Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Weihnachten in die Wüste


When I planned it, three weeks in Tucson (where the fam' converged upon my grandfather's desert home) seemed like ages, but it (as vacations do) flew by. We ate a lot (though it's never enough) of Sonoran-style (ie, local/Tucson) Mexican food: thin placemat-size flour tortillas, green corn and red (chile pork) tamales, stacked enchiladas (mild cheese, no meat), carne seca (theoretically air-dried beef rehydrated with tomatoes and chiles), and other delights you just can't find in Berlin. Other food highlights included double birthday chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake, locally sourced (by meine Schwester) Christmas leg of lamb, Christmas Indian pudding (one of several "authentic" American culinary experiences for mein Freund (others: pimento cheese, ham biscuits, pecan pie...)) with homemade maple ice cream (yum, if i do say so myself), a New Years Eve Thanksgiving dinner (pecans (for the pie) gathered from our old family farm and painstakingly shelled by my grandfather), a New Years Day mesquite (gathered in the backyard (of sorts))-grilled steak cookout...
Lest you think we spent the entire time in the kitchen/dining room, non-culinary highlights included: several hikes (two in "our" canyon), a family roadtrip complete with not one, but two dogs, to see old family sights in New Mexico (the dogs liked the stop at White Sands best), some people (not me) visited a lot of airplanes (Tucson is home to a lot of "dead" airplanes), stargazing/sunset-viewing from Kitt Peak/our deck, the sustainable Christmas saguaro, and mingling with the unpaid retirees who make up the staff of the hot air balloon company (mein Freund got a ride for Weihnachten),and being cornered by a herd of javelina (wild boars of sorts)...

After a few days in DC (Banh Mi and pupusas revueltas)I´m back to Berlin (stash of not-so-accessible-in-Berlin ingredients replenished: chocolate chips, canned green chile, etc.). After almost five weeks stateside, mein Deutsch is feeling pretty sad and after Tucson and unseasonably warm DC, the lack of central heat a little harsh, but for the most part, it´s good to be back.

2 comments:

Bekah said...

I always get hungry checking in on this...

But I can't believe that I forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I'm a terrible friend. It sounds like it was good though.

Bekah said...

I did NOT forget your birthday, as I realized not long after I posted that one -- I still have over a week to go! I don't know what is wrong with me...