Chile 790 xxx

5.9.10 Remembering June

My mother, June Chávez Silverman, was a fiery, high-spirited Chicana beauty with black eyes and a cackling laugh that was contagious. She loved to entertain and was a legendary hostess, especially during the years my father was provost of Stevenson College at UC Santa Cruz. I still have the black silk camellia she pinned on the low-cut neckline of her festive gowns. Exuding clouds of Youth Dew and always amazingly calm, she would oversee Ramos Fizzes and chicken enchiladas for a hundred. I still have the recipe card in her handwriting for this delicious Chile Relleno casserole. It's a great thing to make if you have leftover pot roast—though I'll cook one up just for this dish. Hatch green chiles (in a can) are easy to find if you're on the West Coast, and easier to find now on the East. This cheesy, addictive dish is definitely a crowd pleaser, but you can scale down the proportions and throw it together for your nearest and dearest. Mamá, this one's for you.