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#NationalSpaghettiDay Celebration

January 4, 2017 2 Comments

The food holidays come daily, but few are as popular as spaghetti day.  Pasta is popular all over the world.  Kids can usually be cajoled into eating dinner if there is pasta involved.  When I was a child we rarely ate pasta at home, but I looked forward to outings to restaurants where I could order it. I also had some Italian friends at school and Brownie Scouts whose moms totally rocked the dinner table.  I connived to find ways to be invited to their houses to eat. The first dishes I learned to prepare myself in the kitchen were lasagna (my mom never made it) and beef Stroganoff on a bed of egg noodles.  I believe I was trying to knock off some of my friends’ mothers recipes. Since pasta is such an easy and versatile dish to prepare I have been making noodles since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

We eat pasta about once a week, but I try to vary the ways I prepare it.  I have not made a lasagna in years because I am so lazy now, but I do bake pasta dishes for the same effect. Today I have an assortment of fresh vegetables that need to be used. I have roasted a butternut squash for sauce, and am now roasting a red onion for color and excitement. My approach to cooking is to use what I have on hand in the most creative way possible.  I hate to waste food.  I have parsley, basil, rosemary, marjoram and sage growing in my garden to use to build the flavor profile. Brown butter sage is a great compliment to the butternut squash. If you have not used this versatile winter vegetable to make sauce, here is a vegan recipe:

You can choose to use milk or heavy cream if you want those extra grams of fat and calories.  It also works with vegetable bullion.  Of course there are plenty of pre-made sauces in jars that taste fabulous. #NationalSpaghettiDay is a very easy holiday to use to express your inner chef.  Wander off into trying ingredients you like on other dishes..olives, artichokes, garlic, herbs..Have fun, gentle readers.  Buon apetito!

I love spaghetti!

I love spaghetti!

Mission Gardens in Tucson

October 19, 2015 1 Comment

Half Moon Beer

Half Moon Beer

Mission Garden

Mission Garden

gourd crop

gourd crop

adobe ramada

adobe ramada

irrigation system

irrigation system

Regina Romero, City Council

Regina Romero, City Council

historic crops

historic crops

A Mountain

A Mountain

Missy the party cow

Missy the party cow

Bob dining in the garden

Bob dining in the garden

sunset dining in the garden

sunset dining in the garden

sunset dining in the garden

sunset dining in the garden

The Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace held a fine dinner party in the garden yesterday.  Our historic Mission Garden has been rebuilt in the original site close to the Santa Cruz River.  The agricultural heritage of the location is ancient.  The garden is being developed as a living museum preserving original species grown by the Spanish colonial conquistadors who built the San Augustin Mission.  The orchard of stone fruits, citrus, quince and figs is growing strong and bearing fruit.  Gardens of okra, corn, chiles and other native crops thrive within the walls of the preserved site.

Local chefs were invited to create specialties for the Farm to Table event.  We were excited to taste the food and also to get to tour the gardens.  Musicians were hired to play throughout the space, which added an artistic note to the already splendid surroundings. The city councilwoman from that ward spoke briefly about the importance of agricultural history and her own family’s collection of historic recipes.  All the food was over the top creative and fresh.  My partner Bob enjoyed the grass fed beef and the buffalo chile, but most of the dishes served were vegetarian.  Drinks were served with dinner,  but for an extra fee we enjoyed a specialty beer brewed from organic wheat grown from preserved species.  The beer tasted fantastic, and sold out quickly.

The event was a success for all involved.  The chefs, no doubt, won some new fans with their creative concoctions.  The garden certainly is a place we will plan to visit again in the future.  In fact we may go to the quince festival next weekend at which we would have chance to win a special antique Spanish heirloom variety quince tree.  The quince crop is ripe and abundant in the orchard, looking very pretty.  The beauty and history preserved in this spot is a great asset to the city, and will only improve with time.

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