Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Eating [in] the Desert
Grand moments in Southern Utah baking and hiking




There's nothing to do in this town except two of my favorite things to do: cook and hike. My roommate and I have taken up both with a vengenence.

Here's a video of my roommate trying to make peanut butter pudding, but instead creating an alien species.




WE HIKE IN SEARCH OF INDIGENOUS FOODS


Here's the location of the pricky pears we collected.

Yes, I will pluck this prickly pear, boil it, strain it and make a delicious syrup to pour over ice cream.




Yes, these are prickly pear hair-proof skiing gloves. We wore them after learning the hard way (see below: Shannon tried to get the prickly pear hairs out of her fingers.)







After you boil the prickly pear fruit, you strain it. The green sloppy pepper- colored stuff with seeds is what's left. And then there's the gold... or the pretty prickly pear juice. To get the syrup you boil it down with a cup of sugar, teaspoon of cornstarch and the juice of one lemon.

WE DRIVE AROUND THE DESERT IN THIS CRAZY ORANGE VW BUG




My Roommate and I have nothing to dress-up for, so we dress-up for the lizards. Here's Shannon of Escalante Gables and her kindred spirit Willow.





WE DO ADVANCED YOGA POSES ON ROCK FORMATIONS




WE COOK SOME MORE


Here's Shannon with a berry cobbler and apple pie.

We've started up a bi-weekly dinner group. We've got our own small town version of Top Chef going on.

WE CHARM OUR GUESTS WITH FOOD



Our first dinner was squash and pumpkin soup two ways. I cooked up an acorn and butternut squash and Shannon cooked up a pie pumpkin.





I sauteed a whole onion and garlic in butter and olive oil, along with a few serrano peppers. I added chicken stock and then put it all in a blender till smooth then put it back on the stove and added butter, cream, a little brown sugar, salt and let it simmer.

Mine was smooth like baby food and rich with cream and butter. "like what I'd expect my grandma to make," said Jessie.



Mine was made with chicken fat. Shannon's soup was vegetarian and had more kick, more color and texture. Our guests liked both (smart dinner guests) for different reasons.

For dessert, we made this chocolate pecan pie with dark chocolate, rum, and chopped pecans. Recipe on its way.



Last week, we took the CURRY CHALLENGE, making curry two different ways. I made red curry and she green. Mine had carrots, cashews, potatoes and garlic.



Goodbye!

2 comments:

Micah said...

This is a great post.. Very informative... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your every post that's why I think I'd come here more often. Keep it up! By the way, you can also drop by my blogs. They're about Vegetable Gardening and Composting. I'm sure you'd find my blogs helpful too.

The Rambler said...

Random dinner group, what a great way to meet and get to know new people- looks fun!

Oh Jenny! THere's a much easier way to do prickly pear! That's it, I've got to finally write that up for you.