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January 16, 2024

Comforts of Home

I get a lot of comments about my license plates. When New Mexico released its new Chile Capital of the World design years ago, it made me want to buy a new car just to get the new plates! The striking design features a black background, bold yellow contrasting letters, our beloved red and green chile peppers, and the proud statement “Chile Capital of the World”. (A side note, our license plates also have the clarification, “New Mexico, USA” just in case anyone gets confused as to whether or not our beautiful state is part of the United States of America…yep, it’s that giant land-mass right between Texas and Arizona; our currency is the dollar; and no, you don’t need a passport to visit…but that’s for another story!)

**not my actual license plate, but you get the gist! :)

Back to my license plates. If you’re new to my blogs, in brief I now live in Minnesota, but my business and at least ½ of my heart are still in New Mexico. The nice folks of Minnesota don’t get to see New Mexico license plates often. Believe it or not, it’s a bit uncommon for people to move from the land of 300+ days of sunshine to the land of 10,000 lakes and 6 months of hard-core winter. But my little family did, and we LOVE both our home states!

Fresh batch of my green chile sourdough bread.

Today, as I have 4 fresh loaves of homemade green chile sourdough bread cooling on my kitchen counter, it made me think about a few New Mexico things I can’t live without. In addition to my cool license plates, here’s my list:

1. Green Chile. Anyone who’s been to New Mexico will tell you, we put this stuff on EVERYTHING…and we never stop talking about it! Thank the good Lord, the 505 Chile company has a vast distribution, and I can get my supply locally in Minnesota. I do admit, when I learned my beloved Costco was discontinuing my Minnesota mainline to this vital resource, I became a hoarder and have a few cases stashed in my pantry. One of my green chile lovin’ MN friends has identified a new supplier at one of the local grocery stores…phew!!

2. Local Brews. I was never very fond of beer ‘till our friend and neighbor who started Marble Brewery in ’08 dropped a growler by our house. As we began to sample and appreciate the craft and talent of the many incredible breweries that have since sprung up from the Land of Enchantment, I make it a priority to bring some of our favorites back with us when returning home to MN. Among the must-haves in my beer fridge (located in the garage like a good Minnesotan!) are La Cumbre Elevated IPA, Marble Double White, Santa Fe Brewing Happy Camper IPA, and the Ex Novo Mass Ascension West Coast IPA (ok, I don’t actually have Ex Novo in there yet, but after my last visit to NM, I sure wish I did!!).

Me in MN being all excited about having one of my favorite NM Brews

3. Red Chile. Very different from green chile, yet just as vital, this smoky, spicy chile is made from dried red chiles that are ground into powder and often made into a silky red sauce. You may have seen the iconic “ristras” that are hung on the porches of traditional southwestern homes. Although they serve as beautiful decorations, ristras are actually the means of drying the chiles in the warm sun and dry climate.

Traditional New Mexico Ristras: Red Chiles drying in the NM Sun

Not to be confused with “enchilada” sauce that you might find on the grocery shelf or doused on the food at traditional Mexican restaurants, New Mexico Red Chile (especially from Chimayo, NM) is AH-MAZING and in a class of its own! There’s so much flavor, and when used to simmer pork into the delicacy we call Carne Adovada, eating it is like a hug from your Abuelita (grandma) that goes into your soul. Since we don’t have the frozen Bueno red chile available here in MN, I bring back Cervantes Red Chile in jars. Mmmmmm!

4. Friends. Love runs deep in the Land of Enchantment. The cultural diversity of New Mexico is a very special thing, and it is not at all uncommon for family circles to be drawn wide, embracing and adopting friends as though they are family. Our son grew up calling our friends “aunt” and “uncle”, and we have been loved and welcomed in so many realms. It doesn’t take long to feel connected to the kind and sincere hearts that reside in people of New Mexico. The family bonds are strong and once you’re embraced as part of the family, you’ll never be the same.

One of my NM besties and son's "Auntie"...definitely a keeper!

5. Vista Encantada Realtors. In my many moves over the past several years, I feel so blessed that I’ve been able to take my beloved Vista Encantada with me. This company that I am privileged to be a part of has become family to me. I feel so loved and appreciated by Kurstin and the incredible people she gathers around her. The level of professionalism is top-notch, and I can say with such confidence that these are some of the finest Realtors you’ll ever meet (just check our Google Reviews to see what others have to say about that!). What makes them the finest Realtors is who they are as people: deeply caring, sincere, loving, hard-working, fun, thoughtful, full of integrity, and genuinely kind-hearted people.

Family dinner at our Vista Encantada Christmas Retreat a few years back...

PLUS, my Vista Encantada Family is deeply connected everywhere I go because of our partnership with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. The personal friendships I have with top relocation directors across the country are an incredible part of my life and work. I’m able to help friends, family, and customers by introducing them to friends who can help them with their real estate needs in locations all over the country and even across the world!

Time with my Vista Encantada and Leading RE Family at the annual conference in Vegas

So, I’ll keep sporting my guapo license plates as a tribute to this beautiful place and my heartfelt love and appreciation for New Mexico,USA. I hope to introduce more and more of my MN friends to New Mexico so they’ll get a first-hand taste of why I adore the place. Heck, if anyone you know wants to live where people are kind, the beer is top-notch, and everyone is hyped up on sunshine and endorphine-laden chile, I’m happy to introduce you to one of my “family members” who happens to be darn good with Real Estate, too! Here’s to my Vista Encantada (translated “Enchanted View”).

-Mandy, Marketing and Relocation Director