Seasonal Flavors and Scents of the Southwest Spice Up the Holidays

Wake Up Holiday Salads With Chiltepines!

Contributed by Tia Linda

Chiltepines add zip to holiday salads.

Chiltepines add zip to holiday salads.

The red, round fruits of  the ancient chiltepin are making a comeback this year, after a rough bout with erratic weather patterns.  This is “their” time of year, as they mature between October and December, giving us just enough time to dry them for use throughout the holidays.  Marinated Kale Salad is easy to make, and offers a fresh, raw energy to the heavy-ish meals often served at the holidays. Prepare it the night before you wish to serve it, to give the juices of the lemon and tomatoes time to work their magic and soften the raw kale.

Here’s the recipe: In a bowl, combine 3 bright red chiltepin (crushed),  3 medium tomatoes (diced), the juice of 5 lemons,  about half a cup of olive oil, and salt to taste.  Then chop about 5 cups of raw Kale (also grows in your garden this time of year, here in the SW) as finely as you wish and add it to the mixture.  Place it in some kind of container with a tight fitting lid so that you can periodically shake the green mixture, allowing the juices that inevitably fall to the bottom of the container the chance to coat the kale above.

Kale salad lightens heavy holiday meals.

Kale salad lightens heavy holiday meals.

Make a Sonoran Scents Pomander

Contributed by Jacqueline Soule

Pomanders are used to add fragrance to stored clothing while they are said to also deter moths.  Pomanders have traditionally been made by sticking cloves into oranges, or mixing cinnamon and nutmeg with applesauce.  For those of you that love the scent of creosote bush, here is a Sonoran Pomander recipe I invented.

Dry creosote leaves until well dried.

Dry leaves of creosote bush.  Collect more than you think you need!

Dry leaves of creosote bush. Collect more than you think you need!

Turn them into leaf “powder” in a blender.  Mix three parts leaf powder to one part applesauce.

Mix powdered leaves with applesauce.

Mix powdered leaves with applesauce.

Form into walnut sized balls, or pat into thick disks.  If you get the mix too wet and have no more leaf powder, use a mild spice (like nutmeg) to add more “powder.”  Don’t use something moths eat, like flour or mesquite meal.

You can use nutmeg if you run out of powdered leaves.

You can use nutmeg if you run out of powdered leaves.

Use small cookie cutters to make impressions if you wish.

Use small cookie cutters to make impressions if you wish.

Add ribbon if you wish to hang them (later!).  Poke ribbon into the center with a toothpick.
Allow to dry for three to seven days.

Insert ribbon into still moist pomander with a toothpick.

Insert ribbon into still moist pomander with a toothpick.

Notes:
* Substitute white glue for some or all of the applesauce.
* Hang one of these in your car and carry the desert with you as you drive!

* To learn how to grow creosote in your yard, visit my other blog on creosote, available on http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/lovely-larrea/

* You can also read more about using creosote bush (and other native herbs) in my book Father Kino’s Herbs: Growing and Using them Today (available at amazon.com).

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Categories: Cooking, Sonoran Crafts, Sonoran herb, Sonoran Native, Southwest Food | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Seasonal Flavors and Scents of the Southwest Spice Up the Holidays

  1. Pingback: Lovely Larrea

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