My brother-in-law had a huge bounty from his newly-placed garden this year, so he invited us over to share in the harvest. We came back home with two huge mint transplants (one for my sister), a giant kale transplant, about a dozen spaghetti squash, several cucumbers, and countless ripe tomatoes. It was like the best pick-your-own farmers market! In addition to the produce, I also came home with another dead bird pic - this one was on the patio near where I was sitting in the sun relaxing. Something peaceful in the macabre imagery.
I was lucky enough to be able to accompany my friend on her initial hike into the Manzanos to do research for one of her upcoming refugee wilderness program hikes. It was a beautiful drive a little more than an hour outside of Albuquerque, with mist laying in the low spots between trees and the sun shining a beautiful cerise halo through the smokey clouds as it showed its face to us for the first time that day.
The hike itself was lovely - up into the mountains through heavily wooded trails, with plenty of new plants to identify along the way. It was the first time that I'd seen so many maple trees in New Mexico, and look forward to re-visiting in the fall time when the trees will be brilliant shades of vermilion.
Read more about the refugee wilderness hikes here:
A little sweetness is in order, I do believe, to lift me out of the depths.
I came across this magical recipe to use the last of my beautiful prickly pears (a.k.a. 'tunas').
(You can view the original post from Wildness HERE - I highly recommend visiting this amazing blog for some unusual recipes and the beautifully written intros to the posts.)
I made a couple changes to the recipe - not for any "improvement", as I've not made the recipe previously; the modifications I made were due to my lack of planning and ingredients - haha - it was AMAZING, so, so good!
Here it is, sweet and healing to my soul, Prickly Pear Pie (with my intentional - and otherwise - modifications in italics):
(It's not a traditional pie. It's more like a filled 'dutch baby'. )
3.5 cups prickly pear pulp (I had about 3 cups)
1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup agave nectar)
1 cup water
Mix together in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. (I boiled for 10-15 minutes...) Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place 1/4 pound butter in a 13" x 9" baking dish. Put it in the oven while it is heating. You want the butter to be sizzling, but do not let it brown.
While the butter is melting, mix together:
In a blender, mix 6 eggs, 1 cup of milk (I used hemp milk), 1/4 cup orange juice (As I had no orange juice, I subbed 1/4 cup lemon soda... yeah, still worked), 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt. Blend till frothy.
Remove butter from oven and immediately pour batter into the butter. Do not stir. Quickly pour prickly pear filling onto batter. Do not stir.
Place back into the hot oven for 20 minutes or until puffed and brown.