This is only my second time in Arizona and the first time I've ever been to Phoenix. (When I was six, my family made a trip to the Grand Canyon. I have horrible memories of being forced to hike to the bottom of the canyon in 110-degree August heat, bitching and complaining the entire way. I was not an outdoors-y type.)
It looked so much more fun when the Bradys did it.
I had no real concept of Phoenix prior to coming here, other than what I recall from the late-70's-early-80's sitcom, "Alice." I keep waiting for people to tell me to kiss their grits, but so far no one has. What I can tell you is that Phoenix is very dry and very flat. Except where it's not; across the street from Mama Wonder's home is a large mountain. It looks like that Devil's Tower mountain Richard Dreyfuss obsesses about in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." (Although a quick visit to imdb.com assures me that Devil's Tower is in fact located in Wyoming.)
There is very little vegetation in Phoenix save for cacti -- lots of them. I have learned quite a bit about cacti since arriving here Wednesday night. For instance, did you know that a cactus has to live for at least 70 years before it can grow a single arm? It's true!
(Technical note: I am using Boy Wonder's Mac to write this blog and, being a regular PC user, am finding it incredibly difficult to execute simple tasks like cutting and pasting photos. I just spent 10 minutes trying to paste a photo of a very old cactus with multiple arms -- to no avail. So you'll forgive the lack of illustration.)
We've had a very nice, relaxing holiday. Mama and Sister Wonder cooked a formidable feast including no less than five pies -- for a total of six people! We've been pigging out on leftovers ever since.
Speaking of leftovers, during the five-hour drive from San Diego, as I tried desperately to find a non-Spanish-language radio station we could tune in, we heard snippets of a cooking show in which the host offered creative suggestions for leftover dark-meat turkey. One of them was to chop it up, fry it up, and make turkey hash. Intrigued by this idea, I announced to the Family Wonder as we shopped the outlet malls in Anthem that I was going to make turkey sloppy joes for dinner. I saw them exchange worried looks, but I'm happy to tell you the result was quite delicious. I post the recipe here as a public service to all of you who may find themselves with scads of leftover dark-meat turkey on your hands this weekend:
2 lbs leftover dark-meat turkey, with or without skin.
1 small can tomato paste.
1 tbspn salt
1 tbspn garlic salt
1 tbspn chili powder
2 tbspns cumin
1 tbspn sugar or Splenda
2 1/2 cups water
1 large white onion
1 garlic glove
6 sesame seed buns
8 oz of charp cheddar cheese
Cooking spray (canola, olive or vegetable oil)
Spray a large skillet or chicken fryer with cooking spray and set heat to medium. Chop turkey into tiny pieces with a large knife. Add to skillet and turn often as you would to brown ground beef for about 10 minutes. It may be necessary to add more cooking spray periodically to prevent burning.
Add all seasonings, tomato paste and water and increase heat to medium high. Mix thoroughly and add more seasonings to taste. When the mixture begins to pulse, cover with lid and lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Chop onion and garlic clove into small pieces. In a separate skillet, melt butter and spray with cooking spray on medium low heat. Add onions and garlic and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Grate cheese. Arrange buns on a baking sheet and place in oven on warm setting.
When the turkey mixture and onions are done, remove from heat. Remove buns from oven. Spoon a heaping spoonful of turkey mixture on a bottom bun, top with cheese and onion/garlic mixture and top bun, and devour.
BW and I went to an art-house theater in Scottsdale last night to see "Milk." In his review in The New York Times, Tony Scott calls it "the best live-action mainstream American movie that I have seen this year." Me, too. It's brilliant and beautiful and taught me so much more about the gay rights battles of the late 70's than I ever thought I knew. Oscars for everyone involved, please.
Gotta run. I know this has been a pretty crappy entry but I cannot abide by this fekakte Mac any longer. A better post from my PC after we return to San Diego.
Homo stuffed. ♥