..........a blog about food, travel, gardening, and living the good life in Arizona.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Arizona Move: Part 1

Last summer we decided to move back to Tucson, partly because of the weather here in Nebraska: most convincing was the Mother’s Day tornado that devastated several towns and rural homes having missed our house by just a quarter of a mile. Along with the weather came the realization that our property is just too much for us to manage anymore. A 5,000 sq. ft. house on 3 acres with lawn to mow and gardens to maintain is time-consuming hard work reminding us that with abundance comes responsibility. We both think we can do with much less (yard work, that is); so "downsizing" has become our new mantra. After 3 huge garage sales last Fall, we put the house on the market. Now it’s sold and we move in 2 weeks! Yikes!

Making a household move is a daunting task, but we've made good progress, so much so that now I feel I can take a break from packing and update my blog. A few days ago I cleared the bookshelves in the library. It’s a strange feeling emptying the shelves of books and then trying to decide the handful I should keep out to get me through 6 months at our rental home in Tucson. 

 An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler – A meditation on cooking and eating that changed the way I’ll cook forever.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – About a family that abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live and grow their own food in a rural setting… by the famous Arizona author.

China Moon Cookbook by Barbara Tropp – Doable Chinese recipes using ingredients I can easily find in Tucson. Even though my favorite Asian grocery store, 17th St. Market, is now closed there is a new international market, Lee Lee’s, smack dab in the middle of the zip code where we want to live! That’s reason enough to keep this one on the top of the stack.

A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves – writing exercises, topics, legends and lore to inspire the writer within.

The Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents by Terry Hewitt – great photos of many cacti varieties, care and feeding of these amazing plants.

Is There a Nutmeg in the House? By Elizabeth David – British cookbook writer and all round amazing woman wrote these essays on practical cooking interspersed with stories of a life well lived.

Cooked by Michael Pollan – explores the middle link in the food chain: cooking. Learning a few things I didn’t know… salting meat before cooking, the umami taste, and the importance of cooking as a protest against specialization.

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz – Amusing observations of an American chef living in Paris today with recipes that compel the cook to don the apron and get busy. I’ve still to make his chicken tagine with apricots and almonds, but vow to do so this week!

Mexican Tiles by Masako Takahashi – Inspiration for working with Mexican tiles. I designed this kitchen backsplash in our former Tucson home with tiles I found at a tiny shop which is probably not there anymore. Somewhere in our new home, similar tiles will be featured.

Baja Cooking on the Edge by Deborah Schneider –Baja inspired dishes from acclaimed San Diego chef; I attended many of her cooking classes when we lived in San Diego so it’s wonderful to see her success with this book. From one who never met a taco she didn’t love, this book is a marvel of taste and deliciousness.

A Year in My Kitchen by Skye Gyngell – Thanking her for introducing me to the principle of agrodolce… creating the ideal harmonious flavors within one dish using sweet, salty, sour elements in balance.

And that’s all so far. See!! packing can be fun!