Desert delights

Fall is one of our favorite seasons and, now that temperatures are within our comfort range, it’s time for us to return to the desert and continue to celebrate the colorful fall harvest season.  For the occasion, Larry made pumpkin cheesecake with a rich, buttery graham cracker walnut crust.  It is seen below in its springform pan, just out of our home oven.  Next to the cheesecake is pumpkin pudding made from pumpkin pie filling and baked in a handmade stoneware pie pan made by Barbara Flynn at Renaissance Pleasure Faire.


The refrigerated pumpkin cheesecake came with us to this oasis in the southwestern Anza-Borrego desert region, once inhabited by Kumeyaay Native Americans from 1000 A.D to 1906.  We nestled our Safari between Mesquite trees and Creosote bushes.


The Creosote bush, Larrea tridentata, has waxy resinous leaves and yellow flowers that turn into white fuzzy fruit capsules.  This plant has an aromatic fragrance, especially noticeable after a desert rain.


The Safari’s windows are seen closed on this chilly morning at sunrise, while Larry was inside icing cinnamon buns in a muffin top pan just out of the oven.  Upon opening the trailer door, I was greeted by the spicy aroma of the buns and freshly brewed coffee.


By mid-morning it was time to open up all of the windows, and by afternoon turn on the Endless Breeze fan as temperatures outside approached 80 degrees.


We are very happy with our new lightweight Dim Sum Clock that hangs on a “L” hook screwed in on the end of the galley overhead cabinet.  Dim Sum is one of our favorite foods and this “must have” item for us goes well in the Safari.


The hour pieces represent varieties of dim sum, are handmade by San Francisco artist, Noriko Kuwabara, and mounted on a bamboo steamer.  Starting at the one o’clock position, the pieces include a potsticker, pearl ball (shrimp ball covered with rice), custard tart, crab claw, bell pepper stuffed with shrimp, spring roll, har gow (shrimp dumpling), fried wonton, siu mai (pork dumpling), fortune cookie (invented in San Francisco), wu gok (fried taro root filled with pork), and cha siu bao (roasted pork bun) in the twelve o’clock position.


Also seen in our galley is a replica ad poster (on tin) from the 1930’s Shanghai era.

Larry found this piece while browsing our local Goodwill store.

It features a woman in a traditional Chinese dress (cheongsam) sitting on a low Chinese stool and promoting Lactogen for infants and nursing mothers.

We renamed her “Yum cha“, which is a Cantonese term meaning “drinking tea” and now refers to the dim sum dining experience.  Yum cha has its roots in travelers on the ancient Silk Road needing a place to rest.

Our fall harvest celebration includes setting the Thanksgiving table early…


and enjoying that pumpkin cheesecake (displayed with Pygmy Date Palm seeds)…


and enjoying sunsets and dreaming of gardens in the desert sand.



  1. Mitchell says

    Wow…don’t know how you guys continue to rough-it like you do! Love the clock…guess that means that any hour is good for Dim Sum?

  2. Corinne Giovino says

    I also have this asian girl tin, do you know anything about her? Also got mine at a thrift store and cannot find anything on line. Thanks, from Florida

  3. Bill D. says

    Thanks for your comment Corinne.

    Click on the word “Lactogen” in my post above and you will see a close-up of this image. Evidently, this image was for an advertisement of a baby milk formula in the 1930s Shanghai era.