Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trip home from Eleuthera

Small planes (Regional Airlines in Abaco, Bahamas) are exciting but five hours in a jet is not my idea of fun. This time the flight from Charlotte, NC to Phoenix went so quickly because I sat next to a lovely lady. A.E. has only lived in Chandler for 2 years and asked about places to visit. Science Museum, Heard Museum, Children's Museum, Art Museum and Phoenix Museum of History are the usual things to see. Of course, I recommended the AHS Museum in Tempe with our new exhibit honoring Sandra Day O'Connor opening October 24 to the public. We are also planning the Arizona Centennial Historymakers Gala February 2011. Talking about the Historymakers Gala and Recognition Program, she told me her neighbor is Historymaker Eddie Basha. Her step son is good friends with their sons. Small world. Eddie has a great food memory in our cookbook with Tabouli Salad on page 130.

Tabouli Salad

1/2 cup cracked wheat
4 tomatoes, chopped
3 bunches parsley, stemmed and chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Small handful of fresh mint, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Soak the cracked wheat in enough water to generously cover in a bowl for 30 minutes and drain. Press the excess moisture from the cracked wheat. Combine the cracked wheat, tomatoes, parsley, green onions and mint in a bowl and mix well. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Delicious served cupped in a variety of lettuce or fresh grape leaves.

Nurse Shark Caught

Vacationing in Eleuthera, Bahamas is usually a peaceful time with a little fishing involved. Last time we went out, everyone caught something except me. But times change. I caught the first fish, a margate, and snagged a big one with the second cast. It began to bend the rod so much that Captain Leon thought I was caught on a rock so he took over. Fifteen minutes later he brought a 5 foot long nurse shark to the surface. OH MY. Leon was hoping for a huge grouper. He cut the line and let my shark swim away. Much too heavy (about 200 lb) for the 40 lb test line.

We caught 21 fish and looked to Tastes & Treasures cookbook for ways to prepare them. Camelback Inn has a good recipe for Dover Sole Menniere on page 72 but we could not find a recipe for strawberry grouper or yellow tail snapper so we substituted. There is nothing that tastes better than FRESH fish.

Fish dinner in Eleuthera, Bahamas

Preparing Four Peaks Brewing Company's Halibut with Penne and Basil Pesto, pg 89, was my idea. We would substitute the Strawberry Grouper we caught that day, but Lisa at Cape Eleuthera in the Bahamas had another idea. She put the individual filets in an aluminum sheet with onion, green pepper, spices, butter and parsley and wrapped them tight before grilling. They were delicious served with traditional brown rice and beans, corn on the cob and fresh hydroponic lettuce grown at "The Island School." We dined at the Marina at sunset. Wonderful evening.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sandra Day O'Connor to be guest speaker at Museum

We are delighted to let you know that the speaker for our October 21 invitation only Annual Membership Open House at the Museum will be Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman Supreme Court Justice, a Historymaker and an Arizona native. Be thinking of prospective members that you want to invite to this very exciting event when Justice O' Connor will be cutting the ribbons to the new exhibit now being created in her honor.
Look for more information in the newsletter and be sure to attend the first General Meeting in the Boardroom on September 14.
submitted by Ruth Ann Hogan- President Historical League, Inc.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sandra Day O'Connor Exhibit Opening at AHS Museum

Sandra Day O'Connor has always been a role model for me and to learn about the exhibit honoring her was wonderful. Dr Peter Welsh presented the plans for the Exhibit, open to the public Oct 24, 2009, to the League Executive Board. The themes are
1. Early Life (her early papers, artifacts and photos of life on the Lazy B Ranch)
2. Preparation for Public Life (with her schooling and education at Stanford University)
3. Supreme Court years
4. Her House today on the AHS Museum property.
Curator Aaron Monson has been gathering artifacts (ex. her Supreme Court robe) and photos and will travel to Wash D.C. to visit the Library of Congress for more information. The interactive audio kiosk will have films, oral histories and interviews.
For those who want more details, there will be a Virtual Exhibit on the internet with documentation of many aspects of her life.
The exhibit will be in the Changing Gallery at the Museum at Papago Park and is sponsored by the Historical League and the Friends of Sandra Day O'Connor.
It is inspirational to see what she has done and accomplished from her humble beginnings.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Banana Bread at Master Gardener Class

Always wanting to learn about growing plants in the desert, I started the U of A Master Gardener class at ASU's extension office yesterday. Very interesting and informative and fun. The instructors are so good at presenting the material, it makes you want to go out and dig in the garden. The best part was finding out that fellow Historical League member, Bonnie Newhoff, is my mentor for the class. So right away I knew someone. The mentors brought a "snack" to serve buffet style at the 10:45 am break and Bonnie prepared Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from the cookbook. She knows the cookbook very well as she was instrumental in organizing and testing the recipes prior to printing. The snack turned out to be a feast of fresh fruits, deviled eggs, pastries, cheeses and breads. Didn't need any lunch yesterday.
Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 or 3 bananas)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the bananas, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture and mix just until moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Spoon the batter evenly into two greased 5 x 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Arizona's Cooking Heritage

While talking to Realty Executives group, I passed around the first Historical League cookbook originally printed in 1987 and got a great response. Yes, the woman in Victorian dress on the cover is holding up two Gila Monsters ready for cooking. Debbie Tupper asked if she could buy that book as well as Tastes & Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona. Of course, they were all sold out...until Barbara Simons told me she found 6 and they were all gift wrapped by Peggy Murphy. That's how Peggy presented all the original cookbooks and they were such a lovely gift. So Arizona's Cooking Heritage is now being gifted by Debbie Tupper as well. Wonder if we can find some more "lost" books?