Posted by: facetothewind | April 19, 2012

Feeling all springy

Spring in Tucson is sublime. I have my issues with Tucson but not in the spring. Warm days with everything blooming and a blanket of stars to cover us in the cool nights. I stumble out of my cave in the early morning hours before the day heats up, sip my rose black tea and putter in the garden, clipping, pruning and tweezing my fingers afterward.

Each day seems to bring some new flowering delight. Cactus put out their new growth in bizarre and wonderful colors and textures.

A couple weeks ago my small agave sent out its bloom shoot (which will kill the plant) and turned my courtyard into a desert version of Jack and the Beanstalk. It grew 8-10″ each day reaching a final height of about 15 feet in less than 2 weeks. Soon its stalk will produce a thousand babies. I’m taking orders for adoption now.

Here’s a spring salad I made from the bounty of the farmer’s market and the Tucson Village Farm. It has raw purple asparagus for crunch, grown by Forrest the randy gay farmer; radish beans from the little Lao ladies for spice; tomatoes from Professor Tomato and the kids for sweetness; and feta cheese for salty creamy mouth feel.

In the desert, we know what follows spring: THE FLAMES OF HELL, so spring is to be savored like the absinthe I’ve taken to on Wednesday nights at Café Passe. Wednesday is jazz night. Jazz is not a big tradition in Tucson so when you get the chance to hear it and it’s good, you go back. It is good!

Absinthe is the wormwood, fennel and anise spirit that shook up the art scene on Montmartre in the late 19th century Paris. If you drink it, the lore goes, the green faeries will come visit you. I have been working through their repertoire of absinthe cocktails waiting for a visit from the little green friend. First week it was served with champagne (Death in the Afternoon it’s called), then served warm in a shot glass with a simple syrup side. Finally one served with cream and vodka that tastes quite a lot like root beer.

Jazz and absinthe Wednesdays at Passé. A tickle for your tongue and ears. It’s a little bit Hemingway, a little bit Toulouse Lautrec. It’s a little bit Tucson and a big stretch of the imagination, I know. But you work with what ya got. Hallucinations are what the desert is all about…remember that guy Jesus?

I’ve been going every Wednesday night to Passe and re-creating Paris in my mind with the few friends I have left. Here I am with Danielle. She’s leaving soon for Smith College. I tell ya. Never fall in love with an academic!

Bye Sebastian. Bye John & Noelle. Bye Norbert. Bye Namoli. Bye Danielle. Will the last person leaving Tucson please turn out the lights?


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