Monday, July 27, 2009

But It's A Dry Heat!

Tourism and Tastes of Tucson
Brought to you by the Adobe Rose Inn

Photo by Jean Crankshaw


We’ve already broken one “hot day” record this year, but I’m still grateful that no matter how hot it gets here in the Sonoran Desert, I don’t have to shovel heat. Years of shoveling snow in Eastford, CT, Pittsburgh, PA and Milwaukee, WI make me happy that I traded “too cold and snowy” for “too hot and sunny”, if there is such a thing as too much sun. And it’s the only place I’ve ever lived where I have a hummingbird nest in my yard with two tiny, tiny baby hummingbirds in it.

The summer sun performs daily in Tucson. When my good friend Elly from WI came to visit, she was entranced with our neighborhood. Tucson houses are often painted in bright yellows, pinks, purples and blues. “Where do the colors come from?” she asked. We took her to the top of Tucson Mountain in time to see the sun execute a most exquisite sunset.

Besides, summertime food is fun. Icy sorbets made from beautiful fresh fruits and melons are cooling way to start the day. A scoop of home made banana ice cream on a bowl of steel cut oatmeal just makes you smile. And fresh fruits in baked treats can’t be beat. Try this one during peach season.

From the kitchen of the Adobe Rose Inn

Blueberry Peach Breakfast Cake

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter 9 inch springform pan.

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup lightly salted butter
¾ cup of sugar
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
2 large eggs

3-4 large, fresh ripe peaches
½ cup fresh blueberries

1 Tbs. white sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon

Cream the butter. When fluffy, slowly add the sugar. Add eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating until blended after each egg. Beat in lemon juice and lemon peel. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to the sugar mixture in three parts, thoroughly blending each addition.

Spread the batter in the prepared springform pan.

Peel and pit the peaches. Slice each peach into ¼ inch slices. Press the slices into the cake batter, slightly overlapping the slices. Place the slices in two concentric circles. Place the blueberries on the batter in the center of the cake.

Combine the sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over the fruit.

Bake on the middle rack in the oven for 50 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden and a tester inserted comes out clean. Release from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Freezes well.

Serves 8 or more.

10 ways to beat the heat in Tucson

1. Drive up Mt. Lemmon where it’s as much as 20 degrees cooler at the top of the Mountain. Stop in the Cookie Cabin while you are there and order a huge cookie topped with three scoops of your favorite ice cream.
2. Enjoy an icy margarita at the Rio Café.
3. Tour the University of Arizona’s Mirror Lab.
4. Go to Frost for a scoop of yummy gelato.
5. Swim in Hutch’s Pool in Sabino Canyon, reputed to be the most beautiful pool in the Santa Catalina Mountain range.
6. Go boating on nearby Patagonia Lake.
7. Spend the afternoon in Bookman’s, the coolest second-hand bookstore there is.
8. Visit the Sonoran Desert Museum on a Saturday night.
9. Enjoy great theater at The Temple of Art and Music.
10. Enjoy a huge glass of prickly pear iced tea at the Tohono Chul Tea Room.


Photo of Scones done by Jan Christensen

Scones aren’t just for tea time anymore. Just add some fresh raspberries along with the butter and water to a package of Adobe Rose Inn Buttermilk Scone Mix, bake and serve over vanilla ice cream. A little drizzle of chocolate on top makes it even yummier.

Uncork a crisp, chilled bottle of white wine and serve it with scones infused with goat cheese and garden-fresh dill that’s been chopped. To quote “Wayne’s World” – “EXCELLENT!”

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