Slice of life

by Meg Heiman

Yesterday, I drove past a young man wearing cutoff shorts. He was driving a snowmobile on the side of the road. <BR><BR>In front of me were two motorcycle riders without helmets, their hair blowing helter-skelter in the wind. <BR><BR>I turned onto a side road and picked up my six-year old son at daycare. His clothes were soaking wet. He and his buddies had been puddle hopping, barefoot. <BR><BR>As we drove through town, I noticed the bank’s time and temperature sign. The bright warm sun caused me to squint. At 3:19 p.m, the temperature read 29 degrees. <BR><BR>Halleluiah! It’s spring in Ely.<BR><BR>I continued to drive, slowly and carefully, not so much to avoid potholes as to avoid colliding with the person driving in front of me who was trying to avoid potholes. <BR><BR>My window was most of the way down so that I could see clearly my side-view mirror. So covered in mud is my van that I couldn’t see out the back windows. I rolled down the passenger window, too. <BR><BR>I pulled into the grocery store parking lot. I could tell right away which vehicles belong to people living in town and which belong to people living out of town. The out-of-town owners’ vehicles were like mine, covered in mud. <BR><BR>As I got out of the van, I stepped too close when I shut the door. Dry mud brushed my shirt. White is not a good color to wear this time of year. <BR><BR>Halleluiah! It’s spring in Ely.<BR><BR>I bought a can of green chilies and some Monterey Jack cheese. Then I headed home, driving slowly and carefully again, this time to avoid colliding with deer. The south-facing side of the road has patches that are bare, and deer - too many to count - feed alongside it. Soon they will migrate to Canada. Then I will go the speed limit again.<BR><BR>We passed a pack of snowmobilers, a runner in tight-fitting spandex, a man and a woman casually pedaling mountain bikes, and a teen on a four-wheeler clutching the accelerator with one hand and a black and white speckled dog on his lap with the other. <BR><BR>I turned onto our dirt road and gave my car another coat of mud. Our driveway is a mixture of snow, ice, and slush. “Hang on,” I cautioned my son. I accelerated, getting enough speed to make it all the way up. When I got out of the van, our dog, happy to see me, jumped up. White really is not a good color to wear this time of year. <BR><BR>Halleluiah! It’s spring in Ely.<BR><BR>Today, snow is falling from a chalky gray sky. It looks like January outside my window.<BR><BR>Halleluiah! It’s spring in Ely.<BR><BR>CHEESY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS <BR><BR>1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes with juice <BR><BR>1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies <BR><BR>1 c sour cream <BR><BR>2 1/2 c chopped cooked chicken, cut up* <BR><BR>1 (3 oz.) pkg cream cheese, room temperature <BR><BR>1/4 c finely chopped onions <BR><BR>10 flour tortillas <BR><BR>1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese<BR><BR>Place tomatoes with juice, chilies, a dash of salt, and sour cream in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. Combine chicken, cream cheese, and onion in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Heat tortillas in a stack in microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Place 1/4 c chicken filling on each tortilla and roll up. Place tortillas, seam side down, in sprayed 9-by-13 pan, making two rows of five tortillas each. Pour blended tomato mixture over tortillas. Cover pan with foil. Bake 350 for 40 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. *1 1/2 pounds uncooked chicken will yield approximately 2 1/2 c cooked chicken.<BR><BR>OOPS - Last week's recipe for “Glorious Morning Muffins” accidently left out: 1(one) teaspoon baking powder