(Hydrangeas in Vinings, Atlanta)
Did you have a fantastic Father’s Day? Did you eat as if it were Thanksgiving in June?
We sure did over here at the crazy Cuban house. After a 6-hour day working in the city, I came home to find a deck full of guests, circling around our patio table, staring at each dish and waiting for the sign to dig in. I was lucky enough to be asked my Mami to bless the meal.
I hadn’t even said “Amen” before hands started unlocking and shoulders started shifting toward the table. It was impressive. When Mami cooks, you’re guaranteed an amazing experience in your mouth. Her food is consistent, without any error and always replete with her intense love. I didn’t get to contribute a single thing this year. I’m charging my lack of involvement to the change of seasons. Literally and metaphorically.
The last 6 weeks have been the most stressful of my life. A sudden, kind of unplanned move back to D.C. and possibly overseas to my 2nd favorite place in the world, coupled with getting dressed out of 4×4 boxes and accepting the fact that the cost of living up here is almost 3x as much as Atlanta, has me all flustered and just about irritable. Not to mention the abandonment I’m suffering guilt for: the lawyer, the man-friend, my daily coffee date, my kind neighbors and a thick network I built over 6.5 years.
Did I have to do all of this right at the turn of seasons? I’m sayin! I knew Atlanta was set to be blazing this summer, as evidenced by our super mild winter and sizzling days as early as April. A lovely hydrangea patch A and I walked past just 4 weeks ago, are probably all wilted by now, it’s so hot down there. I mentioned to A that I was not going to spend my summer down there, not knowing I’d really make the move. I was just talking. So I thought.
But, summer is here, with my feet planted on D.C. soil, and I’m not necessarily ready for the events that come with it — except for the floral bloom in my parents’ front yard — like 4 different colored hydrangeas and a lovely rose garden. My mind is on finding my own spot and having access to all of my personal goodies. I can’t dress, cook, and entertain as I normally do. Thankfully, my parents and sis are super accommodating and have made the transition exceptionally easy and very welcoming. At least my fave stilettos are at hands reach and espresso is always waiting for me 1st thing in the morning. Those things are important.
That’s not to say I’m not anxious to whip out my own cutting boards and my 4 boxes of alcohol — you know, to tryst a new season and a new life! It’s fun to see my parents’ growing bar which we all enjoy, but this past weekend, a new loco friend, a Cuban no less, showed up with 3 large pitchers of his special treat — his own margarita! With a friend like that, my boxes of spirits can stay taped up all summer long!
(new friend, Armando; new budding hydrangea)
I had one glass of his goodness last week before a long 20 mile bike ride with him and I was done. Bad idea. I was a partially inebriated biker. First few miles out were way wobbly. But not for the clips on the pedals to keep my feet in place, I probably would have fallen more than once. What an unsexy sight that would have been. Not to mention I was riding on a $1k bike.
Clearly, his recipe was incredibly good and a hit with everyone else that night, though entirely too strong for my buds.
On Father’s Day, I sipped on half of this pretty glass he prepared for me and left the rest for him to swig. It was full of tequila, probably more than a typical recipe calls for. Having tasted it last week, I had suggested adding a special ingredient in the event he’d be commissioned with bringing drinks to the house. Sure enough, he was and he obliged. I was pleasantly surprised when I sipped and got a good bite of fresh ginger! You know how much I love that kick in just about anything.
I sat back on the deck swing and watched everyone parlay their summer plans and offer hefty pats on the back in honor of our father’s. I was so glad to be home for the summer kick-off. I’m excited about all the new things I’ll be doing, particularly in TV, which I can’t wait to tell you about, and the change of seasons that brings new energy to my endeavors!
To that, I’ll toast and sip up!
What’s summer bringing forth in your awesome life!?
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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Ginger Margarita by the Crazy Cuban (and inspired by moi)
- 3 oz. white tequila
- 3/4 oz. triple sec
- juice from 3 freshly squeezed lime
- 1 oz. ginger syrup (see recipe below)
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup freshly grated ginger
- salt for rim (ginger salt would be nice, too)
For ginger syrup, bring water to boil, add sugar and 1/2 cup grated ginger. Stir until ingredients are well blended. Strain and pour into glass. Chill for 30 minutes. In large pitcher, mix all ingredients, including ginger syrup and stir well. Add salt to a shallow dish. Moisten each margarita glass rim with damp paper towel. Dip glass in salt. Fill each glass with ice. Add tequila, squeeze any reserve lime juice and serve immediately.