Savoring the Last of Summer -

Have you noticed that fall is in the air? It's unmistakable, with the cool air in the mornings, the chilly temps at night and the sun going down a little bit earlier each evening. This is a time of bittersweet transition as we get ready to bid farewell to summer and welcome autumn. As the kids head back to school and grown-ups return to work, our summer vacations turn into memories.

Epicurean Encounters

But there's still time to savor the season before the leaves change their colors and we put away our t-shirts and shorts and bring out the wool sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves. So before it's too cold for an outdoor barbecue or picnic, here are some great places to check out while the days are still luxuriously long and warm.

Epicurean Encounters offered by the The Anasazi Restaurant, are a sublime way to celebrate the fruits of summer. You'll shop the Santa Fe Farmers' Market with Executive Chef Edgar Beas along with Nina Yozell-Epstein from Squash Blossom Local Food and meet the farmers who provide the Anasazi Restaurant with local ingredients. After you've toured the market and gathered ingredients, you'll return to the restaurant for a lunch prepared by Beas and served in the dining room.

Tailgating Time

Before the Santa Fe Opera season ends, pack up a tailgate dinner and head out for one of the final performances of Madame Butterfly (August 22 and 24), Ariadne auf Naxos (August 23) and Candide (on August 25, the opera's closing night,). Savor one of Santa Fe's fabulous dining traditions, where opera-goers dressed in tuxes and gowns dine at elegant tables set with silver and linen while others garbed in jeans and cowboy hats enjoy their fare from the back of vintage pick-up trucks. The views are astounding and the opera is world-class.

Tomatoes at Joe's

Once a year, and for a very short time, Joe's Dining serves some of the juiciest, loveliest heirloom tomatoes you'll find in northern New Mexico. These sun-ripened, soil-grown, organic gems are served on an ethereal Pizza Margherita and in a Caprese salad with Joe's house-made mozzarella, prepared fresh daily. Hurry on over now, as the tomatoes won't last and these dishes are coveted by diners in the know. If you miss the tomatoes, don't fret as the menu offers many other tantalizing treats, including specials such as Texas Twinkies—jalapenos stuffed with brisket and the aforementioned mozzarella then wrapped in bacon—and a delectable eggplant Parmesan.

Cheesemaking in the Garden

Have you ever longed make your own cheese? Then sign up for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden's interactive class on crafting herbal cheese, held this Saturday, August 25 from 1 to 3 pm. Cheesemaking expert Sascha Anderson of Spruce Tips Apothecary will not only show you how to use culinary herbs to make your own cheese, she'll share the principles of beginning cheesemaking and show you how to combine herbs, and foraged ingredients so you can create fresh and delicious cheese at home.

Anderson is an experienced cheese educator, gardener, and wild forager who has presented lectures about cheese at the International Culinary Center, the New School, and New York University. She's also been featured in “Edible Manhattan,” and “The Kitchn” and on WNYC and Martha Stewart Radio. Reservations are required.

Here's to your Health in Madrid

It's never too late to get your body, mind and spirit in shape and The Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid is devoted to making that happen with Body & Soul, a six-week event, held Saturdays and Sundays in August and September at the Madrid Railyard Bar and Amphitheater. You'll focus on movement, meditation and motivation in classes that run from 9 am to noon. And treat your body to healthful fare such as fruit smoothies, fresh extracted juice drinks, breakfast items and more. (Coffee drinks will be available if you need them.) Whether you're looking for guidance in yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, intuitive healing, shamanic journeying or other ways to raise your vibration, you'll certainly find it here. Namaste and cheers!

The Days of Wine & Chile

Don't be too sad as we bid farewell to summer. Fall is a glorious season in Santa Fe, and with it comes the return of the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, held Sept. 23-30. This beloved event opens with a film fiesta and includes celebratory wine dinners, guest chef luncheons, a wine auction, Gruet Golf Classic, the Gran Fondo bike race, Champagne Brunch and the famous Grand Tasting smorgasbord held on the Santa Fe Opera grounds. Guest chefs this year include Dean Fearing, one of the pioneers of Southwestern Cuisine, along with Jeff Drew of Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole. They'll join more than 70 Santa Fe restaurants and some 100 world-class wineries in the 28th edition of Santa Fe's biggest food event.

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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