Friday, October 30, 2009

Sandra Day O'Connor/ League Open House photos

Smiling faces all around as Sandra Day O'Connor greeted friends and fans at the new Exhibit Opening/Historical League Membership Open House Oct 21. Dr Peter Welsh points out highlights of the exhibit to Justice O'Connor, including a poster from her career.
Barbara Barrett was instrumental in procuring and moving the O'Connor House to the AHS property.


Justice O'Connor visits with Family Circus artist and fellow Historymaker Bil Keane.

Part of the Historymakers Hall exhibit includes photos and artifacts of Justice O'Connors career, even a Barbie doll in judicial robe.
Greg Novak, Justice O'Connor and Bil Keane. Marilyn and Robin Parke with Barbara Barrett.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Photos of Sandra Day O'Connor Open House

Hustle and bustle were the buzz words as the Historical League put the finishing touches on tables, centerpieces, name tags and delicious recipes from Tastes & Treasures cookbook. Pat Faur and Margaret Pogue arrange name tags at the welcoming table. Linda Wegener opens boxes of crystal plates.

Pat and co-chair April Riggins share a moment with Sandra Day O'Connor during the event.


Pecan Squares pg 172 were "melt in your mouth" good.

Great Pumpkin Cookies pg 162 had hints of nutmeg, cinnamon and chocolate chips.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cookbook Recipes served at Sandra Day O'Connor Exhibit Opening


Preparing for this special exhibit opening has taken months but it was well worth the effort as 250 people filled the Museum foyer enjoying the displays and sampling the tasty appetizers and desserts. Leslie Christiansen was the director in the kitchen making sure that everything was presented perfectly on crystal plates with doilies. After all her training and now teaching at Classic Cooking Academy in Scottsdale, she has become an excellent chef, teacher and caterer. Kay Holcombe works at precision cutting the Chocolate Mint Bars while Leslie swirls icing on Great Pumpkin Cookies pg 162. These photos are just a few of the delightful delicacies served Wednesday, Oct 21 at the Arizona Historical Society Museum. Love the Cowboy Caviar pg 180 served in corn chips. Pam Ryan and Kay Holcombe enjoy a laugh during the hectic prep time.
There were speeches in the Steele Auditorium with Sandra Day O'Connor giving an inspirational talk. She is, indeed, a wonderful role model.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

O'Connor House Papago Park

Last evening the League hosted their annual Membership Open House featuring guest speaker Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Afterward, Justice O'Connor cut the ribbon on the museum's new exhibit, "Sandra Day O'Connor, A Citizen for All Seasons." Attendees were then encouraged to tour the O'Connor's adobe house, moved from its Paradise Valley location and now situated adjacent to the Arizona Historical Society Museum on park grounds.

Justice O'Connor and her husband, John, lived in their adobe house for over 25 years, leaving it when they moved to Washington D.C. following her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here are some interesting excerpts from the house brochure:


"To make good adobes, you need a compound with quite a bit of clay in it to hold its shape, and you also have to a bit of straw and other things to make it all hold together.

"We [she and her husband, John,] decided to get the adobe for our house from a pit in the Salt River bed.

"We hosted many dinners -- for family and friends, colleagues, foreign visitors, members of Congress, and other distinguished people.

"In every instance, a bit of food and drink on our patio helped bridge any tension and helped the conversation."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

AZ Biltmore Hotel Tour October 15

A visit to Phoenix for health issues in 1910 gave Warren McCarther the idea to build in Phoenix. Joined by his brother, Charles, in 1914 they started the first Dodge car dealership, then the first radio, KTAR, giving free radios to ranchers so they would advertize on the radio, then the first recreational vehicle "Wonderbus", a dodge truck with extra seats for tours to Sedona, Indian Reservations and the Grand Canyon.
Small wonder that the first high-quality hotel was next on their list. With a proposal of $1 million they sold stock certificates and William Wrigley bought $50,000 worth. The property was 600 acres and 8 miles from Phoenix with no water or electricity. The architect was their brother, Harvard trained Albert Chase McCarther, who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright.
The original library now houses historic photos including the key dropped from an airplane for the grand opening.
The original Belgian linen tapestries are still gracing the walls of the Gold Room along with the restored 24 K gold leaf ceiling. These designs are a tribute to the Zuni and Hopi and Navajo tribes. The Aztec Room is accoustically perfect and was the sight of many elegant dances. Guests had to be "invited" to check in and arrived by train with steamer trunks, children, nannies, nurses, and other servants and stayed "for the season" (often 3-6 months). The rich and famous were often seen. Carole Lombard and Clark Gable were married at the Biltmore and he lost his wedding ring on the golf course. The original pool is called "Marilyn's pool" since she was photographed so many times there. Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" by "Marilyn's pool." Half of the Historical League tour group pose in front of the waterfall/ water slide designed by Vern Swaback, a Historical League member. Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland woke up guests with an imprompty piano session after a performance at Gammage Theatre. Billy Joel was recently a visitor and warmed up the piano again.
Ogiliva Wright donated the original glass window creation from her husband called Sahuaro forms and Cactus Flowers. Keri Christian, one of the knowledgeable historians at the Biltmore conducted this fabulous tour. If you get a chance, sign up for one of these fascinating visits through this bustling hotel in the heart of Phoenix.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Green Salad with Shrimp


The breeze coming through the doorway is heavenly right now. Thank goodness for fall and temperatures finally dropping in Phoenix. The table at the Historical League meeting is decorated with harvest and halloween to help us get into the spirit of the season.

This salad sounded so delicious probably because I love marinated shrimp and avocados so I decided to make it for the League meeting.

Green Salad with Shrimp page 174 Tastes & Treasures Cookbook
2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 or 3 avocados, sliced
2 pounds small shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 bunch spinach, trimmed
1 head romaine, trimmed and leaves separated
1 head iceberg lettuce, trimmed and leaves separated
1 pound bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

Combine the oil, cottage cheese, onion, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, peppercorns and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor and process until mixed. Combine the cottage cheese mixture, avocados and shrimp in a bowl and mix gently. Chill, covered, for 8 to 10 hours. Rinse the spinach, romaine and iceberg lettuce and wrap in damp clean kitchen towels. Chill for 8 to 10 hours.
Tear the greens into bite-size pieces. Combine the greens and the shrimp mixture in a salad bowl and mix gently. Sprinkle with the bacon and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10

Note: This is too much oil for my taste so recommend cutting it in 1/2. I also pureed the cottage cheese mixture for a l-o-n-g time but it still separated when I poured it on the lettuce. Not a pretty picture. This salad tasted great but not the best looking presentation. Too bad.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Conversation with The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor Breakfast

On Friday, October 9, eighteen members and two guests of the Historical League attended “A Conversation with The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor Breakfast” at the Arizona Biltmore. Justice O’Connor was delightful as she told of her experiences as a graduate of Stanford Law School in the early 1950’s. She was third in her graduating class and unable to get a job because she was a woman. One very distinguished lawyer had the nerve to ask her what her typing speed was! She eventually talked her way into her first law position by stating that she would come every day for no pay if they would just try her out. Her desk was placed in the area near the office secretary where she loved her job and eventually worked her way into the firm and into a real office!

When asked how she had learned to deal with difficult times, she replied, “Well, I think I learned that growing up on the Lazy B, where something was always happening and needed attention right now. We just saddled up and went out to take care of it and that is pretty much how I deal with any problems I have had.”

Justice O’Connor told about how her former home came to be reconstructed in Papago Park. She said that the house looks so beautiful there and that everyone is welcome to come to see it and to also visit the wonderful Historical Society Museum that it is built near.

Members attending were Pat Faur, Jeannine Moyle, Susan Dale, Marilyn Parke, Sharron McKinney, Toby Daum, Kassie Walters, Mary Ann O’Neil, Sandy Goodheart, Janie Burke, Mary Parker, Margaret Baker, Barbara Simons, Renee Donnelly, Gail Lucky, Pat Tanner, Peter Welsh and Ruth Ann Hogan. Guests were: Gena Brown, a guest of Gail Lucky, and Gabrielle Shores, the daughter of Toby Daum.

Reported by Ruth Ann Hogan

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Origins of Scottsdale

At our October meeting, Jo Ann Handley, shown with Kathleen Fischer (on the left), entertained League members not only by recounting a detail-rich history of Scottsdale's origins, but she added a personal touch. Jo Ann's family dates back to settlement in 1895 and she has literally "lived" through much of Scottsdale's transformation.

Just a few interesting tidbits from her lecture:
  • Winfred Scott paid $2.50 an acre for his land purchase, which is now the area bounded by Scottsdale Road, Hayden, Indian School and Chaparral.
  • The original name of the town was Orangedale.
  • Scott was a Baptist minister so there were no saloons in town, but no churches, either. Services were held in the school basement.
  • The cheapest way to have a house in 1900 was to buy a tent and for many a tent was home.
  • During World War I the U.S. was blocked from importing cotton from Egypt so Pima cotton, first grown over a 1000 years ago by the Hohokam, was planted in Valley fields.
  • Scottsdale Airpark was originally an airbase training station built by Hollywood moviemakers.
The Little Red Schoolhouse in Scottsdale was the first school and it was constructed of sand and gravel from the bed of the Salt River. It was finished in 1910 and the two room building cost $5000. Today it houses The Scottsdale Historical Society.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cranberry Coffee Cake

Here we are bringing snacks to our Master Gardener class. The class enjoys it when our turn comes up because they know the recipes are good from Tastes & Treasures cookbook. That's Carol Vie (the blonde) in the green shirt with the oval pan of yummy coffee cake. It was gobbled up very quickly. I'm in the middle with Carrot Bread pg. 197 and Serge Vie (Carol's son) with Salmon Pate pg. 166.

Cranberry Coffee Cake pg. 199
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce

Confectioners' Sugar Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons (about) warm water
2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the Coffee Cake: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Beat the butter in a bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the walnuts.
Spoon half the batter into a greased and floured tube pan, 9 X 13 inch baking pan or bundt pan. Spread with 1/2 of the cranberry sauce. Top with the remaining batter and remaining cranberry sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes for the tube pan or bundt pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes for the 9 X 13 pan or until the coffee cake tests done. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving platter.

For the Glaze: mix the confectioners' sugar, warm water and lemon juice in a bowl until of a glaze consistency. Drizzle over the warm coffee cake. Let stand until set.

Serves 16