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Aluminum Chef 2015

So you think you can cook? Get ready for the annual Alumafiesta cooking competition, and vie for the title of top “Aluminum Chef”!

J5MM galleyYour challenge: Use the five ingredients listed below to make a delicious dish in your Airstream galley, which you will present to our esteemed Chef Judges during Alumafiesta in Tucson.

All of the creations will be tasted and reviewed, and the best will be selected for a second challenge we call the “Aluminum Chef Shootout.” If you’re selected for the Shootout, you’ll be handed five new ingredients on Thursday to prepare in your Airstream by Saturday. You won’t know those ingredients until we give them to you, so be ready to get creative!

All participants in the Shootout will get an award, and the Top Aluminum Chef will get a special prize.

Do you think you can master the challenge? Assemble these ingredients and bring them to Alumafiesta, along with a copy of your recipe—

  1. GINGER: fresh, ground, juice, or candied
  2. ALMOND: whole, sliced, ground, or extract
  3. RICE: white, brown, wild, or flour
  4. APPLE: fresh, dried, or juice
  5. ORANGE: fresh, peel, or juice

 

The Rules

All five ingredients must be used in one finished edible product.

All five ingredients must be discernible.

You may use an unlimited number of other ingredients.

Recipe being presented for judging must be prepared on site on Thursday, January 29.

Bring the recipe with your entry.

Recipes will be judged on presentation, creativity, and flavor.

Shootout participants will be given five new ingredients on Thursday to prepare in your Airstream by Saturday.

Final judging and awarding of the Aluminum Chef prizes will be on Saturday.

Decision of the Chef Judges on any matter is final.10942867_10150460309479986_1753177914_n

Good luck! Alumafiesta participants, here’s a link to your Get Ready Guide (that you received via email on January 9), that includes the Aluminum Chef rules and much more must-read info to boost your enjoyment at Alumafiesta. See you in Tucson!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Monica Bennett at Just 5 More Minutes

posted by Rhonda Coleman in News,Recipes,Things to do,Tips and have Comments Off

Asarco Mine Tour

Mission

Learn how copper ore is mined during the Alumafiesta tour of the Mission Copper Mine, operated by Asarco.

The Asarco mine is busy 24/7 and occupies 20,000 acres of private, State leased, and Indian land where, annually, 260,000 tons of mineral concentrates are processed (which become 132,700,000 pounds of copper and 1,234,000 ounces of silver).

The mine is a quarter-mile deep, two miles from north to south, and a mile-and-three-quarters from east to west. “About six times the amount of earth moved to dig the Panama Canal has been mined there,” states the website.

You’ll watch trucks and shovels working the mine from the viewpoint on the south rim and see the mega-sized milling operation where copper ore is ground into a powder so the minerals can be separated by froth flotation. (What now? Not to worry—this and other mill processes be explained by friendly AMDC staff members on hand to answer all your questions.)

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Cirque Roots Performance!

cirqueChances are you’ve never seen anything quite like Cirque Roots—the circus-inspired performance troup that will entertain the crowd at Alumafiesta this winter.

Their amazing stage show is a fabulous swirling hodgepodge of partner acrobatics, clowning, miming, hoop dancing, juggling, comedy, and color. It’s beautiful, it’s breathtaking, it’s bizarre—and more than a little silly.

The Cirque Roots studio is a grassroots artist collective in downtown Tucson, “envisioned as a space to create and play through movement and dance.” Some of Tucson’s most unique entertainers practice and perform there. You’ll love this show—held in the main tent at Alumafiesta on Saturday night.

posted by Rhonda Coleman in News,Things to do and have Comments Off

Arizona State Museum

While you’re in Tucson for Alumafiesta you’ll have the opportunity to tour the wonderful Arizona State Museum. Located on the University of Arizona campus, the state museum is the largest (and oldest) of its kind in the Southwest and is the hub of southwest anthropology research and preservation.

The collections (and the renowned museum experts) are “among the world’s most significant resources for the study of southwestern cultures,” states their website.

The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of whole Southwest Indian pottery, and the collection of Native American basketry is vast, as well: more than 25,000+ rare woven items that include outstanding examples of rare and impressive baskets, sandals, mats, and more.

Some of the nation’s earliest and most rare examples of Navajo textiles are there, too—including one of the largest Navajo rugs ever woven.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg…er, saguaro. More than three million objects are held in the museum, including thousands and thousands of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, photographs, rare books, maps, and even sound recordings. And Mexican folk masks. And vertebrate skeletons. What’s NOT in this museum?

Don’t worry, a tour guide will break it all down for you. Alumafiesta attendees will be treated to an exclusive curator tour with access to the conservation lab, pottery vault, and basket vault. In addition, you’ll meet the archaeologists, and a museum expert will lead a fascinating one-hour tour of the Paths of Life exhibit.

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Alumafiesta outing: petroglyph hike!

Saguaro National Park is named for (and home to) the nation’s largest cactus: Carnegiea gigantea, called the saguaro (pronounced suh-wahr-oh) in Spanish.

You know the saguaro, universal meme of the Southwest: the tree-like cactus of the Roadrunner cartoons that stands like a giant (growing up to 70 feet tall) with arms upstretched to the sun. Native to the Sonoran Desert, the saguaro’s blossom is Arizona’s state wildflower.

No doubt about it, the scenic Sonoran Desert is a magical place, and you’ll have a chance to explore it with your fellow Airstreamers during Alumafiesta.

Saguaro National Park is also home to a fascinating form of manmade rock art: petroglyphs, created by the prehistoric Hohokam people more than a thousand years ago.

The petroglyphs you’ll see on the Signal Hill Petroglyphs Trail were likely made during hunting and gathering expeditions, though no one is quite sure about the meaning of these ancient messages pecked into the rocky hilltop. Are they astronomical markers? Religious, or ceremonial symbols? Simply decoration? Explorer’s maps? Bygone graffiti? Shopping lists? It’s fun (and awe-inspiring) to view them and imagine what the ancient artists had in mind.

So, sign up at the Alumafiesta welcome table in the main tent for the Saguaro West Petroglyph Hike, a short, steep, half-mile climb to see dozens of these striking carvings. The petroglyph trail is rough and uneven in places, with rock steps—be sure to bring your hiking boots or other sturdy shoes to Tucson!

Other recreational outings will be on the program, too, so pack in general for outdoor adventure: footwear, sunscreen, hat, etcetera.

posted by Rhonda Coleman in News,Things to do and have Comments Off

The Mini Time Machine

Mini time museumBe transported to a teeny tiny world like you’ve never seen before during an offisite tour to this offbeat museum during Alumafiesta.

Whether you’re a fan of “doll houses” or not, you’ll be stunned by the immense detail and intricate artistry of the antique and contemporary models and objects at the remarkable Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson.

You’ll feel like Gulliver among the Lilliputians as you move through the interactive displays that depict varying themes and historical eras. The permanent collection contains over 275 miniature houses and room boxes (including one of the oldest miniature houses in the country, built in 1775); examples of miniatures used in cultures around the world; minute, fully-functioning tools; and a real—as in, a musician could actually play it—ultra-miniature violin.

“My husband and I spent hours in awe of the meticulous craftsmanship of the tiny replicas of everyday life across many time periods,” writes an online reviewer. “It was amazing. The level of detail is mind-blowing.”

Learn “how miniatures are used in society, and their importance to our future” through this informative video. “Art comes in all shapes and sizes,” the narrator states, “and some of the most highly regarded forms of art are smaller in scale.”

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Yappy Hour!

photo by Alison Turner. APZ 2012 attendees  photo by Alison Turner. APZ 2012 attendees

Dog-friendly fun is always on the schedule at our Alumaevents.

happy houndYour furry trailermates are welcome on leash in the campground at Alumafiesta (though not in the Event Center), and there will be an open space nearby where they can run and play.

alumadoxiesDon’t miss Yappy Hour—a meet ‘n sniff for all the Airstreaming dogs and the people they own—in the dog run area at 3pm on Tuesday (day one).

Is this your first time Airstreaming with a pet? This website offers some excellent advice and safety tips.

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Food Truck Friday

Food Truck 5Come hungry at lunchtime on Friday, Feb. 7! Delicious and uncommon fare from three popular Arizona food carts will be served at Alumafiesta from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm.

Unless you live under a rock, you’re aware of the street food craze that has been sweeping the nation from coast to coast. Liberated from the confines of established, traditional restaurants, the accomplished chefs who operate local food trucks enjoy the freedom to introduce new recipes, experiment with ethnic and/or local artisan ingredients, and deliver their affordable small-plate cuisine in any location they’re allowed to park their restaurant on wheels.

Here’s a taste of the cuisine you’ll experience at the lunchtime food truck roundup:

Max and Andrea Offermann from Germany will serve their “German comfort food” from the German Food Station. “On our first trip to the United States in September 1990 we have got married in Las Vegas,” they state on their website. “Since then, we fell in love with this country and its people and we always dreamed about living here. Now, 22 years later our dream came true. We found a new home far from home in beautiful Arizona and we are living here from October through May to escape from the cold and ugly German winter weather…Being restless Germans who can not just sit around and doing nothing at all, we decided to launch a small business by opening a German Food Trailer.”

Food Truck 2Food Truck 4You’ll find “Mexican-Korean Fusion Food” at the Bam Bam truck. We tried their signature Korean steak taco and it was surprisingly good, full of flavor with lot of complex layers.

Food Truck 3The Twisted Tandoor is the only Indian food truck in Tucson. If you love Indian food, you’ll love the Twisted Tandoor. It’s very spicy but awesomely good if you can handle the heat!

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Who will be the Top Aluminum Chef?

Once again we’ll be holding the “Aluminum Chef” competition, and you are invited!   Your challenge is to use the five ingredients listed below to make a delicious dish, which you will present to our Chef Judges during Alumafiesta in Tucson.   All of the creations will be tasted and reviewed, and the best will be selected for a second challenge during the event, which we call the “Aluminum Chef Shootout.”   All participants in the Shootout will get an award, and the Top Aluminum Chef will get a special prize!

Do you think you can master the challenge?  Then assemble these ingredients and bring them to Alumafiesta, along with a copy of your recipe.

Cream Cheese: any style
Raisins: Thompson or Golden
Maple: flavor, sugar, or syrup
Pumpkin or Butternut Squash: fresh, canned, or frozen
White Beans: Navy, Cannellini, or Great Northern

The Rules are simple:

  1. All five ingredients must be used in one finished edible product
  2. All five ingredients must be discernible
  3. Number of other ingredients is not limited
  4. Recipe being presented for judging must be prepared on site on THURSDAY, February 6.
  5. Bring the recipe with your entry.

Recipes will be judged on presentation, creativity, and flavor.  Decision of the Chef Judges on any matter is final.

If you are selected for the Aluminum Chef Shootout, you’ll be handed five new ingredients on Thursday to prepare in your Airstream by Saturday.  You won’t know those five ingredients until we give them to you. Be ready to get creative! Final judging and awarding of the Aluminum Chef prizes will be on Saturday.

Do you have what it takes to become an Aluminum Chef?  Give it a try!

posted by Rich Luhr in Things to do and have Comments Off

Check out the Preliminary Event schedule!

Curious about what we’ll do at Alumafiesta in February 2014?  We’ve got a sneak peek of the entire event schedule for you — take a look!

Click here to download the Preliminary Event Program  [Updated Dec 22]

It’s a jam-packed schedule with seven seminars, four evening presentations, fantastic musical entertainment, five Happy Hours, four yoga sessions, a bike ride, a big hike and two walks, taiko drumming, glass-making, sword-swallowing, six meals, five off-site tours, a cooking demo, cooking contest, three Open Grills, and much more!

Already 80% of our available sites have been reserved, and the rest will go quickly, so don’t delay if you want to attend the best Airstream event in the southwest! Book your site now by clicking here

Note that there may be minor changes to the program between now and the event dates.  If you want to see the latest version, just check back here.

posted by Rich Luhr in Things to do and have Comments Off