Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chili Peppers

This is a wonderful time of year to be in New Mexico. It is the time that the farmers are harvesting their Green and Red Chili Peppers. They set up large chili roasters on street corners all over town, and you can stop and have them roast you up a big bag of chilies. You can take them home, put them in smaller bags and freeze them. Then all year long you can enjoy Green Chili Soup, Chili Rellenos, Green Chili Hamburgers and home made Salsa. We would always buy at least a 50 pound bag. With all this chili roasting going on, the whole city was filled with the rich aroma of roasting chilis.

While the Green Chilies were roasted, the Red Chilies were woven together like in the picture above to make Chili Ristras. The red chilies were dried in the sun, and then the ristras were sold. Originally this was a method to preserve the peppers and allow you to use them year round. After they were dried, people would buy them, and then put in the kitchen or pantry as a source of peppers for the year. The thing is, they are such a beautiful color of red, it became a tradition to  use them as decorations, and not just for eating.

Green and Red Chilies bring back wonderful memories and New Mexico!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Mexico

Welcome to New Mexico Week! With fall upon us, I am reminded of what a beautiful time of year fall is in New Mexico. I lived for 20 years in New Mexico, and fondly remember this time of year. There was a crispness in the air this time of year, and the air was filled with the pleasing aroma roasting Green Chilies, and the smell of pinon wood burning in fire places. Also, this is the time of the year of the Balloon fiesta, where over 1,000 balloons are participating in a week long event. This week we will be looking at some of the rich history and traditions of New Mexico.

The picture above was taken in about 1900, and shows a woman on the San Juan Pueblo weaving a blanket.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Soup Line

Today we feature a picture of a Soup Line. This is a long line of people waiting to get a free cup of soup at a street mission. The picture was taken in the early 1930's under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

The line looks to have a hundred or so people in it, and photographs like this help us to see the devastating economic conditions of the Great Depression. I find it interesting that today some 47 Million people are receiving food stamps in the US. I wonder if there are now proportionally more people on food stamps than people who stood in soup lines in the 1930's.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Making Soup

Today's picture shows a woman in a poor home making soup. The picture was taken in 1937 near Iron River, Michigan. I am not sure what the insignia on her sleeve represents.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Soup Time

Today's picture was taken in 1910, and it shows a group of school children enjoying some soup. The picture was taken in Providence, Rhode Island. I love the big heater in the middle of the room. I would imagine that thing could keep the room nice and toasty.

Speaking of soup, Mrs. PJM made a wonderful batch of Roasted Tomato Basil soup yesterday. The tomatoes and basil were fresh from the garden. The recipe started with a good amount of onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil and butter, and then some chicken broth and the roasted tomatoes and basil. It was served with grilled cheese sandwiches. Boy, that was delicious!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Soup House

Today's picture shows a group of men who work as Ice Cutters on a frozen lake. The little house pictured is the "Soup House" where men can go for a hot bowl of soup. I have never been an ice cutter, but I imagine if you had that job, nothing would be better than a hot cup of soup.

My favorite soup is Green Chili soup. In the fall the Chili Roasters come from New Mexico to our local grocery store for one weekend. They bring a truckload of Green Chilies, and a big roaster. We buy a 50 pound bag of green chilies and have them roast them. We then put them in the freezer and then make green chili soup all winter long. The soup starts with lots of garlic, onion and green chilies. It has just a little bit of chicken, and some tomatoes and hominy. I really like having it with a pan of home made Corn Bread. You can check out the Corn Bread Recipe and the Green Chili Recipe. Both are delicious. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cooking Soup

Welcome to Soup Week! Today's picture shows a relief kitchen in Belgium making soup. The picture is from around 1915.

A lot of times we associate soup with poverty, but I will be honest with you, I really love Soup. I usually have soup for lunch a couple times a week. Understand, I am talking about real soup, not that salty water that comes in a can. The lovely Mrs. PJM has perfected a number of soup recipes over the years, and we enjoy having them throughout the week. Perhaps some of you can share your favorite soup recipes this week.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Digging Potatoes

Today's picture is from 1939, and it shows men digging for potatoes in the field. I am not sure how the equipment works, but it looks like it digs down and turns the potatoes up.

Wow, who would have thought that Potato Week would have been so controversial. Had a good debate started in the comments yesterday about whether our social safety nets encourage laziness and fraud. It is interesting that we are reaching that point that half the people do not pay taxes and receive some form of government check in the mail. We must ask ourselves at this point what restrains the system from providing endless benefits on the backs of fewer and fewer working people.

Also, I am reminded of the debates in the 1990's with Ross Perot on NAFTA where he said the famous line . . ."That Whooshing Sound You Hear is All the Jobs Leaving the US".

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Migrant Potato Pickers

Today's picture shows a camp for Migrant Potato Pickers. The camp is in Siskiyou County, California. The picture was made in 1939. Many of the people in the camp did not even have a tent, and lived out of a car, or under a tarp. It is amazing how hard the people fought to provide for themselves during the depression.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Girl Picking Potatoes

Today's picture shows a girl picking potatoes. The picture was taken in 1939 in Rio Grande County, Colorado. The countryside does not look like what I think of Colorado. The twine on the girl's belt is for sewing the potato sacks closed when they are filled.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Picking Potatoes

Today's picture was taken in 1940, and it shows children picking potatoes. The picture was taken near Caribou, Maine. In this area, schools did not open until the potato harvest was brought in.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Peeling Potatoes

Today's picture was taken around 1915 aboard the USS Arkansas. The picture shows sailors peeling potatoes. It is my understanding that this is not the most sought after job in the Navy. Wonder if anyone has any stories of peeling potatoes in the military?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Potato Truck

Today's picture was taken in 1938 in Laurel, Mississippi. The picture shows a Potato truck delivering potatoes to the starch plant. The truck is being weighed to determine the amount of potatoes being delivered.

I had heard about the Potato Truck all my life buy had never seen one. There was an old expression, "What, do you think  I just fell off the Tater Truck?" The expression meant something like, "What, do you think I am stupid or something". Has anyone else heard that expression?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Potato Pickers

Welcome to Potato Week here are OPOD. We will be spending the week looking at all things "Potato". Right now I could really go for some old fashioned home made kettle chips right about now. What is your favorite way to have potatoes?

This picture was taken near Spiro, Oklahoma. The picture was taken in 1939, and it shows potato pickers being paid at the end of the day.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hotel de Gink

We wrap up Hobo Week with this picture. It shows men at morning coffee in the Hotel de Gink in New York. The hotel was organized by Hobos to cater to Hobos.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hobos on Train

Today's picture shows a group of Hobos in a Boxcar on a train. The men are playing cars. Hobos would often jump a freight train in order to travel to a new location, in search of work.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hobo in Camp

Today's picture shows a Hobo in camp. He is cooking some food over an open campfire in a tin can. It also looks like he has a tent.  The picture was taken in 1935.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hopping Freight Train

Today's picture shows a Hobo hopping a freight train. The picture was taken in 1935, which would have been at the depth of the Great Depression. Many men would hop freights hoping to get somewhere that they could find work. So often times "Hobo" was not synonymous with "Tramp". Often Hobos were displaced workers traveling trying to find some type of work.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Welcome to Hobo Week here at OPOD. We start with this picture of a man in an alley with a bottle of Whiskey. The picture was taken in 1907. A hobo is migrant worker who is homeless and travels from place to place in search of work. The term became popular in the early 1900's and in particular during the Great Depression of the 1930's. While the term Hobo is sometimes synonymous to "tramp" in the 1930's it was more associated with men who were displaced workers.