The First Long Weekend of Summer

With the exception of Christmas, the May Long weekend makes me more homesick than any other holiday of the year.   Yes, even living in the land of perpetual summer has its downside at times.

For this Alberta Girl, the May Long is about the first camping trip of the season, the first BBQ, the first gathering of friends and family after a long cold winter, to celebrate the coming summer, usually with a beverage in hand.

Fortunately, I have some great memories of long weekends past, spent with family and friends…and perhaps unfortunately, I also have photos of  of those memories.

IMG_1166
Making shooters.

Sometimes, the weather was good, but, the most memorable weekends were when the weather was poor.  What I remember most is NOT how we waited indoors for good weather to arrive, it is how we braved the elements, in defiance of the bad  weather, to celebrate the coming of summer,

 

 

So, with that in mind, wherever you may happen to be, I offer you 2 beverage choices to help with your weekend fun.  We have tried them both, you will have to pick your favourite.

 

TEQUILA SANGRIA
2 oranges
3 limes
1/4 cup sugar
6 cups ice
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen sweetened raspberries
1 cup silver tequila
1 bottle dry white wine
4 cups chilled lemon lime soda
1. Juice one orange and two limes to measure 1/4 cup juice each. Combine juices and sugar in a pitcher and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Thinly slice remaining orange and lime.
2. Add ice, orange and lime slices, raspberries, tequila and wine to the pitcher and stir to combine combined.   You can make it ahead to this point and keep in the fridge.
To serve, add soda, stir gently and serve!
Yield: 12 servings
And for the kids:
HOT CHOCOLATE
2 cups milk,
2 cups half and half
4 tablespoons of chocolate syrup (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mini Marshmallows for serving
Heat the milk and half and half in saucepan over medium heat, then stir in the chocolate syrup.   Add vanilla extract, stir to combine.  Pour into mugs sprinkle marshmallows over top and serve.   Of course you all know you can turn this into a grown-up drink by adding Peppermint Schnapps, Baileys, Amaretto or, you know,  whatever you happen to have on hand.
Please remember that whatever you are doing this weekend, always drink responsibly and never drink and drive.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 IMG_0496

Good things come from dirty laundry, part 4 – did someone say TEQUILA!

August 9, 2011 – It has been some time since I sat down at my computer at Casa Madera Bed and Breakfast and continued on with this story.  My apologies to those who were waiting for the next part but it was time for my annual sojourn home to Edmonton so I could get my yearly dose of cold.

Now it wasn’t that I could not have written it there but my editor was here.  Yes, someone actually edits this diatribe.  Heather, stand up and take a bow because without you these rantings would never be fit to be read by anybody, let alone friends.  However, now she is in Canada so you are going to just have to take it as it is!

But I digress, aside from being cold and swatting entire squadrons of mosquito’s, I had a great time at home.  I enjoyed my visit with family and friends but I especially loved spending time with Elizabeth, my granddaughter and my children (OK grown adults), Allison and Brendan.

You always have to bring things back that people like.  Brendan always gets hot sauce, the hotter the better but this year we found pickled habaneros so if he is making you a sandwich, watch out.

The major item that was brought back this year was 8 bottles of Tajin (pronounced -taheen) which is a spicy salt that you sprinkle on fruits and vegetables.  Heather’s sister’s family and friends have come to want it by the case so I stuffed as many as I could in my suitcase.  I firmly believe that is the reason I got searched by US Customs going into Denver!

But as usual the star in the suitcase was the bottle of Tequila for my brother.  You cannot buy good Tequila in Canada without dropping a lot of dough and for the most part you just cannot buy GOOD tequila in Canada at all.  So I bring him a bottle back every year as there are times when you want to sit back, relax and sip a good tequila.

I like this one!

Tequila.  The name is enough to make a lot of people shiver.   Mainly because they had bad experiences with it when they were younger.  Something which I can attest to myself. Whoever introduced the idea of a tequila punch party should be shot….but I digress.

I truly began to appreciate Tequila when I came down to Puerto Vallarta to buy the condo into which we moved.  I stopped in a bar one night on that trip and sat at the bar to watch a ball game.  The bartender and I got talking and he walked me through the various tequila’s he had and explained the differences in quality and taste.  He was the one who showed  me that Tequila should be sipped, not shot.

He was right.  After moving through about 4 different variety’s you could taste the difference between grades.  It was a good night and it allowed me to appreciate the subtlties located within that glass.

Thinking about good tequila always sends me back to our Guadalajara trip with Mary and Lore as it was them that suggested that one afternoon we should head out to the town Tequila, Jalisco.

September 2009 – Saturday

It had already been a full trip.  Lots of sightseeing and shopping we were having a great time.  Mary and Lore though thought we should take a small trip outside of town to Tequila.  It sounded pretty good to us but Mary had to convince her brothers that they should take us.

They had to finish dealing with the Papaya that they had but they were game so at 3:00 they loaded us all into the box of their Nissan King cab and we were off.  Yes, the box.  There was not enough room for us all in the cab so 4 of us got to ride in the box.  Considering it was about 32 degrees the box was a nice change.

The view from the back of the truck

The view from the back of the truck

However, the road to Tequila is not straight and it is very busy.  Traffic moves at the speed of light so you have to hold on.  It was fun but I am not sure I would want to do it again.

We arrived in Tequila in about 30 minutes.  It is a quaint little town with stores everywhere dedicated to selling…tequila!  The stores are everywhere.  Selling anywhere from 1 to 5 liter bottles.  Now the interesting thing in Tequila is that tequila is not taxed.  Not one of the bottles had a tax sticker in any of the stores we were in, including the brand name stores.  This allows you to get some good Tequila for a reasonable price.

One of the many stores we visited

We were moving from store to store tasting this one, that one and that one over there.  It was great but there were more things to see in Tequila besides the stores.  If one had the time you could tour the Jose Cuervo Distillery or one of the many others in town.

We did not have time to take a tour so we did our own small walking tour of the town.  Checking out the square, one of the town cathedrals and seeing what else there is to do.  We will return to Tequila when we actually have time to stay there for a day or two to see all the sights.  If you ever have the time to see this town I would highly recommend it.  It is a great place.

One of the tour barrels that goes around town


The time had come however to buy a bottle so I called in the brothers to tell me which one I should buy.  After trying a few they pointed at one and said it was the purest.  So I said the person behind the counter how much was the 5 liter bottle?

150 pesos!  14 bucks!  You’re kidding, right?  Nope, he wasn’t.  I quickly paid the man and took my leave in case he changed his mind.

Tequila bought we hopped back into the truck and made our way back to Guadalajara.  It was great visit in a neat town.

The Main Cathedral in Tequila