(Poor China, she’s such a good sport. I swear we drag her to a million places she’s not interested in.)
When we arrived at the gardens we were greeted by their Chihuly installment. TMIL is a HUGE Chihuly fan. She has prints, books, she ventures to visit exhibitions as often as possible.
Personally, I’ve never really “gotten” it. I mean, I like glass as much as the next guy, and I’ll never turn down an opportunity to watch a glass blower at work. (I’m sure they have a fancier name than glass blower, but this way you all know what I mean.) But squiggly colored glass just doesn’t send me flying. The Chihuly at the botanical garden though was just PERFECT. I loved it. It’s my favorite of his pieces. Mostly because I love the imitation/contrast of putting it against the natural counterparts.
The green spikes perfectly reflect the spikey palms growing beside. It is both completely organic and completely artificial.
We weaved through the garden, examining the various types the cactus in much the same way as the “party game” Thatboy came up with. It involved partygoers trying to weave their way between tightly planted cacti. The person with the least amount of needles stuck in them would be the winner. I don’t see Milton Bradley contacting us anytime soon.
This guy is honestly called the "old man" cactus. How adorable is he? He's like the cute little old man who lives around the corner. Not the creepy old guy who sometimes forgets to tie his robe.
It was too early for most of the cacti to be in bloom, but this one is an early riser.
Thatboy was amazed by how big these barrels were. They look like cushions to me!
Century plants take 100 years to bloom, and then they die. I'm still trying to figure out if that's a good deal or not.
And in honor of the end of our Arizona trip, this Southern-at-heart girl gives you a twist on the typical southern grit. Cheese grits are a quintessential Southern treat, but stir in some green chiles and you've got the perfect combination of creamy with a kick. Like the Chihuly, it's a little bit spikey, and a little bit natural, and oh so perfect in its environment.
1 cup grits
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
6 Tbsp butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green chiles
1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat the milk over medium high heat in a saucepan.
2. Stir in the grits and salt, stirring often so the milk doesn't burn. When it is thick, remove from the heat.
3. Add the eggs and 1 cup water, stirring.
4. Return to heat and cook until thickened again.
5. Stir in the butter, cheese, and chiles. Spread in a casserole and bake for 30 minutes.