THAT THRIVES IN THIS HEAT
The prickly pear cactus (opuntia)
stands tall in local gardens,
and brings flowers forward
despite the drought.
Its ripe fruit (the pears) are delicious
in jams and desserts.
Its paddles (nopales) are harvested
and a popular ingredient in Mexican dishes.
The paddles are cleaned, carefully, and
scraped of their sharp needles,
then boiled in salt water for 10 minutes
before being chopped and sautéed
as a delicious ingredient in scrambled eggs,
salsa, tacos and baked potatoes.
Finally . . .
a beautiful and delicious garden crop
for our record heat and drought spell.
(Today it was 108˚ in St. Louis.)