Palo Verde “Capers” – Easy and Tasty

Palo verde flowers are edible – but better yet, so are the flower buds. They are not so tasty straight off the tree, so it’s best to cure or pickle them first. Capers Technically speaking, capers are the preserved unopened flower buds of the caper bush (Capparis spinosa). You can grow this spiny Mediterranean native bush in our region, but why bother when we have our own Southwestern spiny plants to harvest flower buds from?! Palo Verde Buds There are two ways to cure/pickle your palo verde buds. One, you […]

Roasted Artichokes – for Fuller Flavor

Artichokes are about ready to harvest right now in Southwest gardens.  Rather than boil them and lose a lot of flavor – roasting them seals in an added layer of flavor! Roasted Artichokes serves 2 or 4 – depending 3 fresh artichokes 2 large fresh lemons 2 tablespoons olive oil fresh herbs chopped fine – fresh if possible, use half as much it they are dried. rosemary, thyme, oregano, and a bit of sage coarse or Himalayan sea salt ¼ teaspoon dried peppergrass seed or freshly-cracked black pepper Preheat oven […]

Liqueurs and Cordials – Savor the Flavor of the Southwest

In honor of World Absinthe Day (March 5) we are posting how to make your own absinthe as well as other liqueurs and cordials. We do urge you to be careful with your alcohol, and have a safety page on alcohol – here. This post includes affiliate links.  The Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few pennies at no additional cost to you if you use the links. Herbal Liqueurs In Europe, liqueurs started as medicinal beverages made with herbs and alcohol. Popular in 17th century […]

Brittlebush – A Useful Southwest Plant

Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is one of the most common and conspicuous wildflowers of the Sonuthwest deserts; seasonally providing a glowing golden-yellow cloak. And yes, the wood is brittle, hence the name. I wrote about growing brittlebush on GardeningWithSoule (here) now lets look at how to use this lovely plant. Brittlebush Resins The resin of brittlebush collected from the base of the plant is often yellowish to brown in color. This resin can be heated and used as a glue. The O’odham and Seri used it for hafting, to hold points […]

Chicken Soup from the Soule

All this cold weather we’ve been having, some nice chicken soup is just what we need to warm us up! Jacqueline Soule here this week with an old Soule family recipe for chicken soup.. Old Soule Family Recipe My parents grew up during the Great Depression back in the 1930’s, followed by WWII and ration books for food. My grandmothers on both sides did the best they could to feed their families, often getting quite creative about meals. As a child, I would watch the meal preparation process with fascination […]

Savory Scones with I’itoi Onions

Wintertime is the time to turn on the oven and bake some yummy treats like these scones with a hint of onion.  It’s just a hint of onion because we are using I’itoi onions – a mild-flavored perennial onion that grows well in the Southwest winter season.  They retreat underground with the heat of summer. Where to Find I’itoi Onions I’itoi onions (pronounced “e-e-toy”) are shared around Southern Arizona by gardeners and afficianados. They are also sold through Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S). NS/S says that the ones they offer “resemble the […]