Friday, February 18, 2011

Rattlesnake Sausage and Kit Carson

The very best thing about vacations is this momma doesn't have to cook or clean! Granted, for the majority our meals weren't great; breakfast at the hotel, lunch at McDonald's (3 kids you have to bend) but dinner we tried to find a nice grown up place to eat most nights. My favorite dinner was at Doc Martin's. This isn't like an Applebees or LoneStar; Doc Martin's is fine dining...thing $20 a plate! It isn't often we get to eat somewhere so fancy so we splurged.

 DR went traditional with Chili Relleno (I think that's how it was spelled)

My sister had Braised Buffalo Ribs. This was awesome! I love buffalo but I'd never had any as tender as this! Yep, she and I shared our dinners. Sisters are great!

Marvel Man had the special, Baked Salmon. Looks good doesn't it?

Me? Well, I'd been snacking all afternoon and really wasn't hungry by dinner so I opted for an appetizer Rattlesnake Rabbit Sausage with some sort of sauce I couldn't identify with soaked raisins. Now that I look at this photo a bit more those raisins look like little things rabbits leave behind..hmm, glad I wasn't thinking that at the time. Rattlesnake? Well, I'll try anything once and I have to say it was wonderful! It was mild, not at all spicy or odd tasting at all. I would definitely try rattlesnake again.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

We also made it to the home of Kit Carson. If we hadn't been paying attention we would have missed it. It's right in historic downtown Taos nestled between shops. As we entered what looked like an alley we came to a courtyard.

Off to one corner was a traditional outdoor oven used to bake bread. Some residents still have these in their backyards.

Once inside we sat down to a short History Channel video about Kit Carson. His great great grandson actually portrayed Carson in the video and their is a striking resemblance between the two men. Our guide showed us an actual beaver skin hat, very worn, and a beaver pelt to explain to the boys Carson's career as a trapper.

At the age of 16 Carson left Missouri and gained experience as a teamster on the Sante Fe Trail and spent about ten years as a trapper. He left the life of a trapper after beaver became scarce and at 34, Carson married his third wife, 14-year-old Josefa. They had eight children together raised in their home in Taos built by Josefa's family. Carson went on to guide John Fremont on expeditions to the Continental Divide and Mojave Desert and serve in the Mexican, Civil and Indian Wars. Many general accounts of Kit Carson describe him as an outstanding honorable person. Albert Richardson, who knew him personally in the 1850s, wrote that Kit Carson was "a gentleman by instinct, upright, pure, and simple-hearted, beloved alike by Indians, Mexicans, and Americans".

The Kit Carson home was small consisting of only two or three rooms for living quarters. There were fireplaces like the one in this kitchen in most historical buildings in Taos. I just love these fireplaces!

The only reason the Kit Carson Home hasn't fallen into ruin is because of the efforts of the Masonic Bent Lodge #42. Kit Carson became a Mason in 1854 and the Grand Lodge bought his home in 1910 and raised funds to restore the neglected property of their most famous member. The museum in the Carson Home is full of artifacts, photos, letters not only explaining the life of Kit Carson but setting a scene for life in Taos in the 1800's

The Kit Carson Home is a wonderful little museum that I would highly recommend stopping in to check out.


  1. Rattlesnake! I don't think I could do it!!!
    Thanks for another history lesson, I always enjoy them, especially from new and unique regions that I have never been. I would love to go there someday.

  2. How fun! What happened to the first two wives??? I like escargot, and I have had bear. Oh! I've also had turtle soup after seeing the turtle that went in the soup!

    Great post!

  3. The first two wives were Indians he married as a trapper but I believe they both returned to their tribes.

    I've had shark as a kid and remembering not liking it. I love trying different game; buffalo, elk, pheasant, etc. New food is fun!

  4. I've had dried and fried tree caterpillars.

    Sorry I haven't been around much. I'm working to catch up on my reading.


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