Friday, May 03, 2013

It's Friday

And so I thought it just might be time for another 7 Quick Takes Friday

I had to jump on a quick call at the airport and so plopped down in a relatively empty waiting area. As I was on the phone the seats around me started to fill up. You know when you can sense you don't belong but are too distracted to figure it out at the moment?  That was the sense I was getting. Suddenly the gate agent came on the speakerphone announcing the boarding groups for Cozumel. It all became crystal clear - I wasn't fitting in as I was not wearing flip flops, a sundress, sporting a straw hat nor carrying a beach bag. My charcoal dress pants, black dress shirt and big ole laptop bag was a dead giveaway. No wonder everyone was looking at me. . .
Who needs Cozumel though? Certainly not us - as I am rushing home to Calgary to prep for our little gathering we are hosting tomorrow for Cinco de Mayo (yes - my Spanish is good enough to realize that tomorrow is not cinco but rather quatro - but Sunday's we all get a little lazy)!
It has been a while (Christmas I guess) since we hosted an evening and so I have spent a little bit of time over the last three weeks planning. Looking for the perfect recipes. Trying to find delicious punch ideas. Hunting for those simple yet stunning decorating ideas. I think I have the menu:
  • the best guacamole you will ever have (Amendment: not the best guacamole I have ever had --> it may call for one onion but it really needs more like a 1/4 of an onion, taste and add more as desired)
  • some pulled chicken tacos (Amendment: HUGE HIT and SUPER EASY)
  • Mexican brownies - of course (Amendment: Also a huge hit!!!!)
  • Honeydew Agua Fresca (Amendment: Not a huge seller initially - I think mostly because of the poor presentation; if you have raspberries and mint frozen in ice cubes and poor a little sparkling water in  to thin it a bit you would have a contender)
Quite excited!
So Jimmy and I have been trying to prep our avocados for tomorrow. I always have struggled with getting ripe avocados or having them ripen in time. I stumbled across this article (when I was reading the recipe for the best guacamole) and discovered that if you put them in a brown paper bag, they will ripen quicker. I guess the science is that fruit emits a certain gas which helps it to ripen. The more fruit emitting the gas, the more quickly they will ripen and this is what helps entire orchards or grove of trees to have ripe fruit at the same time. So by placing multiple avocado in the paper bag - the gasses are trapped and the fruit will ripen quicker. (Apparently bananas are super gaseous - kinda like a certain nephew I have - so if you toss a banana in there it will speed the process up even more).
As I was explaining this to Jimmy, he remembers his mom doing this with tomatoes from her garden. There just might be something behind this tale . . .
And so we tried it - unripe avocados purchased; paper bagged for 5 days; fridge to store so that they won't ripen anymore. I will let you know how we did!
Once Jimmy is finished work, we are going to run all our errands tonight so that tomorrow I can cook and decorate. On our list are two different Mexican grocers. I haven't been to either before so I hope they are as fun as I am imagining them. I have no idea what they will have - my hope is nacho chips that are not your regular Hostess brand variety, some lovely homemade salsas, big bunches of cilantro, Serrano chilies (If you were coming pops, I would tone down the spice, but since you aren't - I am hoping to find the hottest of Serrano's) and Mexican chocolate. If possible, I would love to pick up some empanadas as well.
I introduced Jimmy to empanadas in Majorca - not sure if it was the little café we were in, the fresh sea air, or the fact that I was in vacation mode - but those were the best empanadas I have ever had. The pastry was so very flaky. The filling was spiced to perfection - lean beef and chicken heavily flavored as they were roasted, ground up fine and fine with bits of herbs, veggies and chilies. Oh soooo very delicious they were.
I was going to try and make my own but pastry still makes me nervous. One of those silly fears because I have never actually tried it. I like to blame the fact that I don't have a good rolling pin so most definitely would not make good pie without a better rolling pin. Ha! That has to be it? Right? Certainly not that the scariest things are those that are left untried. But after all those stories of women fresh in their marriages failing at the very thing their husband was most excited for . . . a fresh piece of homemade pie . . . and burying the hard as a rock pastry out in the yard only for the dog to dig it up but even he wouldn't eat it . . . you know the kind of stories found in Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons or Anne of Green Gables series. Someone has to be with me on this one? Anyone? No?? Okay - maybe I just need to stare crisco in the eye and give it a go. Surely a little pie crust can't get the best of me!
Speaking of Anne of Green Gables, we are going with friends one of these next few weekends and I am very excited. I have never been to a live Anne production but oh I did love the movies. Dad and I need to have another Christmas movie date I think and watch them again! I am sure the boys are not quite as excited but that's okay. 99% of date nights really aren't for them anyways. They are the obligatory events they need to attend so they can sneak off on golf weekends, stay out late after playing hockey or justify the fact that tsn, tsn2 and sportsnet are playing on every tv in the house!
On another Anne topic, did you hear there is a new Anne of Green Gables? I was watching this TV interview in which a friend of mine was a guest panel and they showed a picture of her. She is blonde! And super cute! With no freckles! That cannot be right - can it?? Did they do any research at all - she has to have red hair and freckles for alas those two features are her nemesis. It is those traits that plummet her to the depths of despair and find her soul pining to look more like fair haired Jane or the dark haired buxom beauty Dianna! Harumpf - not happy about this - not happy at all!

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