I decided to make my favorite variation, posole rojo made with red New Mexico chiles, hominy, and pork shoulder. Not to overly pat myself on the back, but I really nailed it this time and eating it made my mind drift back to winter in Santa Fe, crackling fires, icy clear air, the smell of corn, chiles and desert piñon. Like I said, it was good posole.
We hit Santa Fe in early December, which turned out to be an excellent time to go. It's cold enough that visitors drop off steeply from the warmer months and lodging rates are low, it's too early for ski season, and it was before the popular Christmas and New Year holidays, so even the ever-bustling area around the plaza was calm. If you can stand a little cold, this is a great time to see Santa Fe.
The spicy New Mexican food suits the cold weather (I would also argue that it suits hot weather and everything in between), and a big bowl of posole rojo or green chile stew sets you up perfectly for walks in the cold, and believe me, if you're one of those crazy people that enjoys stunning gorgeous things, you'll want to take walks in the cold as the winter light in Santa Fe is something to behold. The crystalline clarity of the air, the long shadows of winter light cast from the soft-edged adobe buildings, the deep blue sky and hanging chile ristras set against bright patches snow create an effect that you won't find elsewhere. Every morning I would get up at sunrise to take a walk crunching along the icy streets and I would have the town entirely to myself.