Friday, May 8, 2009

Cinco de Mayo....a few days later.

There's a lot of controversy surrounding Cinco de Mayo.  Some Mexicans seem to get all in a huff over the fact that we choose to have our friends over for good eats and drinks on May 5th.  I don't let it bother me.  And they shouldn't let it bother them!  I mean, it's sort of a tribute!  Who doesn't love Mexicanesque type edibles?  It's one of the more vegetarian friendly fares so I never have to worry about starving to death. It also seems to bring out the best in everyone because it's the type of food that just makes people happy!  (Especially my husband!)  I have great memories of taco and burrito night when I was growing up.  It's a perfect excuse to get together and have some fun!  I don't see it as an excuse to drink...I see it as an excuse to EAT! Chris used to work with this Mexican guy at UPenn who never had a burrito in his life until he came to the U.S.  Go figure.

This year, I had a potluck and we had a reasonably large group of people over!  They all contributed something.  I made a big pot of brown rice, a pot of black beans and a pot of pinto beans, some salsa and some guacamole.  I also made a burrito pie from a recipe inspired by an article I saw in Family Fun magazine.  It was a huge hit!  I used vegetarian chorizo in place of beef and each layer had either refried pinto or black beans.  I also sprinkled in some caramelized onions and frozen corn.  

My salsa recipe has not changed much in the ten years I've been making it.  It isn't revolutionary or different.  The list of ingredients is a basic round up of the usual suspects.  I combine them by feel so it's difficult to really jot down exact measurements.  I can tell you that I always make my salsa the day before I plan to serve it because it's always better the next day.

I painted this bowl as a gift for Chris a few years ago when we were dating.  The man LOVES salsa and all of the associated foods that come along with it.  I always joke that if we ever need to spice up our love life, I just need to wrap myself up in a tortilla shell.  

The guacamole is more simple.  I made a huge batch for Cinco de Mayo and it got completely tapped.  The dark spots you see there are the pits.  I keep them in the guacamole because it helps to keep the avocados nice and fresh.  This bowl has ten mashed avocados in it!  I just add juice from one and a half limes along with salt and pepper to taste.  Some people also throw in sour cream but I really love the taste of avocados so I don't add much to it.  It's like the part in Love Actually where the guy is holding up the sign.

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