Friday, October 19, 2007

Arizona Cook Book - Yum!

A friend found this book at a garage sale in California recently and sent it to me. What fun! This spiral-bound paperback claims to contain authentic recipes of Indian, Mexican, and Western origin. I think that in this case, authentic is accurate.

Let's see, what shall we try? In the Indian section, there's and interesting recipe for Blood Sausage. All I need is 4 cups of sheep blood, 1 1/2 cups of sheep fat, and a clean stomach (to contain the sausage - not mine). Or how about using that cup of acorn meal you have lying around to prepare some delicious acorn stew?

There's a whole section of recipes featuring pinto beans, including delicious Pinto Bean Fudge! Yep, there is the usual ingredient list, with one odd inclusion: 1/2 cup strained cooked pinto beans.

I was initially alarmed when I noticed a recipe for Pyracantha Jelly. I didn't realize that pyracantha berries were edible - a little research confirms they are not poisonous after all.

Under Beef Bounties, the adventurous chef can try Beef Earth Roast. The authors provide an 8-step instruction for "an economical, easy and unusual way to feed a large group of people." Instruction #1: Dig a pit 3' deep and 3' wide. Length depends on how much meat you cook. (A 10-foot pit will hold about 300 pounds of beef.) The remaining 7 steps are just as easy. Be sure to have green hickory or oak limbs on hand to create the 12 to 14 inches of live coals you'll need. You'll also need metal bars to place across the pit, 18" apart, and some overlapping tin to cover that, plus a tarp "in case of rain." Easy, indeed!

If you'd like your own copy of this delightful cookbook, Arizona Cook Book was published by Golden West Publishers, and when I checked was available online at several sites that sell used books, including alibris and Bon appetit!

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