Monday, May 31, 2021


Greetings from the Salt Lake City airport where we are changing planes on the way home from Tucson. A few flying scenes:

Mural in Tucson Airport.

Landing in Salt Lake City.

Between Terminals A and B in Salt Lake City are a very long series
of  very imaginative murals. I took lots of photos which I will post eventually.

Blog post © 2021 mae sander.


Canned tomato season?

In my Ann Arbor kitchen from May 1-21, I made a number of dishes that involved canned tomatoes. Sad that the Michigan tomato crop right now is just a few little plants growing in peoples gardens or maybe still on their windows sills, with great tomatoes coming only towards summer’s end. Sad that our yard isn’t sunny enough for tomatoes. The happy part: from May 22 onward, a trip to Arizona. By the time I post this,  you will have seen what we found there. For more kitchen news, check with Sherry’s Pickings In My Kitchen.

A pot of chili: a garnished bowl of this is shown above.
Quite a few canned tomatoes here!

Mushrooms in a tomato sauce, to be eaten cold with cilantro.

Tortillas filled with ricotta and topped with cheddar,
in a tomato salsa out of a bottle.

Ottolenghi’s eggplant dumplings with canned tomatoes and basil leaves.

Good old-fashioned spaghetti on the stovetop.

Gumbo with green pepper, celery, onion,
tomato, and of course okra.

Deeper tomato flavor? I add a squeeze of tomato paste.

Another useful pantry item:
sun-dried tomatoes in oil.

Spring tomatoes from the market are not bad, but I can’t wait til the Michigan summer crop comes in:

Tomatoes in a big bowl of salad.

With red pepper and onion as a garnish for cold soup.

On a plate with other raw vegetables to eat with
Len’s freshly-baked bread, butter, and cheese.

Tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro leaves.

Tomatoes, Trader Joe’s smoked tuna, lemons, and parsley.

Breakfast on the patio on the first really warm morning of the year. My coffee and juice are shared
with Elizabeth and her friendly bloggers at Altered Book Lover.

Food in Arizona: The rest of the month of May—

Not my kitchen: Dickey’s Barbecue Kitchen

Driving around Arizona with a group of 8 birders: a chain
restaurant barbecue lunch at Dickey’s.
Coming from a Mexican kitchen in Sierra Vista:
a dinner for the 8 of us birders.
We really loved these Sonoran tacos at a restaurant in Tucson.
Mexican food was definitely a highlight of the trip (second to birding).

Our guide prepared a number of quite interesting picnic lunches and dinners. We all agree:
food tastes better outdoors! Especially in these breathtaking woodlands and mountains.

© 2021 mae sander

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Best Wildlife We Saw In Arizona

Here, from Len's Flickr set, are his photos of our best sightings during our first 8 days of birding in southern Arizona, along with some of my photos of the scenery. To see all Len's photos, click on any of the images below.

We have one more day of this great trip, organized by Field Guides Birding Tours.  Our guide has been amazing at finding birds during this terrible drought in the Southwest.


White-faced Ibis, Patagonia Lake, AZ

Patagonia Lake: an amazing place in the desert!


Gray Hawk


Two Pronghorns on a ranch near Patagonia 

Varied bunting-2 

Varied Bunting -- a new bird for us!


Scott's Oriole, Portal,Arizona


Swainson's Hawk, Wilcox, Arizona.

One of our most beautiful days was spent in the Chiracaua Mountains near Portal, Arizona.

... and yes, we saw lots of cactus in bloom.

Blog post and all photos © 2021 mae and len sander.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Good Food On the Birding Trail

The Cafe on the road to Patagonia, Arizona, sources its beef from a nearby ranch.
We watched birds at the vast ranches in that neighborhood. It’s a very dry year,
and cattle are overgrazing, but somehow still surviving.

We ordered the hamburgers, which were very tasty.

Another lunch: inside the Gathering Grounds cafe in Patagonia. On one wall: a great black and white mural.
The food is also great. We had very delicious sandwiches and fabulous rhubarb and strawberry-rhubarb pie.

The very interesting mural in Gathering Grounds.
Isabel’s Mexican restaurant in Wilcox, Arizona, also served us a really appealing lunch.

The salsa bar at Isabel’s.

Blog post © 2021 mae sander.


Arizona Art Works


Patagonia, Arizona, is an excellent birding spot. No wonder there is a quail among all the murals
on the public restroom there!

A roadrunner, too!

Notice the REAL girl pretending to be part of this mural on another wall of the public facilities.

It’s a great work of art!

Elsewhere as we traveled around southern Arizona, we saw this beautiful storage tank.

We saw some really great birds in Patagonia, so it’s nice that it also has such neat street art.

Blog post © 2021 mae sander.

Friday, May 28, 2021



Images © copyright 2021 mae sander for maefood dot blogspot dot com.