I doubt those four words have ever been uttered together before, but leave it to my friend Barb to coin a new phrase. It’s been that kind of year, meaning one of unexpected journeys and delightful discoveries. It all started last November when Beth chose Loving Frank by Nancy Horan as our book club selection. It turned out to be a book club favorite and those of us who didn’t already know the story of his controversial affair with (a very married, as was he) Mamah Cheney were haunted by its shocking ending. Little did we know that reading this book would lead to such a year of travel and discovery. Our first adventure was last May when we traveled to Chicago to participate in the annual Wright Plus walk in Oak Park, which allowed us to enter not only Frank’s home and studio, but also many of the local houses that he designed. We spent a glorious, albeit tiring, spring day wandering the beautiful neighborhood and learning first hand what FLW was all about.
A short time later we discovered that right in our own hometown of Ann Arbor there is a rentable Frank Lloyd Wright designed property called the Palmer House. So of course we had to rent it and truly experience “the man”–sleeping, eating, and truly living the architecture and design (and ghost, we’d like to think) of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Tacos? Really? Yep, we made tacos in this “national treasure” of a house. But these aren’t just any tacos–these tacos have raisins. Yes, I said raisins! They plump up nicely, adding not only a bit of moisture but a deliciously sweet taste. And I don’t even like raisins.
adapted from Rachael Ray, 365 (no eye-rolling please!). Makes 12 tacos.
1 package lean ground turkey (not extra-lean)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup beer or chicken stock
3 Tablespoons (or a small handful), chopped cilantro (optional)
1 package tacos shells
Toppings of your choice, such as, chopped green olives, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, and of course, some shredded white cheddar or pepper jack cheese.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Place the taco shells on a cookie sheet and back for about 6 minutes, until warm and crisp but not brown.
In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, turkey meat, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Next add the minced garlic, diced onion, jalapeño and raisins. After cooking for 5 minutes, add the beer or chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Stir in the tomato sauce and simmer over low heat for another 5 minutes.
We served everything in bowls, large and small, on the parallelogram-shaped table. To accompany we had refried beans (with a sprinking of the taco spices and a bit of beer mixed in) and a warm peach cobbler for dessert.
I think Frank himself would indeed approve of these not-so-ordinary tacos. For me, they’re the only kind I’ll be making from now on.