Monday, October 11, 2010

Cooking With Booze, Vol. 3: Tequila


Across the globe, there is one drink that is spoken of perpetually in loud tones one day, and hushed tones the next. One drink that is consumed only in the most classic of ways. No drink inspires more profound glee and profound regret than this, the regal, golden scourge of the Southwest, TEQUILA.
As a Texan, my relationship with Tequila is a good one. A lot of people talk crap about my drink, but other than that it always seems to be the tequila shot that I wish I hadn't agreed to, I don't understand why. Probably, most people drink terrible tequila. That, or they haven't been raised on margaritas from birth, like many, if not most, God-fearing Texans. In any case, tequila is a difficult drink for its storied past, its Spring Break woes, and its complicated taste. I honestly believe that the closest drink to tequila is gin. Both are extraordinarily complex liquors that people have strong feelings about.
My feelings about tequila are so strong that I have a hard time imagining what to do with it besides drink it. I've already done quite a bit of research on tequila recipes, but everything seems to end up as just another margarita recipe! And I'm still looking. But in the meantime, I want to convey to you an extremely important fundamental of Tex-Mex that you can have while you are drinking your tequila...


Ofiuco's Family Recipe

4 ripe avocados (just a little give to the touch. Not too much. Not, as a former housemate of mine once assumed, the consistency of a boob. Firmer.)
2 small tomatoes (or 1 medium)
1 medium onion (You may pick which color - yellow's sweeter, red's fieryier, white's white)
Salsa of your choice (In emergencies: Tabasco)
Lemon or lime juice

1. Cut each avocado in half, around the seed. Remove the seeds, peel the avocados, and set all of them in a large bowl.
2. Dice onions and tomatoes. This is going directly into your mouth on a chip, so size should be appropriate for chips.
3. Mash avocados. It doesn't matter how, but get it good and mashed, like you would mash potatoes. Lumps are fine, though, really.
4. Add diced tomatoes and onions and as many spoonfuls of salsa as are necessary to bring the heat quotient where you want it to be.
5. Unless you used Tabasco, add a good squirt of lemon or lime juice.
6. Stir it all up and add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Eat!

Guacamole en estilo pacifico

I don't know if this is actually 'Pacific style' guac, but in my short time in Zihuatanejo, almost all the guacamole we got was like this. There are as many variants of guac as there are chili.

4 avocados
1 medium onion
1 lime
Salt to taste

1. Prepare the avocados as we've already discussed.
2. Dice the onion. You can use less onion than this (I probably would, since as far as I'm concerned this may be too much onion) and I usually cut it a little finer than my family would.
3. Mash the avocados.
4. Mix in the onion.
5. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice out of one half. Mix it and taste it - if it's not enough, add more. I usually vote for more.
6. Salt to your taste.
7. Eat!!

Bon appetit!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sounds of the outside

I don't know what it is about today - the laughter of my neighbors' children, the blue sky, the light breeze - but today everything feels familiar. Setting aside the odious smells emanating from the Safeway next to my apartment complex, today is a really nice day. I found myself desperately wanting to be outside, so I am sitting on my porch in my Goodwill Pepsi lounge chair. This is the first time the weather's been nice enough to do that and I've remembered.
Today feels like Colorado and Houston and Mexico. On days like this, a whole flood of memories comes back to me, a collection of moments of stopping and looking around and absorbing the totality of the environment. A crisp day in a Rocky Mountain forest in summer. A jaunt in a Texas park with my brother, pretending to be looking for Pokemon around the creek. A hot, bright day at the beach in Zihuatanejo, with families enjoying the sunlight as far as the eye can see. I guess it is this feeling of simple beauty and connectedness with everyone else who is enjoying it. A ball game. A barbecue. Being down by the pool. Being surrounded by good things, being happy, being in the moment, experiencing, being one with the universe.