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Egg Salad for National Egg Month

May is National Egg Month – so let’s celebrate! You could make migas (here), but I am thinking of something I don’t have to cook – that is if I have hard boiled eggs on hand. Why celebrate National Egg Month in May and not March or April with Easter and Passover and their eggy traditions? Not sure. Maybe because May is when the chickens (and other domestic fowl) really start laying again. Even if you don’t have chickens, take advantage of the low egg prices this month. Make Eggs […]

Luscious Lysium – the Southwest Goji Berry

Lycium? Yep – that’s the name for goji berries. Did you know we have native goji berries in the Southwest? World Wide Plant Goji, goji berry, or wolfberry is the name applied to the fruit of two Asian plants, Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense. The genus is found around the globe, from China to Chile, Southern USA to South Africa. There are roughly 100 species all told, mostly living in arid areas. Lycium is found throughout the Southwest. There are around three dozen species, depending on what part of the […]

Savor Oregano in Many Ways

Oregano is a wonderful herb, with many uses – culinary, medicinal, ornamental, and aesthetic.  And it grows well in the Southwest. Origins From the arid mountains of the eastern Mediterranean, including present day Greece and Turkey, oregano grows well here in the Southwest forming a lovely low mounding landscape plant with a little added water. It is planted outside the fence in my landscape and the javelina, rabbits and other critters all leave it alone. Harvest Oregano Like many herbs, the best time to harvest oregano is just before it […]

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 […]