I moved to a suburb in Arizona, but I don’t want to get more specific than that. It is quite beautiful, with the colored rocks everywhere in deep red hues. The cactuses have a lot of character, and have been growing on me lately, too. Especially after I ate some prickly pears, I developed friendly feelings for the spiky but pleasantly plump fellers.
The Saguaro cacti are too cool! So did you eat what Mexicans call “nopales?” My wife’s family makes that sometimes. I was surprised by the bit of lemony tinge it has to it. They also introduced me to its fruit, which was sweet and juicy, but with way too many hard little seeds. Both the pads and fruit are supposedly very healthy, too.
Just did tonight!
I preferred them toasted, compared to raw. Without toasting the skin is waxy and leathery, and the flesh tastes strongly of oxalic acid. Afterwards it tasted like roasted cucumbers, a little sour.
Interesting. I’ve never eaten them like that. My wife and mother-in-law usually make tacos out of them and add cheese, or beans or meat. The photo isn’t mine, just something I found that looks like the tacos they make:
I was stationed just west of Phoenix at Luke AFB for ~3 years. Hated the place when I first arrived: what they call mountains just looked like huge piles of dirt to me -not a tree in sight. But, over a period of time I grew to love the place and didn’t want to leave when it was time to go. I miss the time I spent in the desert there and have often thought of going back just to have a look see -maybe someday.
I must admit the food was outstanding. A friend of mine married a local gal and she would dish up the prickly pears in a variety of ways. I also remember a locally owned fast food chain that would serve the largest, most awesome burritos you ever had for only like $2 bucks. It was called Humberto’s or Filiberto’s -something like that, I can’t quite recall.
Best part of my time in that area is you could head west out of town and after about 5 minutes be in the middle of nowhere. The weather was always nice and everywhere was a shooting range so long as you didn’t shoot a Saguaro cactus (guess that law didn’t apply to federally controlled bombing ranges though )
Arizona will always hold a special place in my heart, but for now it only lives in my memories. Thanks for this most welcome derail. Carry on.
Yeah, AZ is one of my favorite places to visit. We took the kids to see the Grand Canyon and Tombstone last year and had a blast.
I feel the same way about ElPasso,Tx. Ft Bliss was where I was stationed in the 70’s. Really liked the desert and mountains and lots of places to go shoot.