Sunday, March 14, 2010

Culinary Souveneirs

We just returned from a fabulous trip to Arizona over spring break. We drove in one heck of a blizzrd in northern Az, and temperatures were cooler than usual, yet we still managed to enjoy the desert southwest.
The citrus was a must-have. While there, I picked lemons for my sister, made two lemon pies, and a few small lemon poundcakes. I shared them with family. When it came time to leave, I plucked one last lemon from the tree, and that was a good thing as I had neglected to pick any other lemons for us to bring home!! We got nice grapefruit from a cousin. I purchased oranges at a local orange grove. While there, I also picked up some orange blossom honey, and a wooden juicer.
On the way to Happy Hour at a family member's, we stopped at Trader Joe's; I had never been in one before. I picked up a small jar of saffron, under $6. Another great market is AJ's where I purchased a tin of Spanish smoked sweet paprika.
One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Queen Creek Olive Oil Farm where we toured the facility, leaning about the process. They had quite a selection of EVOO, as well as flavored oils: Meyer lemon, blood orange, lime, chili, vanilla, roasted garlic to name but a few. I purchased the Tuscan blend, and a white truffle infused oil. They also sold bread, balsamic vinegars, tapenades, olives with many different stuffings, pickled veggies, wine, and many more products. They also had a fabulous to-go restaurant where one takes their orders out to the picnic area in an olive grove.

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