Monday, May 14, 2007

A Mother of a Day

Does the name Anna Jarvis sound familiar? Unless you’re a trivia buff, or you happened to pick up the May issue of Smithsonian, it probably doesn’t.

Anna Jarvis is the woman who created Mother’s Day, to fulfill her deceased mother’s wish of a national holiday to honor mothers. Jarvis ultimately lived to regret the day she created this monster of a holiday.

She spent much of the latter half of her life fighting the corruption and commercialization of the holiday she worked so hard to create. Jarvis was horrified by how the candy/florist/opportunist crowd stepped in to make a profit, and how people embraced these trivial tokens of affection.

Although I haven’t started making my own cards, it’s not far off. And, I take pains to avoid feeding the Holiday Machine in general. I don’t eat out on holidays…ever. I don’t buy chocolate anytime near Valentine’s Day. You get the picture.

Unfortunately, my mom lives a pretty fair distance from me, so she has to settle for a card and a phone call. The other mother in my life is my girlfriend, E. Her 16-year-old son takes care of the heart-warming moments of appreciation all good mothers are due.

That leaves me to cook.

Not that I mind. It gives me an excuse to make some extra-special meals and share time with a couple of great people. I’ll spare you the entire weekend’s menu, but I will mention a couple highlights.

Mother’s Day dinner was grilled, spice-rubbed Angus filets with bleu cheese cream sauce, roasted garlic mashed yellow potatoes and sautéed spinach.

And, no, I didn’t ruin the steaks.

The meal was tasty. The wine was equally tasty. Since the occasion called for something special, I opened my other bottle of 2003 Twisted Oak Murgatroyd. If you missed my earlier review of this wine, it’s right here.

Because these bottles were sent to me as samples, the first bottle was subjected to a rigorous, scientific process of evaluation. This bottle was pure enjoyment. The food and wine were a glorious combination.

And speaking of pure enjoyment, no Mother’s Day weekend is really complete without mom kicked back enjoying a liquor drink. Since distance prevented me from tempting my own mother with booze, I forced E to enjoy a pre-dinner margarita on the porch. I’ll have you know—it wasn’t easy. (Okay, it was.)

The next time you’re craving a ‘rita. Treat yourself with this recipe from The Best Recipes in the World, by Mark Bittman (an excellent cookbook).

¾ cup tequila
Scant ¼ cup Grand Marnier, triple sec or other orange liqueur
¼ cup fresh lime juice (or to taste)
Lime wedges to garnish

Combine ingredients and ice in a shaker or pitcher. Shake or stir. Strain into salt-rimmed, ice-filled glasses. Makes 3-4 drinks.

Use 100% Agave, silver tequila. I doubled the amount of lime juice, and they were still plenty strong. Adjust to your liking.

Dance on a (sturdy) table as needed.


el jefe said...

hi John - That's my recipe too! But I find I prefer a reposado tequila for my 'ritas. It gives a nice vanilla note to go with the fruit flavors. An anejo would be too much, and you should be sipping those anyway :) Like you, I also like them "up", but no salt. YMMV. Cheers!

John said...

Nice to hear from you, El Jefe, and thanks for the tequila tip. I'll have to try a reposado. My tequila knowledge is very, very limited.