This time of year, comfort foods are on the mind. From mashed potatoes and gravy to turkey stuffing and sauces, Turkey Day’s fast approach is getting everyone’s culinary wheels spinning.
In the Tucson vicinity, plenty of inspiration for location-inspired cuisine can be found if you know where to look. Two local festivals occurring just in time for the holidays are the perfect places to gain inspiration and perspective on this Thanksgiving’s meal.
Farm-fresh pecans and homemade chili will be featured at events in neighboring cities in the Santa Cruz Valley, south of Tucson.
The Sahuarita Pecan Festival, November 20-21, 2010, will celebrate harvest time at the Green Valley Pecan Farm, the world's largest irrigated pecan orchard with 6,000 acres and 106,000 trees. If Pecan Pie isn’t the first thought that comes to mind, start getting into the thanksgiving spirit. The festival is far more than an homage to the locally-grown delicacy, several activities, entertainers and events are planned to engage all ages and interests. Children’s story time, a petting zoo, horse demonstrations and magicians will be on hand to entertain youngsters. For the more mature crowd, a beer and wine garden will also be on site with wine provided by the local Sonoita Vineyards.
In addition to enjoying recipes that feature the pecan, the Sahuarita Pecan Festival will once again team up with Tagg Running Events to host the community's favorite running events. Including an 8.5 mile Pecan Classic and the 1.5 mile Nut Run, the 2010 Festival will also offer a 3.7 mile option. The run through the orchards on Saturday should burn off enough calories to justify sampling every pecan dish and dessert imaginable, as well as an array of local wines and specialty foods.
If chili is more your flavor, the Amado Chili Cook Off will be occurring this weekend in Tucson as well. On November 20 at the Amado Territory Inn, the Cook Off will offer chili tastings, food booths, wine and craft beer tastings, art vendors, a classic car show, music and entertainment, and more.
To Learn More
Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, http://www.santacruzheritage.org.
Sahuarita Pecan Festival, http://www.sahuaritapecanfestival.com.
Amado Chili Cook Off, http://www.amadoaz.com.