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Comfort food and books for comfort

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Christina Stock Photo Yogurt Asian Indian chicken is a light and tasty dish that goes back to the 1940s.

The 1940s world of curry

and author Lynda Sánchez

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

This week, on July 8, is the anniversary when the 1947 Army press release was published in the Daily Record, featuring the alleged UFO, weather balloon or crash test dummies with experimental parachutes — depending on whom you ask.

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To honor this historic moment, I am sharing my “encounter” with a UFO and a dish with the favorite spice of the 1940s: Indian curry.

My husband David and I were avid “dirt” campers, meaning, we liked camping in a small tent with just an air mattress for comfort to sleep on and sleeping bags, of course. Our favorite spot was in Lincoln National Forest’s Capitan mountain range, on the other side of the ghost town White Oaks.

It was June 2, 2007 when we set up our little campsite, which was just the tent, two camping chairs, ice chests with cold cuts to make grilled sandwiches and a tiny propane grill. Camping in June, by the way, was a big mistake — it was getting so warm, we couldn’t do a lot after 11 a.m., just move from shade to shade. The best part, however, was the abundance of butterflies and insects, hummingbirds and birds chasing the insects. We had front row seats.

This would be our longest camping tour ever because we simply didn’t want to leave. On day 10, we were sitting in our chairs and watching the stars appear and the satellites moving in their usual journey across the sky, when we saw a bright round glowing orb light flying fast from east to west to stop just over one of the rolling hills of Capitan in the distance. We stared at it for a minute or two when it suddenly faded out. Neither of us spoke a word, we were too surprised, then — after another two to three minutes — the orb started to lighten up again at the same position before it shot, in the blink of an eye, further west and vanished. David and I looked at each other and said at the same time, “A UFO.” Yes, we saw our first “unidentified flying object.” Now when a tourist asked us if we saw a UFO, we could finally share a “real” UFO story.

We stayed another four days, having other adventures with wildlife and nature, but didn’t see that flying object again.

My guess is that it may have been an experimental craft from Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, but who knows?

Yogurt chicken Asian Indian style

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, diced or sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 large sweet onion

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup of chicken broth

2 Tbsp yogurt

2 Tbsp Madras curry

1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper

salt

Olive oil for frying

Preparation:

In a deep pan, fry the chicken in a little olive oil until it is brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and put on a covered plate to keep warm.

Add a little more oil if necessary and stir fry the bell peppers, onions and garlic on medium heat until the onions turn slightly translucent.

In a bowl, mix the chicken broth with the spices. Return the chicken to the pan and add the broth mix.

Cook on medium heat for another 15 minutes.

Turn the heat off, add the yogurt and stir well until it is evenly coated. Adjust the spices and salt to your liking.

Serve with naan bread or on a bed of rice.

Books for comfort:

Lynda A. Sánchez

Submitted Photo
Author Lynda Sánchez is seen here seated next to Yginio Salazar’s gravestone. Salazar was friend of Billy the Kid.

Lynda A. Sánchez is a NM Book Co-op author. Sánchez sent in information about her research and books via email. She writes that she not only speaks to groups about New Mexico’s regional history, but has several books published featuring history, legends and lore of Apaches:

Sánchez author biography: “‘Indeh, An Apache Odyssey’ is a classic oral history of the Chiricahua Apaches and was co-authored with Eve Ball. ‘Apache Legends and Lore of Southern New Mexico (From the Sacred Mountain)’ combines an historical review of Apache history and then focuses on Old Scout Bigmouth and his son, Percy and their world view of history from the time of the Bosque Redondo in the 1860s. It includes a receipt of the raw manuscript written by Percy during cold winter months at Mescalero. Both works feature the dramatic backdrop of the Apache Wars and trying to find their way in the white man’s world after 1886. Sánchez has lived in historic Lincoln for many years. She has ridden the hills where Billy the Kid and gang rode during the years of the violent Lincoln County War. She also writes articles (more than 400,) and is a retired educator. She and her husband have a small ranch along the Río Bonito where they raise corrientes (roping cattle). Her time serving in the Peace Corps in South America and her archaeological fieldwork in the South West and Mexico have guided her to the colorful mosaic that she shares through her writing.”

Sánchez’s books are available at Amazon or local gift and book shops as well as by contacting the author by phone at 575-653-4821. “By supporting our authors, we support our regional heritage and our legacy,” Sánchez writes. “This is especially true during the difficult days ahead for our country. Honoring our past is one way we can do that, and it is easy through the magic portal of books.”