You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2007.

Our CSA share this week consisted of eggplant, onions, green bell peppers, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, pistachios, a butternut squash, and Anaheim chiles. At tonight’s Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market we bought potatoes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, a butternut squash, garlic, and wheat flour. Finally, our friends Chi and Rodd kindly donated a dozen eggs from their chickens – thanks again, you guys! Unfortunately, our weekly goat cheese order at the co-op hasn’t yet come in, and we’re really missing it. It’s become an important component of many of our meals (oddly enough we rarely had cheese with our home-cooked meals prior to our local eating experiment, perhaps because we got enough cheese elsewhere).

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The Arizona monsoon (a.k.a. Mexican monsoon or Southwest monsoon) is finished for the year. While there’s no official monsoon end date declared for Tucson, it’s been at least a couple of weeks since we’ve had any monsoon-pattern weather. Our monsoon is characterized by a shift in winds to a southeasterly direction, which causes moist air from Mexico to flow into Arizona (my understanding is that it’s still not completely clear whether the moisture originates in the Gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez, or both). On hot days, convection of this moist air over mountains results in frequent thunderstorms, some of which drift over the lower valleys (such as that in which Tucson sits). The monsoon provides roughly half of our yearly rainfall, on average.

The monsoon typically lasts from around early July to mid-late September. This year’s monsoon was a mixed bag. While the Tucson airport recorded slightly greater than average rainfall for the season (6.57 inches versus an average of 5.86 inches), this rainfall was heavily concentrated temporally. Despite a slow start to the season, late July was spectacularly wet (there was some intense flooding in Tucson, which we missed seeing because we were on vacation in northern Arizona and New Mexico). However, August and September saw little significant rainfall in Tucson.

Every summer I am completely obsessed with the weather. I check the National Weather Service’s forecast updates probably a dozen times a day and am glued to radar images online. As a result I got a good sense of the storm tracks this summer. We had a very distinct sense that storms were dissipating as soon as they got within a half mile of our neighborhood. At first we thought we were just being bitter about missing out on rain, but day after day it seemed like storms were bypassing us. We suspect that this is a very real phenomenon, and there are at least a couple of possible explanations. One likely contributing factor is that our neighborhood sits near the northwestern end of town, while most of the storms come in from the east or southeast. This means that the storms have a lot of time to dump much of their moisture before reaching us.

A related factor is the urban heat island effect of the city – cities are usually several degrees hotter than the surrounding landscape due to their buildings, asphalt and energy consumption (which generates heat), and Tucson definitely suffers from this. The hot air rising from Tucson probably warms any storms passing overhead, progressively reducing precipitation rates as the storms move north and west towards our part of town. Finally, a third likely factor in our lower rainfall has to do with our lower elevation relative to most of the city. We are near the Santa Cruz River, which is the lowest point in the city. Our neighborhood is therefore probably one of the hotter areas of the city, all else being equal. Like the urban heat island effect, this should contribute to a reduction in precipitation rates.

Do we really get less rain in our part of Tucson than elsewhere? I don’t know for sure, but I plan to test the hypothesis. There’s a great website called Rainlog.org which maps daily rainfall amounts around Arizona. The data is contributed by people with rain gauges. When I get a chance I plan to map total monsoon rainfall for this year’s monsoon using the data from Rainlog. It should be very interesting to see how rainfall amounts varied around the city! Who knows, maybe we’ll find that we got a lot more rain than we thought and that we’re just full of hot air.

The point of all of this is that different locations within a city can have significantly different microclimates, and this needs to be taken into account when designing a site’s water harvesting, food production and energy generation strategies. Up till now we had been treating the average rainfall at our house as equivalent to the “official” reading at the Tucson International Airport. However, this could cause us to design suboptimal rainwater harvesting features at our house if it turns out that our neighborhood is drier or wetter than the airport. It’s important to know your site and it’s individual quirks, and this is something that we’re only beginning to do!

We had planned to intermittently publish blog posts with lists of upcoming events, but decided that it made more sense to have a dedicated page for this purpose. Check back often, as we will be updating it as events pass and new ones are announced!

Yesterday we decided to drive to Willcox to pick apples and get some organic veggies and wine. Our friend Kim joined us for the trip. Willcox is about 75 miles southeast of Tucson, and is where much of our local produce comes from. We got to Brown’s Orchard (the organic you-pick apple and veggie farm) while it was still fairly cool outside, and were excited to spend the morning frolicking among the trees. Unfortunately, Brown’s Orchard was closed. Since we’d expended all that gas to get there, we decided to backtrack toward Apple Annie’s, another you-pick orchard that is not organic. Although we didn’t like the idea of supporting a non-organic grower, it seemed like a good opportunity to see a local apple orchard up close.

On the way, we stopped in at Visser Family Farms for some local grass-fed meats. As we drove up to the farm we passed happily grazing sheep feeding on grass. They truly were grass-fed! The woman who greeted us was cheerful and helpful, and led us to the barn where she stored cuts of lamb, pork, beef and chicken. Many of the cuts were “from the butcher” and were not local. We picked out some locally raised, hormone and antibiotic-free ground beef and a lamb shoulder roast.

Then we got back on the road toward Apple Annie’s. I was very excited to pick apples. My experiences with apple-picking are of beautiful, mature orchards in Vermont where we climbed the trees and enjoyed the comforts of a fall day in a shady, peaceful grove. The moment we entered the parking lot for Apple Annie’s I knew this was not going to be a serene Vermont-like experience.

There were about 100 cars in the dirt lot, which led to several tents and a 2-story building. Vendors were selling their salsas, Kettle Korn, cider, jam, trinkets, burgers, ice cream and baked goods. There was a gift shop inside the building, too, but we didn’t see what they had for sale. There was a small group of people with empty buckets waiting to board a tractor-pulled wagon, so we got our buckets and joined the brigade. The tractor took us on a slow, gas-guzzling journey around a small orchard filled with dwarf fruit trees. The driver announced that the second stop was where we could pick Fuji apples and Asian pears, which was what we wanted. We had noticed that there were vast quantities of fruit on the ground, and we asked the driver if we could harvest some for our chickens. Unfortunately, it is now illegal to collect fruit that has touched the ground for fear of E. coli. It seems that somewhere in California where cows were grazing among the fruit trees their dung harbored E. coli and some people eating fruit from the ground got sick. So no ground-fruit for the hens.

The apple-picking itself was fun. It’s always nice to harvest your own food, even in the company of 100 eager tourists clamboring for chemical-laden bounty. We filled a bucket with apples and then moved on to the pears. Asian pears are very sweet and crisp, and they were surprisingly refreshing in the heat of the shadeless dwarf orchard. When we had gathered all we wanted (and unwittingly left about the same amount of fruit on the ground to rot), we headed back toward the entrance to the orchard. It was only about 200 feet from where we had been picking, so there was truly no need for another tractor ride.

Apples at Apple Annie’s

Apples rotting on the ground at Apple Annie’s

We waited in one of several lines to pay for our harvest. In all, we got 12 pounds of apples, 16 pounds of pears, a bag of 6 peaches, and 2 half-gallons of apple cider, and spent about $45.

Our final stop was a winery. I had been looking forward to getting some wine for quite a while since we had not had any since our first local meal. The winery (I can’t remember the name of the place) looked quaint from the outside. But as soon as we stepped in the door, we were struck by the frigid air, the extravagent decor, and the old-fashioned farm-wife outfit our hostess was wearing. It was a surreal scene. We got a taste of red wine made exclusively from local grapes (most of the wines were processed locally, but from grapes grown in vineyards in California and northern Arizona). The wine was tasty but expensive, and we opted not to buy any. It was better just to get out of the weird zone and head for home.

We learned a lot from our trip to Willcox. The farming practices at Apple Annie’s confirmed our belief that local is not always better: It takes a huge amount of resources to keep apple trees alive and producing in the arid southwest, and it might be better to abstain from eating apples altogether or find a slightly more distant but far more efficient source. We found a great source of local meat, and feel good about the farming practices and the people at Visser Family Farms. And we decided that we would really like to go back to Willcox to experience apple-picking at Brown’s Orchard when they are open.

Two things really struck us about this experience. First was the extravagant waste of fruit at Apple Annie’s. Frankly, we thought it was a travesty. We’re betting that probably at least half of the fruit produced by their trees never gets harvested, except by ground squirrels and skunks. It seemed like the “you-pick” approach was not the way to go, since inexperienced pickers like us ended up inadvertently dropping as many fruit to the ground as we managed to successfully harvest. In our opinion such orchards should have professional pickers who know what they’re doing and don’t waste huge amounts fruit. All of that wasted fruit represents an enormous amount of water, fertilizer and pesticide.

The other thing that struck us was how silly it was for us to drive an hour and a half to pick fruit. Part of the reason we went was to get a better idea of what Willcox was like, since that was where a fair bit of our local food has been coming from. However, it is extremely wasteful for three people to drive 150 miles round-trip to pick 30 pounds of fruit. It was a good lesson in how important efficient local food distribution networks are.

We had an active weekend tucsonivory-wise, and we plan to describe it over several different posts. In this one I will describe our meals from this weekend, since we’ve been neglecting to do that.

Somehow we didn’t plan our food purchases very well this week, and the result is that we’ve had to scrounge around a little bit to come up with decent meals. Fortunately we’ve been successful so far, but we still have two more days before our CSA pickup, and not a lot of options for local vegetables before then. This has reminded us of the importance of planning ahead and stocking up when things are available!

We made a nice dinner last night from the following:

  • Okra sautéed in olive oil with tomatoes and onion
  • Ground beef sautéed with tomatoes, onion, roasted Anaheim chile, and crushed chiltepines (native wild chiles)
  • Butternut squash baked with honey (left over from the night before)
  • Homemade whole wheat tortillas (from a few nights before)
  • Goat cheese
  • Apple cider

Dinner on 9-23-2007

Dinner on Saturday night

We enjoyed this meal thoroughly. As we were eating, our friend Chi stopped by and gave us two pomegranates from their tree and a container full of local carob flour. Thanks Chi! The pomegranates are a welcome treat, and we are so happy to get carob because we can substitute it for chocolate. Although carob is definitely not the same thing, it is certainly reminiscent of chocolate (hopefully enough so that we’ll be satisfied!). We think carob is delicious in its own right, anyway. It bears some resemblance to mesquite flour, which makes some sense as they are both legumes.

As a snack last night we had popped amaranth seeds mixed with olive oil, salt and guajillo chile powder. This has quickly become one of our favorite snacks – it’s delicious, healthy and fun to eat. Other snacks we’ve been enjoying during this experiment have been fresh fruit (mostly pears or apples), tortillas with goat cheese, baked squash seeds, and cherry tomatoes.

We were not able to make it to the St. Philips Plaza Farmers’ Market this morning (we were doing the Native Seeds/SEARCH Sustainable Gardening in the Desert tour, which we will write about in another post). Happily, our friends Alex and Jo-anne were going to the farmers’ market and generously got us some potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. Thanks you guys!

For lunch today Marci made us a mean scramble from the leftover okra and three eggs from our chickens, as well as the remainder of the butternut squash from before. This made a fantastic lunch and I would definitely combine okra and eggs like this again!

For dinner tonight we decided to try making empanadas. We’d never made them before, but they seemed like a nice use for the ingredients we had. I combined slightly over 3 cups of wheat flour with the last tablespoon of our bacon fat, plus 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a little more than 1/2 cup of water. After mixing these ingredients and kneading the dough briefly, I rolled chunks of it out on our cutting board and then cut out 3 inch diameter circles using the lid from a yogurt container. In total the dough yielded about 25 empanada skins.

While I was making the dough, Marci prepared the filling. She made mashed potatoes using the potatoes from the farmers’ market, plus olive oil and salt. She then mixed this with the leftover ground beef from the night before. We placed about a tablespoon of this mixture into the center of an empanada skin, wetted the edge, folded it over, and pressed it shut using our fingers. We baked them at 400° F for 20 minutes. I made a sauce for the empanadas using some leftover juice from a beef roast we had cooked earlier in the week. To this I added a mashed tomato, lime juice, and guajillo chile powder. Marci also made a salad from lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, green bell pepper, lime juice, and salt.

Empanadas!

Empanadas filled with ground beef and mashed potato

The empanadas were great. I would experiment with some different dough, filling, and sauce recipes next time, but we thought they were pretty good for a first try!

On writing this post I realized that we’ve been eating a fair bit of meat lately. I think this has resulted partly from our failure to adequately shop for vegetables this week, but in any case I would like to get back to eating less meat.

There were a lot of great articles this week, and here were the highlights for me:

  • Vegeculture: Further Rethinking How We Eat (Casaubon’s Book) – We should be growing more root crops.

    “Hand produced polycultures of one acre that emphasize roots integrated with perennial plantings a la permaculture or vegeculture and include animals to eat wastes and maintain fertility can dramatically outproduce existing monocultures of grains.”

  • Can You Spare a Dime? Why We Could….But Won’t (Casaubon’s Book) – On the (impossible?) challenges we face in simply maintaining our existing infrastructure and way of life.

    “And the reality is this – we actually need very few fossil fuels. There is little question that human beings pee out enough nitrogen to keep us fed, along with judicious use of land. Our basic needs – and I mean very basic ones – are for food, shelter, water… The vast majority of what we use fossil fuels for are comfort and convenience, and we may find that without them, we do surprisingly well.”

  • Crop Yields Expand, but Nutrition is Left Behind (Worldwatch Institute) – We are growing more food than ever (apparently; I thought food production worldwide was declining), but our food is less nutritious than ever.
  • Vegetarianism and Environmentalism (Grist) – This article hits on a point which I plan to write about in a separate post eventually – “environmentalism” is difficult to define and is, in my opinion, counter-productive and misguided.

    “Is it true that you cannot be a meat-eating environmentalist? This is a deeply silly question. The term ‘environmentalist’ is socially contingent and highly contested. Environmentalism has no metaphysical essence. ‘You aren’t an environmentalist’ is moral judgment masquerading as an assertion of fact.”

  • On Meat Eating and Global Warming (Grist) – We need to be eating less meat.
  • Top 25 Censored Stories 2008 (Project Censored) – A scary list of news stories.
  • George Marshall on Our Personal Efforts to Reduce Climate Change (The Guardian) – This is a fantastic article, which I mostly agree with. I love the analogy I quoted below:

    “Why is everyone so keen to believe that tiny actions can prevent climate change? We are given easy household tips by campaigners and the government that will help ‘save the climate’… Lest you think I am being harsh, look at this from a different point of view. Imagine that someone came up with a brilliant new campaign against smoking. It would show graphic images of people dying of lung cancer followed by the punchline: ‘It’s easy to be healthy – smoke one less cigarette a month.'”

  • Can’t We All Just… Be Vegans? (Grist) – We can all be vegans and still eat meat! At least, we can be 50% vegans… An argument for a more critical analysis of the environmental impacts of eating meat.

    “Allowing a sustainable number of cows to sustainably graze natural grasslands is essentially a carbon neutral exercise, especially if the meat is processed and consumed locally with little or no fossil fuels. It is only when expansion of that grazing is accomplished by destroying grasslands or forests that it becomes carbon intensive.”

  • You Are What You Buy (Grist) – “On the impact of food purchases.”
  • Solving Fermi’s Paradox (The Archdruid Report) – Another fantastic article from John Michael Greer. This one is about the limits on technological advance.

    “Throughout the history of our species, in fact, each technological revolution has depended on accessing a more concentrated form of energy than the ones previously available. The modern faith in progress assumes that this process can continue indefinitely. Such an assertion, however, flies in the face of thermodynamic reality.”

  • Biodiversity, Trash Heaps, and the Evolutionary Origins of Crops (Earth Forum) – Discusses a recent paper on the origins of some domesticated plants in Mexico.
  • Traditional English Cooking: Nettle Pudding and Other Ancient Recipes (Daily Mail) – Interesting recipes from pre-Roman Britain.

    “Served with a wild duck or cinnamon sauce, hedgehog was the provenance of the rich, with its thorny nature meaning it would have been avoided by all but the most adventurous cooks. Barley bread was popular from around 5,000BC, while pottage, or meat and vegetable stew, became part of the Ancient Briton’s diet 3,000 years later.”

  • Grasshopper Stew (Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog) – This is a funny coincidence, as we are planning to harvest some of the grasshoppers that are currently filling our garden.

    “Apparently, harvesting grasshoppers mechanically to eat and sell them is not only good for your nutrition and income, it can also save on pesticide use.”

  • Jordan: The Kafrin Site, Part 2 (Permaculture Reflections) – Describes an amazing permaculture project in Jordan. There is also a great video about it on YouTube. One interesting local angle to this project was that they utilized our native foothills palo verde (Parkinsonia microphylla).
  • Rapeseed Biofuel ‘Produces More Greenhouse Gas Than Oil or Petrol’ (Times Online) – Another reason why biofuels (at least some of them) are bad ideas. The described study demonstrates why it is important to consider greenhouse gases in addition to carbon dioxide.

    “Measurements of emissions from the burning of biofuels derived from rapeseed and maize have been found to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than they save… Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels.”

This past weekend I visited Desert Survivors, a fantastic plant nursery in Tucson which specializes in desert-adapted plants. Most of their plants are native to the Tucson area, although we’ve gotten a fair number of non-native species from them, such as our pomegranate and fig trees. This time we were wanting native shrubs, to fill in some relatively bare areas in our yard. We’re planning to eventually write a more extensive blog post about our yard, including what plants we have and how the yard is laid out. For now, though, I want to just briefly describe the new plants we bought:

  • Quailbush, Atriplex lentiformis: This species provides shelter and food to birds (including chickens), so we placed this inside our chicken yard. It’s actually replacing a quailbush which had been in a nearby spot but was killed by a combination of overshading and chicken damage (they seemed to like digging around the base of this plant). This time we placed the plant in a sunnier spot and placed large rocks around the base to thwart the chickens. As soon as the plant was in the ground the chickens began eating its leaves, so I constructed a chicken wire cage to protect it until it gets large enough to survive their aggressions.
  • Saltbush, Atriplex berlandieri: I bought two of these plants in the hopes that we could use it to replace salt in our diets. We had originally intended to get fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), but in a taste test at Desert Survivors A. berlandieri proved to be dramatically saltier. I know that the conditions under which the plants grow influences the degree of salt sequestration in their leaves, so it’s possible that in our yard the situation will be different. With this caveat in mind, we are hoping that the plants will remain salty, as we believe that they could meet our salt needs once they are larger. We placed one of the plants between our lime tree and pomegranate tree. These trees are irrigated with the graywater from our washing machine, so salt buildup is a potential long-term problem. The saltbush should help to mitigate this buildup somewhat. We planted the other one along our north fence, which is one of the most exposed areas of our yard. We are curious to see how the plants respond to these very different conditions.
  • Fairy duster, Calliandra eriophylla: This is a common plant in the desert around Tucson. It is a small shrubby legume with beautiful pink flowers. We planted it between our fig tree and lime tree, which are in a basin bordering our flagstone patio. We hope that the fairy duster will help to fill out that area, provide some nice color, and attract hummingbirds. It should nicely complement the pink globemallow (Sphaeralcea sp.) and sacred datura (Datura wrightii) we have planted in the same area.
  • Wild cotton, Gossypium thurberi: We placed several of our new plants on the northeast side of the house, in an area that we’d been using as a winter and summer garden. We haven’t had much success gardening in that spot, however, so we decided to fill it out with some native shrubs. The first thing we planted there was a wild cotton plant. This is a beautiful plant which produces small bolls of cotton. I bought this on a whim, and am glad I did, as I think it will be very nice.
  • Canyon hackberry, Celtis reticulata: This species, which produces edible berries, grows to be a large shrub or small tree (up to 30′ tall). We were hesitant to plant it on the northeast side of our house, where it would be competing with a mature velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) and a young blue palo verde (Parkinsonia floridum). However, the guy I spoke with at Desert Survivors assured me that it would actually be an ideal location for a canyon hackberry. He said that they are often found growing intertwined with other trees in the wild. In the chicken yard we also have a desert hackberry (Celtis pallida), which does better in full sun.
  • Wolfberry, Lycium fremontii: This is a thorny shrub which produces delicious edible berries. We planted one last year in the chicken yard, and it was doing great until the chickens damaged some of the roots (apparently killing half of the plant). I placed a large rock at its base to prevent future damage, and it seems to be recovering. We planted the new wolfberry on the north side of the house, near the above-mentioned palo verde. We chose this spot partly as an experiment, as it is almost exactly on the opposite side of the house from the other wolfberry. As with the saltbushes, I am curious to see how the plants respond to the different conditions (one will get more sunlight and fertilizer from chicken droppings, but the other will get more water).
  • Sotol, aka desert spoon, Dasylirion wheeleri: I had always thought that this interesting plant was a species of Yucca. Sotol, it turns out, is not a yucca in the strict sense but is fairly closely-related. In any case, this is a very useful plant: it was traditionally used for food and fiber, and is still used today to make an alcoholic drink. Apparently this drink, which is also called sotol, is the state drink of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. We bought two of these plants and placed them along our north fence.
  • Babybonnets, Coursetia glandulosa: This is a nice shrubby legume which produces yellow and white flowers. It grows to 20 feet tall, so we figured that it would make a nice privacy screen on our north fence, which tends to usually be exposed to our neighbors’ yard and to the street beyond. I say “usually” because the neighbors have a long thicket of oleanders which they always cut back to about 6 feet just as they get tall enough to give us some privacy. Now, I have to just come out and say it: I hate oleanders. I’m sure they’re very nice in their native habitat, but in Arizona they are planted everywhere, and I mean everywhere. They are big water hogs, they are deadly poisonous and produce allelopathic chemicals (poisoning the ground around them to prevent other plants from growing), they’re very difficult to get rid of, they’re not native, and they’re just not that attractive, in my opinion. It drives me nuts that both our neighbors to the south and our neighbors to the north have planted oleanders bordering our property. My one hope comes in the form of a virus which is apparently killing oleanders in Phoenix. May it soon show up in Tucson! I would love to see all oleanders disappear from Tucson and be replaced with native or at least useful non-native plants. OK, that’s enough oleander-bashing for this post. Maybe sometime I’ll devote a whole post to Oleander Hate. Wouldn’t that be fun?

In case ye need a refresher:

In case ye have no clue what I be talking about: TalkLikeAPirate.com

Thanks be to Jeff for reminding me.

Apple peach pie

In response to my craving for chocolate, Chris helped me make a pie. We decided to use some of our oat groats, cooked until soft and blended until somewhat creamy, along with wheat flour and mesquite meal, for the bulk of the crust. The recipe is as follows:

Preheat oven to 350° F

Crust

  • 2 cups whole oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 30 pecans (shelled)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup mesquite flour
  • zest of one grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  1. Cook the oats in water until grains are soft and chewy. Then blend until somewhat creamy.
  2. Crush the pecans and add them to the oats.
  3. Mix the whole wheat flour, mesquite flour, salt and grapefruit zest together and then add to the oats.
  4. Add the olive oil to the oats.
  5. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Put the dough into a pie dish and spread it along the bottom and sides until it is 1/4-1/2 inches thick.

Filling

  • 2 medium apples
  • 2 peaches
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour
  1. Cut up fruit into small chunks.
  2. Mix with the honey.
  3. Add flour to the fruit.
  4. Pour the fruit filling into the crust.
  5. Crumble additional crust mixture on the top so that the fruit is concealed, and pat this down lightly.
  6. Bake until done (1 hour)
  7. Drizzle honey on top

The resulting pie is very filling, somewhat tasty (Chris thought it was very tasty), and handsome. The crust held its shape surprisingly well, and we could actually serve nice wedge-shaped pieces of pie. It’s the dessert equivalent to Essene bread: It really sort of tastes good, it fulfills a need, and you know it’s good for you, but it’s not quite the same as the “real thing”. The pie was better the next day after the fruit soaked the crust a little bit more, making it softer and less dry. We think a few minor changes would make a huge difference: Add 1/2 cup (instead of 1/4 cup) of honey to the fruit; add more fruit; substitute wheat flour for some of the oats in the crust; and top it with homemade local ice cream!

We realized that we haven’t written about any of our meals for a while, instead opting to write about where we’re purchasing our food. To get us back into describing our meals, here is what we had for dinner tonight (this meal is more or less typical of the sorts of things we’ve been eating for the past two weeks):

Dinner on 9-18-2007

  • Squash soup: made from half of a Hubbard squash (previously baked, then mashed), half of a medium yellow onion, one large clove of garlic, a roasted Anaheim chile, and a little bit of salt (this soup was very good, but in retrospect I wish we had added a tomatillo – it would have added a great flavor as well as thickened the soup)
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes: sliced into strips, drizzled with olive oil and salt, baked, and then topped with leftover homemade tomatillo salsa (a surprisingly good combination!)
  • Salad, our first since we began this experiment: arugula, lemon basil, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and lime juice (this would have been great, but the basil was a week old and tasted a little funny)
  • Beans: leftover from a few nights ago; cranberry beans and Colorado River beans cooked with cholla buds, onion, roasted Anaheim chile, and honey
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