Posts Tagged ‘Mojito’

A cooked rasher. Raw bacon rashers are an esse...

Mmmm bacon, bacon, BACON

OH what a good time we had!  Well I had a good time anyway, not so sure about Janet and Marian.  I say this because Marian had actually specified a couple of weeks ago, that we eat out -“No grilling”!  I wasn’t planning on grilling but I also didn’t particularly want to go out to dinner because we would never be able to “hang” out there for a long time.  I haven’t seen my cousins in more than a few months.

We have our rituals (thank goodness for some).  READ Janet and Danny brought all the mixin’ s for Mojitos.  What can I say?  Mojitos are the perfect summer drink, hands down.  If you remember from a previous post my cousin Janet travels with a well-stocked pantry, er I mean trunk.  You just never know what might come out of there!  So out came the simple syrup, the bunch of fresh mint leaves, the white rum, the bag of limes AND their own muddler.  Really!  I’ve said it before and will say it again, Danny is the master mixer of Mojitos.  Tart and slightly sweet, icy cold and laden with limes and mint, this drink just refreshes you with every sip.  We even got I-only-drink-gin-Peter to try one. Clearly he didn’t have as much rum in his as I had in mine (but then again no one else does have as much rum in theirs as I have in mine) because he was slurping that down like iced tea.  And then he made himself a martin-some things never change.

We had drinks and cheese and crackers and salsa and chips and all sat around in the air-conditioned living room – no beach, no front porch for us, no backyard barbecue – it was just too damn hot.  Actually I felt like I was recovering from heat stroke anyway from being on the beach for an hour.

I thought I had planned a fairly simple meal and I DID NOT ask either of my cousins to help me in the kitchen BUT even so, they meandered in and once again we had cousins cooking in the kitchen!  I think it’s great fun, I love having them there with me as we put together a meal.  I started frying bacon, Marian sliced tomatoes, I made a platter of lettuce leaves.  Somehow Marian felt putting the toast in the toaster was not befitting to her talents so instead she sliced the avocado and perfectly I might add.  Janet ended up finishing the bacon, I started getting out plates, platters and bowls.  There was a small problem;

My kitchen table seats four and we were six, the table itself could not hold all the food and the plates.  Janet figured out that if we put napkins and silverware on the plate we garnered a few inches and if we put the corn and salads on the counter and just put the sandwich fixings on the table it might work.  I’m sure this is a genetic characteristic she inherited from her mother, my Aunt Marian who always  managed to seat 24 people at table that sat 18 or some such number.  It has to do with exactly how much space (read width) one needs to be able to cut food using a fork and knife and get it into your mouth without bumping into your neighbor on your right. It worked.

Just in case you were thinking that the only thing we were serving was corn on the cob and BLT‘s, you’re wrong.  We had potatoe salad, two kinds of macaroni salad,  AND we had two kinds of bacon and tomato sandwiches.  You could opt for the traditional on white toast (the only acceptable bread for a BLT) OR you could have a bacon, avocado, tomato and sprouts sandwich on rustic Italian bread.  Yes I was channeling Martha, I admit it.

Dessert was a little of this and a little of that.  We had brandy cake backed by Marian, chocolate-covered strawberries from the ladies tea on Thursday, a few pieces of watermelon, and some cookies.  Sorry I even mentioned making hot tea….

Bob and Marian were considering taking the train home but Danny came to the rescue and offered to drive them back into the City before he and Janet wended their way back to their NJ hometown.  It being Friday night, I hoped they would make decent time – surely they would be going against the traffic.  

I did forget to mention one little thing and that is that although I think I am a cleaner-upper and put-it-away freak, my cousin Marian  has me beat.  If I was slicing something and laid the knife down for a moment to go into the other room and say something, when I came back the knife was washed and she was drying it!!! For Heaven’s Sake Marian!  I asked her to restrain herself till we at least were done with plates, pans and utensils before she was hell-bent on washing them.  I had to let her dry the dishes once the meal was over otherwise……..

Read Full Post »

English: Meals on Wheels 'HotShot' delivery ve...

English: Meals on Wheels ‘HotShot’ delivery vehicle, Hamburg Township, Michigan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew I was getting old (-er by the day) and certainly not making the money I once was BUT I didn’t know I qualified for Meals On Wheels!!  Apparently I do because yesterday my cousin Janet (you know the one I like to call Janie) called in the morning and asked Peter if he would like to have a dinner with the most delicious sauce and the pasta of his choice.  That was pretty sexy in Peter’s mind –  and the fact that he found that sexy is yet another story.

We knew we were in for an all-around great day.  We love when Danny and Janet come because we can talk about so many things.  First of all we always like to spend a little time discussing her sister Marian ( my cousin) and the ongoing saga of what to do with the house in Vermont?  Whether to sell the condo in Florida and why not buy or rent something in Ocean Grove?  You know how easy it is to talk about someone else’s business lol lol.

But most of all we love our political conversations.  We are kindred spirits when it comes to politics and as the current presidential election draws closer and the antics escalates, we have much to talk about.  We breezed through the RNC which amounted to a substance-lacking, misinformation fest and liars convention and moved onto talking about the DNC.  Of course since we are all Democrats, it was a lovely conversation praising the eloquence of Bill Clinton, the directness of John Kerry and intelligence, demeanor and character of President Obama.  No surprises there, as I said, we are all Democrats.

However, before we convened on the front porch with drinks and a fabulous antipasto, we spent a couple of hours on the beach.  Is there anything better than sitting on a virtually empty beach on a beautiful warm sunny September afternoon?  Hard to beat that not-too-hot, not humid, soft warmth of the September sun.  The sun has quickly shifted to a new slant in the sky, it knows summer is over even if we don’t want to believe it!  Did you ever notice your shadow at about 11am during this month?  I did a few days ago and realized how intensely dark and visibly outlined your shadow is.  This doesn’t happen during the long hazy lazy days of summer.

But back to the porch…we feasted on exquisite semolina bread brought from upstate – thank God because for some unknown reason, here in the heart of the Jersey shore, I can’t find decent Italian bread.  Janet brought the bread AND everything else you can imagine or will read about in the next few lines.  Perhaps you remember that this cousin Janet, is the one I  have referred  to in a previous blog as the one with the traveling pantry and bar.  Add to that, she arrived with a change of clothes and make-up!  Here’s what came out of that cavernous trunk: A liter of white rum, 2 limes, a cucumber, 3 packages of mint leaves, 2 quarts of her famous homemade macaroni gravy, 2 lbs of spaghetti, the loaf of semolina Italian bread, a container of simple syrup, a container of pre-washed lettuce, a container of tomatoes, special salad seasoning, a stick of pepperoni, a jar of fried Italian peppers, a jar of roasted red peppers, a chunk of provolone cheese and a package of brie, 2 bottles of water for the beach, and 2 quarts of seltzer for the Mojitos.  Gosh I hope I didn’t forget anything!!!  This is serious packing!  And so you can only imagine this delightful antipasto which we relished along with Danny’s famous Mojitos.  Added to all the delicacies she brought, we added Greek olives, green olives, olives stuffed with blue cheese, dolmades and stuffed red cherry peppers.  I am surely prejudiced but seriously you can’t beat a great Italian antipasto!

When the pesky mosquitos started nibbling on Janet and I, we quickly retreated inside where while they watched MSNBC (WHAT ELSE?) I set the table and prepped the dinner.  Eventually we sat down to dinner and once again just kvelled ( a Yiddish word meaning gushing, praising) over Janie’s fantastic sauce (aka gravy).  It was dark, dark red indicating how long it had simmered into a thick rich ragu laden with sausage, meatballs and pieces of pork. OMG! we ate a whole pound of spaghetti!  The salad was barely touched because there really wasn’t much room left after all the pasta we ate.  Except of course we found a bit of room about an hour later for some cookies, dark chocolate and tea.

Thank you Danny and Janet for making my day in not quite Clint Eastwood style – although he did make quite a few spaghetti westerns before he made an ass out of himself at the RNC.

With meals this good, I’m calling to sign up for regular delivery!

Read Full Post »