Recipe 53: Salsa Quemada and Recipe 54: The Gimlet

June 14, 2011



Listening To: Dana’s Wedding Mix

I don’t really know what cocktail party means.

Two friends of mine, Lauren and Kelley, moved into a new house and Lauren threw a cocktail party as a sort of christening.  My initial thought was, I guess I wear a dress. That was the extent of thought. Because I don’t know what cocktail party means.

I called Lauren on my way over to ask what recipe I should make for the party. Her reply was something to the effect of:

You know, anything! Except I don’t have a knife…

And then she proceeded to list off the other kitchen essentials her beautiful new kitchen was lacking. It wasn’t her fault I was unprepared. I should have looked into what she had, what I had, and what recipe to make sooner than ten minutes before the party was to start.

I was in Dierberg’s (grocery store) for at least a half hour. I wanted to make mojitos, but they had no mint. I wanted to make cookies, but I worried about my vegan friends. I searched for motivation, and searched in vain. I was lost in an unfamiliar store. I was out of my element. I was out of ideas.

After walking around Dierberg’s for ten minutes, Google searching recipes for cocktail parties, I landed on a salsa. Everything was to be roasted, which I thought would be easy enough because one thing she did not lack was a grill.

I bought a knife as a sort of housewarming gift with selfish ambitions. I arrived at Lauren’s and was ready to get my butt to the grill. Minor detail: I forgot aluminum foil.

On the road again.

After failing to find a Walgreens and then stopping at a grocery store that was, and I quote, fresh out of aluminum foil, I chose the hard road to roasting. I stuck all the tomatoes in a skillet, turning them, turning them, turning them, until the skins were about ready to peel themselves off, which took about thirty minutes. I roasted the pepper. I roasted the garlic. I roasted.

The girls kept me company in the kitchen. I made them gimlets to, a very easy recipe (that still counts) and we chatted as I stood in Lauren’s beautiful apron, minding the veggies.

After everything was roasted, I cut them up. I cut up the tomatoes, which took forever. I cut up the garlic, which was beautiful after being roasted; a wonderful texture. I think I’ll forever roast my garlic. Lauren taught me a few of her mom’s cutting skills like cutting the cilantro in a see saw motion, never really lifting it from the board. She taught me to stab a fork into the lime to really get the juices out. Brilliant.

The salsa was wonderful and the evening was lovely. Its hard not to have a lovely evening when the hostess is lovely and your friends are lovely and you feel good about the food you make.

Confidence in the kitchen is a new friend of mine. He’s lovely too.

On to the next one.


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