Fall colors at Beaver Creek near Sedona, Arizona. Photo by Tom White.
Looking for a new twist on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey? If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate, a barbecued turkey is a delicious change from the traditional method. If you have to do this in the oven, it works just as well. It just doesn’t have the smoky taste. From Southwest Comfort Food, by Marilyn Noble.
Barbecued Southwestern Turkey
1 fresh turkey, 12–14 pounds
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons red chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 orange, cut into eighths, peel on
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 onion, quartered
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup white wine
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat the grill to low (about 300 degrees F) and push the coals to one side. Prepare a drip pan. If using a gas grill, follow the manufacturer’s directions for indirect heat grilling.
Remove the giblets from the turkey and discard, or save for making gravy. Rinse the bird and pat it dry. Work the softened butter underneath the turkey skin. Make a rub by mixing the chile powder, cumin, garlic, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the entire turkey. Place the orange, apple, and onion pieces in the body cavity. Sprinkle with salt, tuck the wing ends under, and secure the legs.
Place the turkey on the grill over the drip pan and cover the grill. Baste periodically with a mixture of the orange juice and white wine, and roast until an instant-read thermometer reads 170 degrees F, approximately 3–4 hours. Remove from the grill and allow to stand for about 30 minutes before carving.
Here is what our staff is reading this month. We hope you’re reading something great too!
Dr. Judy Melinek is a forensic pathologist who shares her experiences as a young doctor during a two-year training program in the office of the New York Medical Examiner. This ain’t no clean and easy episode of Law and
Order. She details the most interesting cases she handled during her time there, and she spares no detail when it comes to the mechanics of an autopsy; what happens to the human body during a plane crash, fire, overdose, or fall from a building; or the emotional toll determining the
cause of death can take on the professionals involved in the case. Melinek
began her training a few weeks before 9/11 and talks about the traumatic
task of identifying human remains from the carnage. This book isn’t an
overly-sensationalized memoir of her time in a big-city M.E. department, but
it’s frank and honest and definitely not for the squeamish. T. J. Mitchell is
her husband, and the glimpse into their life with their baby daughter in New
York provides some relief from the grimness of her professional stories.
If you want to know what really goes on in an M.E.’s office, or if you’re
intrigued by stories of life and death and how they play out, or want to
understand how a forensic pathologist can actually solve mysteries (or not),
you’ll find this a fascinating read. On the other hand, if you’re bothered
by blood, gore, or the subject of death, you might want to skip it.
As a writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is my favorite novel. But as a budding historian in grade school, I devoured those orange-backed “Childhood of Famous Americans” biographies. So, when I stumbled on Erika Robuck’s Call Me Zelda (about Fitzgerald’s wife) on a sunny shelf in Bart’s Books in Ojai, California, I had to buy it.
Speaking of Bart’s, where else can you find such a great selection in an open-air bookstore? The shelves are in a large enclosed patio, miraculously protected from the weather. Nothing beats browsing for books in a real bookstore, especially one with terrific ambiance. I had never heard of this author, nor did I know that I was looking for a novel based on meticulously researched details of Zelda Fitzgerald’s life. The title just popped out at me while I was perusing.
Robuck created a fictional psychiatric nurse as the narrator, and weaves her story of lost loved ones, Zelda’s friendship, and even her search for Zelda’s lost diaries, into the plot. The book even features a bibliography of non-fiction works and book group discussion questions at the end. I like Robuck’s lyrical style. Before purchasing, I like to skim books to see if the text flows, if there are vivid descriptions, and whether there’s creative dialogue. Zelda met those criteria. I found myself setting aside chunks of time to read uninterrupted and become transported into the era and story line.
Finally, here’s what Maryanne O’Hara, author of Cascade, said about Call Me Zelda:
“A Jamesian sense of the uncanny haunts Erika Robuck’s poignant, compassionate portrait of Zelda Fitzgerald’s desperate dance with mental illness . . . mesmerizing, page-turning, and provides us with a fresh, very human look at two literary icons.”
I enjoy fantasy, but don’t know too much about what’s good in the genre or where to start. I heard about The Wheel of Time series from a friend, and decided to check it out. Shortly after starting the first book, The Eye of the World, I was hooked. Now I’m in the middle of book four, The Shadow Rising. If you enjoy Tolkien and George R. R. Martin, you will like Jordan’s work as well. The Wheel of Time is strongly reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings, but it has its own distinct style, characters, and mythology. Jordan writes beautifully and vividly. There are gray areas between good and evil that give the characters depth and interest. Strong and powerful women fill the pages, which is nice to see in an epic fantasy story.
The fourteenth and final volume in the series was published in 2013. Robert Jordan passed away in 2007 while working on the twelfth volume, but left extensive notes, so author Brandon Sanderson was able to complete the series. I look forward to continuing on in the series, and hope that the rest of the volumes are as good as the first four.
Roger Naylor talks about his new book Boots and Burgers on Arizona Horizon.
Our contest entries this time around ranged from the sublime to the creepy, and our editorial board and readers have spoken. Our grand prize winner is Saija Lehtonen for her El Dorado tail fin photo from week 3. The photo earning the most likes from our Facebook friends was Bob Miller’s Monsoon Madness from week 1. Congratulations to both of you! You’ll be receiving a collection of Rio Nuevo books as well as a profile on the Rio Nuevo blog.
We have more fun contests coming in the future, so follow our page and encourage your friends to do so, too.
Thursday, catch him on Arizona Horizon on PBS Channel 8 at 5:30pm.
Friday, he will be signing books at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe at 7pm.
Saturday, he will be signing books at Well Red Coyote in Sedona at 2pm.
Find out where to hike in AZ and where to chow down afterward!
Once again our editorial staff had a tough decision this week. Every one of the entries was a perfect example of the theme, from Sarah Dolliver’s skeletal tree and Desert View tower to the Prescott cemetery from Jag Fergus. It was such a hard decision, in fact, that we once again chose a winner and an honorable mention.
We were all attracted to (and more than a little spooked by) Dawn Santiago’s gravedigger at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. The full moon, encased in clouds, adds an otherworldy cast to the lighting, and even though there’s one corpse ready for the undertaker’s shovel, you get the feeling he could easily handle more. Congratulations, Dawn! You take the prize this week.
We couldn’t get over the creepy factor in Bob Miller’s cast-off doll photo, so we decided to award him an honorable mention. The blank eyes, the crackled skin — the photo sends shivers down our spines.
Dawn and Bob, please email aarond – at – rionuevo dot com with your snail mail addresses and he’ll get your books out to you.
Thanks to everyone who entered our contest over the last four weeks. We’ve enjoyed seeing your creativity! We’ll announce the grand prize and people’s choice winners next Friday. Speaking of people’s choice, voting is open until midnight Mountain time tonight, so be sure to like your favorite photos from all four weeks of the contest. You can vote for more than one. Just go to the Rio Nuevo Facebook page and click on posts to page. You can scroll through all of the entries. Be sure to share with your friends!
While I was eating a flan from a local Mexican restaurant the other day, I couldn’t help but think of the best flan I had ever tasted . . . this Orange Flan from Southwest Comfort Food, by Marilyn Noble. We all tried it after photographing it for the book, and it was amazing!
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained, for garnish
Raspberries, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Pour the sugar into a heavy, medium-sized skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat until the sugar begins to melt. Reduce the heat to low and, without stirring, allow the sugar to melt and turn golden brown. Working quickly, pour the resulting caramel over the bottom of a 3-quart glass baking dish, tilting to spread up the sides.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended and then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla, orange extract, salt, and liqueur. Blend until smooth. Strain the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with foil. Place a large roasting pan of warm water on the oven’s middle rack. Set the baking dish into the roasting pan. The water must reach half the depth of the baking dish.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the center feels just firm when pressed. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool. Refrigerate until serving.
To serve, run a knife around the edges of the baking dish. Place a large serving platter over the dish and turn both upside down. Gently shake the dish to release the flan. Use the drained mandarin slice sot create flowers on the top of the flan, using the raspberries for the centers.
This week the decision for our editorial staff was exceedingly difficult. You submitted some great entries! Every image gave us pause for consideration. The panel especially liked the vintage vehicles from Heather Dunn and Tom Corey, the landscape shots of Bob Miller and John Morey, and Sarah Dolliver’s abstract hood ornament. But after much discussion, we finally came down to two photos that we felt were excellent renditions of this week’s theme.
Congratulations to our winner, Saija Lehtonen, for her 1959 Cadillac El Dorado tail fin!
We also decided to award an Honorable Mention to Jag Fergus for her Centennial Train Steam Locomotive. Saija’s photo becomes eligible for the grand prize. Please email aarond – at – rionuevo.com with your addresses and we’ll get books out to both of you.
If you’ve entered the competition over the past three weeks, don’t forget to remind your friends to like your photos. The one image with the most likes by November 7 will win the people’s choice award – a collection of Rio Nuevo titles and a profile on our blog.
Thanks to everyone who entered this week – we always enjoy seeing the fruits of your creativity. This week we’re looking for Halloween/Dia de los Muertos entries, so show us what you’ve got!