Tucson – April 2023 – Roasting Agave

April is the time of year for roasting agave for a multiple of purposes. The photo below shows a field of them not yet ready for harvest at the Mission Garden where we attending an event to highlight the long history of roasting agave.

The harvesting involves pulling the entire plant and cutting off the leaves.

Once you have the hearts separated from the leaves all of the pieces are placed into a pit, covered with layers of agave pieces, burlap and finally dirt and roasted for 48 hours. The burlap keeps the agave clean while it roasts.

We arrived not long before it was time to open the pit. This person decided to test how warm the ground felt.

Time to open it up!

There were multiple layers of agave plants, along with burlap and other coverings. First to come out were the leaves.

The roasting gives the leaves a distinctive smell and taste.

Once the leaves were removed it revealed the layer of burlap overtop the hearts in the bottom of the pit.

At last, the roasted agave hearts.

While a variety of products, both alcoholic and non alcoholic, can be made from the hearts, you can chew the pieces for a somewhat sweet taste.

In addition to food and drink products, some people use the agave stalks to make amazing art pieces, including this fiddle.

Agave has a long history in this part of the world, providing food, sweets and drink from the time of the Hohokam.

Washington DC, – May 2019 – Queens of Egypt Exhibition

The National Geographic Museum is located on 17th Street Northwest in Washington. The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington in 1888 by explorers and scientists, and continue to this day their effort to educate the public.

The organization’s headquarters greets you with their famed seal embossed in the floor.

In the first floor of one of the buildings is a small exhibit featuring, among other things, many of their famed magazine covers.

As well as some artifacts such as Adminral Peary’s camera he used on his Arctic explorations.

The main exhibition hall is located in a second building across the courtyard. The current feature is ‘Queens of Egypt’.

This display features seven of the famed queens including Nefertari.

Numerous small artifacts are on display.

Many have beautiful details and vivid colors.

A section called ‘The Listicle of Major Goddesses’ had much larger statues and artifacts.

The final section dealt with Death and Mummies including this funerary stela for Amun in Thebes.

A display highlighted the 6 stages of mummification including embalming, washing and waxing, extracting of the brain through the nostrils, extraction of internal organs – which were then scented and placed in canopic jars, drying, and finally the placement of the mask of pure gold over the face.

The mummy could now rest in peace for eternity.