Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cinco de Mayo

Betty and Tom had a Cinco de Mayo party yesterday that commenced at 3 in the afternoon. We started in the kitchen, went to the bar in the basement, moved outside for a while, then went back to the bar when it got too windy to be outside. We had great food: tamale bean dip, pico de gallo, black bean dip, chipotle chicken casserole, chicken and steak fajiatas, and CHILES RELLENOS. Tom also made some great margaritas. By the end of the evening, all the men were asleep and the women were at the bar singing and doing that high-pitched trill that you hear in some South of the Border music. It's a good thing we were in the basement. I'm sure the neighbors would have called the police to report some heinous crime being committed on a cat.

I made the pico de gallo and got some teasing about the name. It's just salsa, they said, but it isn't. I read a few recipes and in the end, chopped up whatever I had: tomatoes, tomatillos, red onion, garlic, green onion, and lots of cilantro. It was delicious. The difference between this and salsa is that salsa is cooked; so there.

I also made a key lime margarita pie. Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup pretzels, finely crushed
1/2 cup graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoon tequila
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
Few drops green food coloring, optional
1 cup heavy cream

Lime slices

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the pretzel crust, combine the crushed pretzels, graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. Once the mixture is combined, spread the mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie tin. Press the mixture in the tin onto the bottom and the sides to form a firm even crust. Bake for 5 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Let shell cool until needed.

For the filling, use a large mixing bowl, and combine the sweetened condensed milk, limeade, tequila, orange liqueur, and food coloring if desired, until all ingredients are well mixed. In a medium size bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the lime and tequila mixture. Spoon the filling into the pie shell, cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.

To serve, let pie stand for 10 minutes after coming out of freezer. Slice pie and garnish with lime slices.

At the end of the recipe was this disclaimer:
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

And so it doesn't look at all the picture if you make it according to the directions. It makes a smallish pie in a pie plate. If I were to make it again, I would make it in a spring form pan and double the recipe so it gets higher. I'd also add more lime, either lime zest or something. It needed a little more kick. I didn't use pretzels either because they are a snack food and it's wrong to put them in a dessert. I used all graham cracker crumbs. Everyone thought it was a nice palate soother after all the peppers and spice.

We had 50 mph winds this morning. It knocked a lot of small branches off our birch tree and if I had any gumption, I'd go out and rake them up. It was a mighty wind. I guess a lot of people lost shingles and bigger branches. I've been looking at the tornado damage in Greensburg, Kansas. The wind is a powerful force so don't go outside to look up into the sky when the sirens go off where you live. Get your ass to the basement. The other thing they don't tell you is that THE REASON YOU SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS IS WHEN THE GLASS BREAKS IT BLOWS INWARD AND EMBEDS ITSELF IN WHATEVER IS IN THE WAY. That could be your flesh. If you've ever picked glass shards out of wood or plaster, you will get this message loud and clear.

Bert had another cyanotic episode the other day. He went out the patio door and spotted a rabbit. He lit out after it, got to the corner of the yard where the rabbit went through the hole in the fence, and he must have used up whatever he had because he went down in the dirt. With a mouthful of bunny fur in his mouth. Regis went out and carried him into the house. It was a pitiful sight...poor Bert all limp and dirty but proud with a piece of that rabbit in his mouth. He might be old but he can still chase rabbits.

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