Archives for posts with tag: desert
The bird feeder in our backyard.

The bird feeder in our backyard.

Dear Bean Bakers,

In the past two weeks, we’ve gotten about three feet of snow: heavy “heart-attack-while-shovelling” snow; light, airy snow; blowing hard snow; flurries snow; you-name-it-Canadian-snow.

I am NOT a snow person. My idea of heaven? No hats, no mitts, no boots, no shovelling, no slipping and sliding, no scraping ice off windshields, etc.

This is why the spouse and I are returning to Tucson, Arizona, for January and February. Tucson isn’t particularly hot at this time of year, but (blessed be) it has no snow.

Plus, we’ll be able to hike in the mountains.

To be honest, I’ve never much liked hiking around Ottawa. The land is generally flat, and I don’t find it thrilling to tramp through yet another green forest with all the usual suspects: fir and maple trees, mosquitoes and black flies, squirrels and sparrows.

Clearly, I’m a desert girl. Give me a hill, a trail, and some cacti, and I’m off and running. The spouse (see photo below) willingly comes along for the ride.

The spouse on a Tucson hike last year.

All of which is to say—I don’t know how much posting I’ll be able to do in the next two months. I have my iPad app for this blog but I’ve never used it to create posts. And the kitchen in our rental is not likely to be as amenities-rich as my own.

So we’ll see and, in the meantime, my best for the New Year to you all.

Claire

 

Yum. Yum. Yum. If you like mango that is. My favourite mangos, the yellow ataulfos (see note below), have made their springtime appearance in the stores and, of course, I had to try a bean bake with them.

My first effort included two mangos and one ripe banana. Nope, not quite right. Between the beans and the banana, the mango flavour was overwhelmed. It was still tasty (we ate it all) but not quite the flavour that I had lurking in my taste buds.

The second try—just with mangos—hit the jackpot. Deliciously sweet and as tangy as I had hoped with with a texture somewhere between cake and pumpkin pie. Perfect. (Sigh.)

Interestingly, after it came out of the oven, the bake appeared to be….well, almost airy. When I put in a knife to see if it was done, it felt like there was nothing beneath the surface. The spouse, who was watching, informed me that, although it was brown around the edges, it had clearly not finished cooking. However, in all things bean-bake, I follow my instincts. The knife had come out clean; thus it was done.

I let the bake cool and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. Next morning, it was just as substantial as all the other bakes I’ve made. (Sigh again.)

Update: I just made this bake again but with two surprisingly tart mangos. I decided to drop the lemon and add ¼ cup additional sweetener. Still tart but the additional sugar took the edge off. Very tasty. Oh, and just as airy when I took it out of the oven.

Note: “Sometimes referred to as Champagne®, Honey Mangos or Manila Mangos, ataulfo mangos are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Generally smaller than other mango varieties, they are a good source of Vitamins A and C, dietary fiber and Vitamin B6. Look for ripe Ataulfos to be bright yellow to orange, giving slightly to gentle pressure. Do not refrigerate. Harvested in Southern Mexico and Ecuador, Ataulfo Mangos are available twice a year, in the spring and fall.” (Adapted from “Ataulfo Mango” at John Vena Inc.)

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