Other excelent article & photos by Bill Steen, Thanks one more time…

Fragment Reference: caneloproject.blogspot.com

Moonrise over Banamichi, Sonora

Spring along the Rio Sonora Valley brings the first signs of the fierce summer heat that will peak during the month of June, lessening somewhat when the summer monsoon rains arrive early in July.

Flowers are blooming both in the desert and in people’s homes. The early evening air is perfumed by the blossoms on both citrus and the orchidia trees, bauhinia mexicana. Winter wheat is maturing, fava beans and onions as well, the garlic won’t be far behind.

The prickly pear cactus, nopales, are putting out their tender baby pads, most of which will be eaten in a variety of household dishes.

Remodeled old home in Banamichi.

This was a short trip for us, four days minus two days of travel. As always, I spend a portion of our trips looking to see what local foods are in season and learning how they are prepared.

On our way down, we stopped in the town of Imuris for afternoon meal of tacos. Imuris, a small town where two major roads intersect, has a main street that is lined with one taqueria after another.

While eating a young boy came up to me selling bags of chuales, wild lambsquarter greens that are collected along irrigation canals and the edges of fields.

Not wanting to bother finding the correct amount of change, I told him that I wasn’t interested and that besides, I didn’t know how to prepare them. “No problema,” he told me, “I’ll give you the recipe.” That promptly cancelled my excuse so off we went with two bags. Nothing complex to their preparation, boil or steam them until soft and then add them to eggs, sauces, beans and the like.

We added them to beans that were refried with milk and a little red chile powder. Combined with a little queso fresco, or non-cooked farmer’s cheese and a flour tortilla, they are nothing short of fantastic.

Kids baseball team from Banamichi.

Separated from Athena and Kalin while riding bikes, I wandered into the tiny ranchito La Martina, where I found four men, one of them older, quietly talking, wrapping up the day’s work to the glow of the setting sun.

Initially, I found myself hesitant, not wanting to disrupt, but ultimately I was not able to resist. The setting – buildings and trees, the men’s faces, the animals, had stories and images written all over them. Don Ramon Ochoa, the older man who looked to be about 80, sitting on his horse had the kind of face that suggested thousands of tales and adventures. The other three, his sons, Alfredo, Conrado and Ramon had the same look about them, the difference being that one would calculate their stories to be in the hundreds rather than thousands.

Don Ramon Ochoa (Left Man)

Grand-daughter of Ramon who was a candidate for the queen of her middle school

Rest full history on this link: http://caneloproject.blogspot.com/2010/04/spring-on-rio-sonora.html

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