Tuesday, March 23, 2010

love in the time of frito pie

This time two days ago I was sitting on a comfy wooden chair in a lodge in the mountains of Taos, New Mexico watching two very good friends get hitched.

She had added a pair of cowboy boots and a teal shawl she had knitted herself to the white-dress ensemble.  He was wearing a vest embroidered with dandelions.  There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

I don't believe I've ever seen another wedding quite like it.  Nor do I expect to anytime soon.  I can only imagine that the 30 other guests who had managed to scramble through the freak New Mexico snow storm to get there would feel the same.  And whether it was because of the fires in the fireplaces, the board games scattered throughout the rooms, or the fact that many of us wore our pajamas to breakfast (ok, maybe just me), I have never before seen such happy guests, such a serene bride and such a calm groom.  In fact, about an hour and a half before the ceremony was to start, the bride looked down at her hands, noticed that only half her nails were painted and wondered aloud if she would get around to painting the other half before she got married.

Mark and Grace, you have so many wonderful years ahead of you.

One of the weekend's highlights (though there were almost too many to count) was the toasty lunch that the wedding party prepared for us on the day of the ceremony.  Have you ever heard of "frito pie"?  Well, I certainly hadn't.  Apparently it's a dish very near and dear to the hearts of those lucky enough to reside in the Southwest.  It basically consists of a bowl of fritos topped with a variety of additions such as chili, beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, hot sauce and whatever else strikes your fancy.

(Noah and me at the gorge in Taos, NM)

Let me tell you, after freezing your buns off while poking around a ginormous gorge in sub-zero weather, nothing looks better than a steaming bowl of personalized frito pie.  The moment I saw what was for lunch, I knew it had to make an appearance on thin crust deep dish.  Unfortunately, I finished mine off (bowl-licking included) before I remembered to actually take any photos.  That's why the bride was sweet enough to let me "borrow" her lunch for a quick photo shoot.  How many brides would be totally fine with their friends whisking away their bowl of frito pie 2 hours before the wedding so that she could take pictures for her blog.  Not cool, Adriana, not cool.  That said, Grace is very cool and waited patiently until she could tuck in.

So, Mark and Grace, may your life together be as delicious, spicy, unique, and satisfying as a big bowl of frito pie!

Frito Pie 
(a suggestion more than a recipe)


Optional Additions:
Warm green chili
Warm meaty chili
Warm beans
Browned and spiced ground meat
Sour cream
Grated cheese
Hot sauce
Olives, sliced
Lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, chopped
Anything else you can think of!


Step one: Prepare all the toppings as necessary and set out in bowls

Step two: Give everyone a bowl of fritos and a spoon

Step three: Head in the direction of the toppings and go nuts!

P.S. I couldn't help but share with you a small project I've been working on for the last couple of weeks. My boyfriend and I wanted to make a wedding gift for our buddies Mark and Grace that embodied their handmade spirit. Look! We made aprons! My manslice and I made little apron tapestries showing two of the places that Grace and Mark have spent time (Canada and Thailand) so that they might prepare their weeknight dinners with style. Hope you all don't mind me sharing, but the boyfriend and I were just so proud of our handiwork.


  1. Awesome and awesome.

  2. I didn't know this was a Southwest tradition, but Matt and I have at times engaged in similar "cooking" -- we call it a "big bowl of Mexican nonsense". And it is delicious!

    The aprons look fantastic!

  3. an interesting choice to be sure, but a delicious one as well--true comfort food. your bud sounds like she has her head on straight. :)



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Adriana Willsie and Kylie Springman ©2009