Edible Souvenirs

Back in mid-July we went on vacation. (With such a big garden and several animals, the likelihood of me ever making that statement again seems slim — we really should save our vacationing for the off-season.) We drove all over Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and it was great. 

When we travel, we’re not super into souvenirs, though we do tend to pick up some edible ones. This time we bought prickly pear syrup with the intention of making our own prickly pear ice cream (we had some in Prescott, AZ, and it was really good!) and some Southwesternized gin and tonic concoctions. But alas! We forgot about the liquid rule and it got confiscated at the airport (very nicely,  I should add, considering I also left my phone in my pocket and we were generally completely brain dead after 12 days in the desert).

What did make it home was a package of stoneground blue corn meal and Hopi tea that we bought at the Hopi Cultural Center from the couple who harvested and dried them. We haven’t used them yet, but we’ll eventually have an Arizona supper to test them out (just as soon as I order a bottle of prickly pear syrup to replace the one being enjoyed by the TSA). 

We also bought a fun new item from a potter in Jerome, AZ. This is a handmade garlic grater: 


The concentric circles in the middle have little raised teeth that smushes up garlic and ginger when you rub them over the surface. We don’t have a great garlic harvest this year, but to test out our new toy I grabbed a nice couple of cloves of Spanish rosa:


I’ll admit that I was a little afraid of scraping my fingers, but I don’t think this is sharp enough to actually cut skin. It does a nice job, and the plate holds all the good garlic juice so you don’t lose it on a cutting board:


This plate is designed to hold just the right amount of olive oil for bread dipping, which is exactly what we did:


In addition to the two big garlic cloves, I also added a couple twists of black pepper, a pinch of salt, and some smoked Spanish paprika (perhaps the single most interesting gift I’ve ever received from a student!). The verdict? Everyone wants more! And the grater is a success, too.

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