Aug 26 2007

Prickly pear phone home


The cactuses at El Rancho Deluxe, I swear. Hours of compelling entertainment.

Prickly pears can also be made into a handy and garish pink syrup to enhance the spinster aunt’s Number 1 coping mechanism, the pitcher of margaritas.* As if their comedic talent weren’t enough!
* Put on gloves. Pick a bunch of prickly pears. Throw a lime and this bunch of prickly pears into your juicer. Juice. Add some simple syrup. Sluice into pitcher of margaritas. Swill while lounging in reclining deck chair.


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  1. Jodie

    Is it just me, or does that one look like an alien? Maybe Area 51 is really in Austin.

  2. avatar

    Jodie, I was just about to say the same thing.

  3. MG

    You have cacti in your garden? How cool is that?

    We’ve had one of the wettest summers on record here. Working on the front lawn this afternoon, I realised it smells like a pond. Freaky, though not quite so freaky as alien cactus. (Or as potable.)

  4. TP

    I long to hear the announcement that the Rancho is at last inhabitable, and populated with a pair of horses.

  5. Orange

    I hear the X-Files theme music when I look at that prickly pear. Definitely more Mulder’s-little-green-being in its visage than E.T., despite Twisty’s headline.

  6. Edie

    Um, wouldn’t it be a good idea to skin them prickly pears before blending them with corn syrup? Them thorns is tiny, and they’ll hurt your mouth and throat.

    Just sayin’.

    Yes, this is the voice of experience.

  7. ivieee

    It’s not an alien, she’s a cactus faery!

    Aliens never gave people ideas about boozy beverages.

  8. metamanda

    The mischief-maker in me wants to suggest that you market those pink prickly-pear margaritas as a “ladies’ drink” and rake in the profits. Perhaps you could contribute 5% to breast cancer research.

    The rest of me just wants a margarita.

  9. Medbh

    Damn, I was going for alien cactus as well.
    I can has margarita?

  10. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    It reminds me of David Bowie’s rhetorical question from “8-Line Poem”: Will all the cacti find a home?

    And do you have to de-pokerize ’em before you juice ’em?

  11. wiggles

    Prickly pear jam is awesome! jam-making though, not so much. I’ve never tried it but it looks like a messy pain in the hind quarters. I used to live in Arizona and they had prickly pear flavored everything there. I miss it.

  12. Shae

    So THAT’S what the fruit salad at my wedding reception was tossed in.

  13. KMTberry

    I guess because of the massive rains, the prickly pear harvest is IMMENSE this year!! I am just about to go pick some today.

    I was going to make jam, but Prickly pear “grenadine” sounds good too. There is enough for both, that’s for sure.

  14. Hawise

    Antoinette- short answer- yes.
    Long answer- you pick them with heavy duty work gloves and singe off the spines with a blowtorch or any old bit of available fire.

  15. Mildred Fierce

    Prickly pear pulp makes an incredible muffin ingredient, along with the venerable pinon. I pluck the pears with kitchen tongs. Saves the gloves.

    Tip: If the fruit comes into contact with a towel or any other household textile, don’t wash that with your regular laundry or you’ll be picking the pricklies outta your panties for weeks.

  16. Ron Sullivan

    And on the side; nopales. MMmmmmm, nopales.

  17. PhoenixRising

    Mmmm. I’m adding Prickly Pear Mojito to the menu.

    Because I’m out of tequila but still have rum.

    I’m trying the blowtorch that Mrs Phoenix uses on her desserts and chiles. If you see me on the news crawl, the line will read NM STATE POLICE RESEARCHING BADLY BURNED BODY FOUND IN COMPOST HEAP; I feel certain that the focus of the research will not be figuring out what the hell I was doing, but instead will be determining my gender for the convenience of headline-writers.

    You know who I blame for that, right?

  18. tinfoil hattie

    I coulda used a margarita or two this weekend. We watched 3 woman-hating movies — or should I say, started to watch and then turned them off: Borat (why is that “funny”?), Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, and The Pick of Destiny. We were skeptical, but they were recommendations.

    Of course, I was more skeptical, being that all 3 dude-licious movies were recommended by: dude-types.


  19. Christiane

    Hi there! Like your goldfish. Just thought I’d push buttons so I’m here from a large, well-known breast cancer foundation in TX that you hate. I’m a trained feminst and would like to know what your problem is with the color pink.

  20. KMTberry

    OH MY GOD do I ever wish I had read the “pick them with tongs” advice BEFORE I went a-picking!

    Pick them with Tongs!!! TONGS !!!

  21. Marytracy9

    Hi Twisty, I hope this comment somehow gets to you.
    I wanted to let you know of this story http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=476644&in_page_id=1770 . It is “another man who beats his wife and gets away with it”, but I think it is more than that, because the man in question has a First From Cambridge, makes £90,000 a year and looks otherwise perfect “upper middle class”-y. And I was wondering on what your views on elitism were.

    Take Care!

  22. Weeze

    “Swill” needs to be brought back into common parlance.

  23. Ugly In Pink

    Eh, I liked Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. I thought it was less woman-hating than most. I also turned off Borat though. That was funny for all of two seconds, then became agonizing.

  24. kate

    When I lived in Phoenix so long ago, some old people I knew would pick the Prickly Pears and press them in a small imitation cider press they had, said it worked great. Made jam and all that.

    As for the aliens, up here in the northeast, I swear many of them don human suits rather than cactus clothes.

  25. tinfoil hattie

    Harold & Kumar: the typical dudes want to get laid movie, although they were mostly looking for pot. But the whole “I bet she’ll fuck us” and “Let’s go to that party! That girl wants to fuck us” scene was pretty unappetizing. That and the gratuitous scene with the Doogie Howser guy standing up in a moving car, torso out the window, massaging the naked breasts of an all-purpose blonde character, made me want to puke.

    Margaritas are good, though. And I wish we had prickly pear here in the DC area. Maybe I’ll have to go on vacation just for the purpose of making a prickly pear margarita.

    My favorite, most indulgent margarita recipe (sans prickly pear, alas):

    1.5 parts 1800 Tequila
    1 part Rose’s lime juice
    .5 part Grand Marnier

    Shake and pour over ice into a salted-rim glass. Goes great with hot wings. Or nachos. Or pretty much anything. For Friday night at the end of a particularly sucky week.

  26. Twisty

    “And I was wondering on what your views on elitism were.”

    Elitism. Such a pedestrian word.

  27. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Tinfoil Hattie, I might be compelled to test your recipe this weekend. This is turning into a week that sucks like a Hoover and blows like at least a category 3 ‘cane.

  28. tinfoil hattie

    Awww, Antoinette, I’m sorry to hear that. Toast me on Fri.! I hope your week gets better. Ugh.

  29. oudemia

    Bonus prickly pear info! They prevent hangovers. No, really!

    Unfortunately, I think that one must ingest them prior to margarita quaffing.

  30. Caukee

    Your pics make the best wallpaper. There’s nothing like a glorious gleaming beetle or a cheery cactus alien to perk up yet another crappy day as a Professional Invalid. Hurting and weepy all day, I despair; then, Ms E.T. appears to me, a vision of yumminess, and my spirits lift. Those almond eyes, that vibrant color ! Plus, fruit !

    As seen on my screen, she has tiny blonde corkscrew “hairs” sticking up between her patches of dark rusty-orange “hair”, for an effect so charmant, no salon could possibly achieve it. Ah, the natural look. Such silliness, for me, is better medicine even than margaritas. Thanks, Dr. Twisty !

  31. trouc


    Check this out:


    Perhaps a good photograph oppurtunity ?

  32. Jezebella

    I’m pretty sure the juicer handles the prickly bits for ya, peoples.

  33. ana

    I have never thought about how do you call them. Prickly pears is an awesome name. I hate them (too many little seeds) but “prickly pears” just made my day

  34. vixenstrangely

    Those prickly pears grow copiously in southern Italy–when I was there, I found that they come in many colors everywhere, kind of like a rainbow–and they are tasty. If some generous person consents to peel the prickly thing for me, I eat them just like that, and luckily, in the States, they can be found prickle-free and just need peeling, at certain Produce Junctions–well worth it. They have seeds, but the flesh is so juicy and tasty and the seeds easily swallowed. My mother in law reminisces about picking them–that it hurts but is worth it. She’s right. But Italy is all about picking wild-growing fruit (I tell you, nespoli and lemons and limes are abundant in Calabria, and fragrant but not really edible bergamot) and eating small, silvery, tasty, quick-fried fishes (I get hungry and want to go back).

    But if you have prickly pears in your crisper, be prepared for a microscopic prick in the thumb, the forefinger, the sensitive, thin-skinned bit of your wrist. They really are sharp like that. Sneaky. They bite.

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