2018 Activities Committee Chair – Mike Palma

Image result for food and fun imagesThe Village Activities Committee Chair has been vacant since the end of last season and therefore we will have no staffed Activities Committee this year. However, Mike Palma has volunteered to chair the Activities Committee for the upcoming 2018 season.

In the past, activities have been proposed and driven by our Activities Committee. We had some great times and wonderful memories.  This year we are embarking on a different path. Each member of our community can come forth with their ideas/plans for this summer’s activities.  These ideas will be reviewed covering content and to ensure they are targeted for our community, selecting those with the greatest chance for success.  Each proposed activity must include a complete description of the activity and associated cost; and if required, the names of those who will participate in that activity.  Upon acceptance by the Activities Committee Chair, a date for the activity will be set up and an announcement will be posted.  Financial assistance to cover the difference between what members pay to attend the activity and the remainder will be arranged at this time as well.  So, get your groups together and send your suggested ideas/plans to Mike Palma at wmvvactivities18@gmail.com.

What is that Smell? Your Neighbor is Grilling Something!

Image result for grilling cartoon imagesSummer in the mountains means lots of grilling and barbequing. Each year, about 600 fires/explosions occur nationally with gas grills resulting in injuries to dozens of people. Here are a few safety tips for using gas grills:

  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • Always keep propane gas containers upright.
  • If you’re using a charcoal grill, don’t burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents or campers. Charcoal should never be used indoors even if ventilation is provided.

Have a safe and flavorful grilling summer!

Riopelle Stew

jerry-and-naomi-riopelleFall might have been in the air last week, but the air is now full of winter. A light dusting of snow fell Saturday evening in the Village and you can bet everyone is dreaming about warmer meals.

I like to warm up with a nice beef stew but some of my friends steer clear of meat these days. Jerry Riopelle and his wife, Naomi, gave up eating red meat a few years ago. Naomi tells me it was for environmental reasons more than anything. They still like it, they just don’t eat it. When the Riopelle’s come for dinner, I cook chicken or fish. Last winter I created a chicken stew and named it after them. I want to share the recipe with Village residents and tell you about one of the ingredients.

Amy Valdés Schwemm is the owner of a company called Mano y Matate. I met her when I took her class on Mexican mole sauces at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix a few years ago. Making mole is an all-day process, two if you count gathering all the ingredients before you start. I learned that day in class that I could buy mole powder made by Amy and enjoy the delicious flavors anytime with no effort on my part. The problem for me is that Mano y Matate is in Tucson and the only way I can get it is to order it online. However, once a year Amy comes to the Chiles & Chocolate Festival at Desert Botanical Garden. This year the festival is November 11 -13. I plan to attend and stock up on Amy’s mole powder.

Riopelle Stew

Serves 6

1 pound onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 pounds whole boneless chicken breasts cut into bit sized pieces

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

8 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tin Mole Dulce (from Mano y Matate)

8 cups chicken broth

4 plum tomatoes, chopped

2 cups fresh corn kernels including the pulp scraped from the cobs of about 3 ears of corn

2 tablespoons Vermouth

½ cup half and half

¾ cup thinly sliced scallions

In large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions with salt and pepper and cook until soft and caramelized. Remove to bowl and melt remaining butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan. Add mushrooms with salt and pepper and cook until soft and brown. Remove to bowl with onions and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan. Add chicken pieces seasoned with salt and pepper and brown. This can be made one day ahead to this point. Everything can be refrigerated together in a covered container.

In large Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add Mole Dulce and sauté for 2 minutes. Add plum tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, vegetables and corn. Simmer gently for 45 minutes. Add Vermouth, half and half and green onions and heat through. Serve in large bowls with rosemary focaccia.