It’s been freezing here this past winter! I didn’t sign up for this when I decided to make the Outer Banks my home port. Below 18 degrees for two to three days straight…doesn’t help that my HVAC kicked the bucket and my gas stove is puffing fumes. Guess it’s a three dog night in my bed with every inch a fight of sheet tug-o-war…and who knew that my dogs needed neck support and would be hogging the pillows as well! Nothing quite like waking up in a cold house with a dog breathing its storied breath of all the terrible things it may have licked the day before, right in your face. Don’t get me wrong, I love my pups, but they are rotten. Honestly if I could sit and write a blog about anything else for hours it would be them…like an obsessed mother, “Did you see how cute Barley looked covered in coffee grounds after smearing the trash all over the house”, or “Remember that time Pincho brought the baby opossum inside to put in his toy basket”. Terribly in love and terribly off track to where this garbley gook is headed.
I wake up to this hot humid breath and dreaming of the tropics and go to bed looking at plane tickets to get me out of this winter. So the real dilemma, do I make a hot toddy or do I crawl under this wool blanket with a bottle of Makers Mark? I think it just started snowing, or is that just sheets of icy rain pelting the house. It could be worse…could be plucked out of bed by a pterodactyl like eagle, squished by a giant something-or-other, then chased by a giant blob of marmalade*. So look at the bright side, summer will be here, the ocean will turn to bath water, and I’ll be doing what I love…making people drinks! So get a hold of yourself Sam, put your bikini on, some reggae beats on the record player and make the best damn margarita this snow storm has seen. So that’s what I did. A little toast to my gals in Oregon Hill, Sara Jane and Dana. To living in a house where panes of glass were missing and the snow actually accumulated on the floor in my bedroom. Huddled together drinking rum and pineapple, watching Cool Runnings with mock jerk chicken macing the kitchen. I remember that as one of the best nights in Richmond, so thank y’all ladies for participating in my madness.
As a lover of a great margarita I always have baskets of lemons and limes, and in this case the beautiful seasonal pink grapefruits from Florida. I zest about two tablespoons of each and juice them for about three cups of juice. You can either then take your hands and rub a cup and a half of sugar into the zest or blend it until the sugar takes on the zests color. Boil that down with 1:1 ratio of water to sugar, let cool and mix with the juice. This stuff is fantastic, and it keeps for weeks! And now, since I am warming up from the oven door being open pumping heat in the kitchen, I halve a couple grapefruits squeeze a little agave syrup and broil them till they char. Two ounces tequila, a splash of Contreau, an ounce of the amazin’ sour mix and a slice of the grapefruit…shake it over ice to break up the grapefruit chunk and get it all frothy, rim the glass with salt and a twist of the charred grapefruit rind. I’m glad I don’t have neighbors, galavanting in my bathing suit and blaring The Upsetters.
So after you make this sour mixture you will probably not have much self control on how many margaritas is too many….and you will end up with a plane ticket to the Dominican Republic. So long winter…
*Notes: James Stevenson “Could be Worse” a childhood favorite that helped shape me into who I am today