light is it’s reason for seeing it all with colors and sights more vibrant than ever. Being on the road is by now as wearing an old pair of shoes I realize. How could I ever stand in one place too long anymore, will the time ever come I will have to? I can only hope not, as being an added reason for taking care of ourselves mentally and physically better than ever.  

Pork Dish  

Maybe the concept of “one pan” recipes need a bit more explanation than what I have so far portrayed them as such. This scenario, and all scenarios, are truly “templates” to allow a quick meal, a healthy one, with local resources, and a nice presentation. At home or on the road, the purchase of the local fare is it’s reason for being a template. Any meat available, vegetables and even fruit. This dinner was made with boneless pork chops which I diced, (always nice to only need a fork when a plate is sitting on your lap…) some squash, chopped garlic, green onions, red bell pepper, cilantro and some salt free spices that I now use as I personally watch my salt intake also replaced with lime or lemon juice, a lime in this case. The salt free spices are from “Frontier” and “Mrs Dash”. I like the “blackened creole” from “Frontier”, from “Mrs Dash” I use the “fiesta lime”, “tomato basic garlic”, also the “southwest chipotle” which is a bit on the warm side. Anyone according to taste will work. The idea is all about timing, basically what goes in first, how, and on adding sometimes all at once or one at the time the rest of the ingredients.

Pork Dish  

The pork (or chicken, beef…) will take the longest and will go in first all spiced up with the chopped garlic which will caramelize. I only stir it once or twice, and when half way cooked turn it over as it will pretty much hold together. Just as in the first photo I place in this scenario where everything else is pretty much going to cook within the same time frame, the rest of the ingredients on top and let them start warming and steaming up. Except the limes. When the meat is about three quarter done, I will then stir it all together for the finish and squeeze the lime. Vegetables don’t take long, healthier also when not totally destroyed. I always have a cup of rice cooked with water and olive oil, or potatoes cooked the same way, basically neither needing storage refrigeration. That is basically the idea behind a “one pan” cooking recipe, it’s juices poured over the rice, potatoes or even pasta for that matter, makes it a nice complete meal on the road. Enjoy…

Be well… always. 

Ara & Spirit

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Valley of the Gods  
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3 Responses to “Almost missed the balloons! UT [Sautéed Pork and Squash]”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Now you have went and done it ….I’m now hungry!!! That sure does look tasty…
    Have a great day,Ara

  2. Dangerous Dave Says:

    Ara, along with the many others, you have now given me yet another wonderful gift…Kahlil Gibran.
    How I ever missed this man and the beautiful wisdom of his writings I do not know, but thanks.

  3. Rickey Says:

    I have been keeping up with you and Spirit for about a month. I have loved the poetry of your posts.

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