Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two for Tucson!

Relaxing by the fire...

Yes, Ted and I have moved to Tucson, and Baghdad and Jazz (the horses) came, too!! (So technically, it's FOUR for Tucson.)  Yes, it is different than Northern California - no more muddy slopes to navigate on trail rides, for example.  Actually, the vistas in all directions are different:  no more oak-studded hills, and certainly no more views of the bay, no matter how high we climb on a hike or trail ride.  There are mountain ranges in every direction, and we are tucked in a corner between the Santa Catalinas and the Rincon. We are on 14 acres on the Tanque Verde wash (a dry riverbed this time of year), so we can ride right off our property into the wash, which goes for miles in either direction.

Baghdad and Jazz, saddled and ready for a trail ride!!

If we go east, we are only a couple of hours ride from the trails that climb into the Rincon, part of Saguaro National Forest.  The trails go up above the snow line, and there is an old homestead up there:  the Manning cabin.  One can camp there; there are 3 corrals for horses to "overnight" in.  We've already purchased our annual park pass and are looking forward to making that trip soon.

In my new kitchen!

Our kitchen is large and light-filled, due to southern-facing skylights that cross the house, and big windows that frame views of the mesquite trees that shade the property. There's plenty of counter space - always a BIG plus!  There's plenty of room to stack my baking pans and stainless steel bowls on top of the cabinets, as the ceiling is high and open-beamed.  This past Sunday, I baked all day, working with the old electric oven, which zorched the first 24 Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins.  Nothing like that to give me an appreciation for all the good ovens I've had in the past!  I learned that there's just one spot in the oven that bakes correctly; that is, if I watch the thermometer I added and notch the temp up a hair (only!) to give a "boost" at the beginning of the bake time, and then ease it down a  hair (only!) and watch to make sure it doesn't fall too much - I get a great result.  (I sure feel spoiled by convection ovens!)  As it turned out, I ended up with a German Chocolate cake, a Banana Chocolate Chip cake, and 6 dozen Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins for customers that were perfect.....after the initial "sacrifice" of 24 "Charcolate Charcolate Chip".  Oh well, we're slicing off the charcoal edges and bottoms and eating the "hearts" ourselves! (Mmmmhmmmmm - good!)

Fortunately, too, the UPS Store is very near - and so all orders were quickly shipped off to the West Coast.  That German Chocolate Cake was so yummy, I'm planning to make another one to share with new friends here.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like just yesterday I was wandering around the various vendors at the Hollywood Farmers Market at Ivar and came upon your baked goods booth. Sundays became a ritual of buying fresh veggies and stopping off at Alaine's booth to chat w/all the other market patrons who were there to buy a healthy dessert from Alaine's bakery. We were always greeted with a smile. Eighteen years later you are still smiling and baking fantastic desserts. Congratulations.