Let’s start with today’s cocktail – and how to make THE best version of the Margarita in my estimation. Although many favor the popular frozen version, Julie and I favor serving it up in a chilled martini glass or on the rocks.
We use the recipe reputed to have come from Margarita Sames, a Dallas socialite, who had been searching for the most refreshing poolside cocktail that she could serve at her home in Acapulco. Actually, there are plenty of people who “claim” the honor of first making and naming the drink which is basically built off of the same support team as The Daisy, which featured brandy instead of tequila. The arguments will continue, still, I like this one because of the taste and the result.
Margarita hosted parties and her recipe is in parts versus actual measurements because it’s easier to make a lot at one time. You can make each part equal 1/2 ounce if you’re making one or make each part 1 ounce and then pour two glasses. Whatever your prefer.
- 1 part Cointreau
- 3 parts WHITE/Silver tequila
- 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice
Lightly dust the rim of frozen martini glass with regular salt. Or, you can enjoy it over one large piece of bar ice in a rocks glass. Whichever, rub lime around rim to moisten and then coat rim with salt.. Stir in a glass mixing pitcher and pour.
DO NOT GO ANYWHERE!!
Speaking of Don’t Go Anywhere
The Riley family has a cabin on Beech Mountain, NC. Which is in Watuga County which has mandated a restriction for visitors to the area. If you go up there, you must self-quarantine for two weeks. That means that you must bring in all that you need in the way of food and supplies. This is enforced until June 5th. Restaurants on the mountain are takeout only. I think we’ll wait a while.
Speaking of books, there’s something running around on Facebook these days that you’ve probably seen if you’re on the Book. One person issues a challenge to another person to post a photo of their favorite seven books, one photo each day for seven days,no critique or review or story. With each new post, you must challenge another person to do the same. It struck me that this is like a virus. One person infects seven other people, to what end I’m not sure. If those seven do their job, they infect another 49, which now totals 56 people infected by the person who accepted the challenge.
Julie reminded me that it’s nothing more than a chain letter from the olden days of yore. Those carried the heavy burden of some sort of pox upon your house if you didn’t pass it along. Plus, you had to buy stamps for all of the chain links you mailed out.
On the plus side, it opens up eyes to books yet unread. On the negative, it just gives Facebook more traction. The cynic in me thinks that it was started to sell more books?
I got the challenge from an old buddy of mine. It surprised me actually. But I didn’t pick it up for the reasons stated above.
However, I will, unchallenged and unasked, share the last seven books that I’ve read in the order that I read them. I haven’t read one that I wouldn’t recommend and more than half I would read again.
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles A Christmas gift from Clark. I loved it from the first sentence all of the way to the end. The writing was luscious. So easy to feel, picture and understand. The storyline was amazing and it all built to a crescendo ending. Beautiful, wonderful characterizations. If you haven’t, you must. READ. I heard that there was a series in the works. I surely hope so.
- Rules of Civility by Amor Towles After reading “Gentleman” I went begging for more Towles, I could drink up anything that he has written. This was written before “Gentleman” and did not disappoint. Very different storyline but still the best writing I’ve put my eyes and mind in to in a while.
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Thank you ,Julie, for recommending this one to me. I’ve never read a book arranged in such a way. Rather than organized in chapters, it’s more like scenes, little flickers of happening that edge the plot along. Some scenes are half a page long, some are chapter length. And they hop back and forth as the plot follows two main characters whose lives were running in parallel during the lead up to WWII in France and Germany. A young girl goes blind as a child. Her father raises her and teaches her how to think her way through the world without sight. Doerr gets inside the blindness with a prose that is poetic in its feel. There’s so much to be felt without the benefit of sight. A young boy, orphaned with his sister, is struggling to find his place in the world and falls in love with wireless radios.
- Janesville An American Story by Amy Goldstein. I found this book as we roamed Powell’s Books in Portland, a must visit every time we go there to visit Clark. The fact that I had never heard of this book before, had no knowledge about Janesville, that I purchased it, read it, and am better informed about the cataclysmic effect of the closing on GM’s first plant, put into operation in 1923, is a tribute to bookstores everywhere. Goldstein’s job as a reporter took her to Janesville, Wisconsin many times during the dark days of the Great Recession. She turned her reporting into this book, following the same families and individuals whom she interviewed over 2008-2013, the roughest patches in the area’s long history. It’s heart wrenching for sure, but it’s also eye-opening in so many ways about the human condition, the country’s condition and the ability to, or not to, change. Goldtsein both humanizes the people of Janesville and its surrounding counties, while ending the book with statistics about employment, retraining efforts, income loss and other facts about the economic toll on people through the Recession.
- Shanghai Girls by Lisa Lee I think the background story here is that Clark gave this book to his mom, an avid reader, who reads or listens to books throughout the day. However, she’s reading on her iPad these days so she can set the font size. After I finished Janesville, she thought I might like a change of pace and suggested that I read this book. She’s a great reference source so I dug in. I recommend this not because it is the most well written, but because it was unusual for me. It’s a historical fiction novel about two sisters born in Shanghai, daughters of a Chinese couple. Both girls are quite beautiful and become models for illustrators. The story is told by the older, slightly less beautiful daughter. It’s about class, loss of class, sibling love and rivalry, horrors of war as the Japanese attack and overrun Shanghai, and the Chinese immigration to America.
- Don’t be Afraid Gringo – The Story of Elvia Alvarado. A Honduran woman speaks from the heart. What an interesting read. I bought it, I think, a year or so ago in a used book store. It was published in 1987. The book found me with its photo and title and the whole narrative of today regarding immigration was on my mind when I picked it up. It turns out it’s not really about immigration but about living a Honduran life in abject poverty, the struggle of peasants (campesinos) against the land owners, USA Military investment, large sugar companies and government corruption. The whole book is the translation of Alvarado’s verbal storytelling over time as recorded by the reporter.
- Beloved by Toni Morrison – This is what I’m reading at this very moment. After finishing Book #2, I went look for something more literary.I found it in our house. For years I’ve known that it was an important book and one that I should read. I think the kids read it in high school and that is why it’s in our home “library.” I’m halfway through. It has taken a lot of effort to get into the phrasing, the language and the storyline but I can certainly see why this drew so much attention to Morrison. I am starting to feel the book. Know the characters and understand what they’ve been going through that got them to this point in time. It’s about slavery, the end of slavery, sex abuse and sexual love, finding oneself, ghosts and so much more.
Stay safe. Wear your mask over both your nose and mouth! I hear that toilet paper will be back in supply soon. Cheers!