I slither into the tiki bar with my hat pulled low over my brow and my oversized sunglasses affixed to the bridge of my nose. My glance darts to the left, to the right. I don’t recognize a soul.

I slink to the bar and order a drink. The bartender pushes my drink toward me, his thinly disguised disgust for me evident on his deeply tanned, square-jawed face.

This is how it is. For years I have carried this disgraceful secret with me. My father will no longer speak to me. His shame is too great, an unbearable burden for him, a retired police officer. My mother cries at night, the estrangement tearing at the very soul of her being.

I cannot look the bartender in the eye as I bring my Saba Colada to my lips, the skewer of pineapple, maraschino cherry and orange slice set aside for later nibbling, because…….



David Dodd May 4, 2010 @ 5:25 p.m.

Ha-ha! From the view of a man who drinks his liquor straight-up, this is all kinds of funny!


nan shartel May 4, 2010 @ 5:53 p.m.

hahahahahahahaha...at least it wasn't a Shirley Temple Grantie

~~as i down a shot of Tequila with salt between my thumb and forefinger and push a lemon slice into my mouth~~

don't tell Refried Grantie...i now know because of his Cinco De Mayo blog it's not the Mexican way to do it


MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 6:13 p.m.

Yes, Refried, they are out there, in the underbelly of the city, combing the back streets for telltale signs of thatched roofs and tiki torches where their people await....

Nan, you scamp!! You startin' early?


David Dodd May 4, 2010 @ 6:15 p.m.

Some Mexicans use limes, Nan, even with beer. Limes are sort of a condiment with anything here. But hard core tequila drinkers just drink it straight up. With food, they put lime in a lot of things, even soup - the first Christmas I cooked New England style clam chowder for the family here, I had to HIDE the damned limes from them! I still find that one of the strangest things about Mexico, the use of limes in so many things.


MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 6:19 p.m.

I love me some limes, but in chowder?? Ewwwww. Nice to see you, refried.


David Dodd May 4, 2010 @ 6:22 p.m.

They had never had chowder before. Soup here is eaten with lime juice (except for mine), and rather than try and explain how the chowder would curdle with lime juice, I just hid them ;)


David Dodd May 4, 2010 @ 6:32 p.m.

And nice to see you too, Ms. Grant. I would otherwise be cooking dinner, but after oiling up the chicken, I pre-heated the oven, and by the time I spiced the birds up, we had run out of propane. It's too late to get any tonight. So, pizza is going to be ordered when the wife gets home, much to my dismay.

By the way, you would appreciate the chickens here in Mexico, at least the ones that aren't imported (I was reading your good stuff in another thread in here). They aren't these huge, steroid-stuffed birds like in the U.S. They're scrawny by comparison, but have tremendous flavor. And at the supermarket, I have the option of purchasing meat that isn't imported, and the ground beef is freshly made right there (this should be a MUST for all meat eaters, never buy ground beef frozen or pre-packaged). For those who eat meat, Mexico is doing it right. The only country I can think of that might do it better is Argentina.


MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 6:40 p.m.

Smart thinking. Do they have many cream-based soups in Mexico? I have not heard of any. As a matter of fact, I notice that when I dine in Mexico, dairy is not nearly as prevalent as it is in the Mexican restaurants here. I prefer your methods of preparation. I don't mind a few crumbles of queso fresco, but it seems like here everything is smothered in cheese. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on what your curing - hunger or something more medicinal.

So, did your family like your chowder?


quillpena May 4, 2010 @ 7 p.m.

Very good, MG, very funny. When I drink, it's usually beer or shots of JD, but, I must confess, I do like to have an occasional girl drink, even if it casts doubt on my sexually--another Fuzzy Navel down here, sweetheart!


David Dodd May 4, 2010 @ 7:08 p.m.

They didn't know what to make of it at first. Clam Chowder on Christmas Eve was a tradition as I grew up, so I passed it down to my family here. Now, they love it, they look forward to it every year, and we generally get a house full of Mexican friends and family that also look forward to it. Biscuits & gravy is another one, they had no idea how to approach it, but now they beg for it.

Cream soups don't seem to be popular here. At the supermarket, Campbell's offers a cream of chile poblano which I find to be outstanding for a cream soup, but they don't seem to sell much of it (no one in my house will touch it except for me). But when I make my own cream soups here (cream of chicken, cream of fried pork, among others), my family enjoys them. Part of it, I'm sure, is that it's fresh and from scratch.

I love cheese, but I think your observation is astute, there isn't much in most of the dishes served here. Cotija, which is a dry and crumbly cheese, is probably the most popular on foods such as sopes and enchiladas. Monterrey Jack is used a lot for quesadillas. But cheeses don't seem to overpower meals here like in other places. Queso fresco is used in chile rellenos, but even that doesn't seem to dominate the taste as much as does the blend of fried batter and chiles poblanos.


MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 7:32 p.m.

I remember when I would eat poultry in Mexico. It was delicious, and nothing like the bland taste of the chicken here. I am happy to hear that Mexico is a nation that respects the source of their food and treats it accordingly.

Cotija, that is the cheese!! It is kind of salty, yes? I love that stuff!! It really does enhance the food and is not the main goal.

It's so fun to bring the cooking and traditions of different cultures to the table. If there is one thing in this world we all agree on, it is good food.


MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 7:34 p.m.

Quilly, you may be off the hook. A Fuzzy Navel is a shot, and shots, regardless of ingredients, are exempt from the girly-drink classification.


David Dodd May 4, 2010 @ 7:56 p.m.

I agree, on so many levels cooking does bring people together. This afternoon, in fact, I read a great recipe from a friend of mine, a very outstanding cook, he lives in Florida (you should see some of his fish recipes!).


Basically, it's a chicken dish that combines Latin and Asian ingredients. And the photography is just SO excellent (his wife is a professional photographer).


quillpena May 4, 2010 @ 7:57 p.m.

D'oh! It's so difficult for me to fit in.


MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 8:47 p.m.

Those photos are gorgeous!! This dish looks a little labor intensive, as all good food should be. This is something I could make for the family. I love to cook. And you wanna know something? I can make a vegan biscuits and gravy that has fooled my most carnivorous of friends.

I prefer drop biscuits for this rather than the rolled kind, because I use whole wheat flour. Before you go "yuck", trust me, these are awesome. If you would rather go vegetarian as opposed to vegan, use real butter and throw a little grated sharp cheddar into the batter.


2 cups whole wheat flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup butter substitute, preferably Earth Balance 3/4 cup soy milk Chopped green onions (maybe three or four)

Preheat oven to 450.

Sift all dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut in butter sub till you form coarse crumbs. Make a well in center, add milk all at once, along with onions. For drops, you do not need to knead, so stir quickly and just incorporate the liquid. Do not over mix. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Should make around 16 biscuits.


One tube "Gimme Lean" vegan sausage One small diced yellow onion 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (actually, olive oil works well) 1 and 1/2 cups soy milk 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour lots of fresh ground black pepper

Heat oil in frying pan. Add onion and saute for a couple of minutes. Crumble Gimme Lean into it and brown, about 10 or more minutes to get a good crust on it. Add flour and stir till well coated, then add soy milk. Cook and stir constantly until thick and bubbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Generously grind lots of black pepper into it.

Split biscuits, ladle gravy over, and eat what you will not believe has little to no saturated fat in it whatsoever!!


David Dodd May 4, 2010 @ 8:52 p.m.

I'm stunned by this recipe. I never even considered that vegan biscuits and gravy could be made. If I'm ever in the position to cook for vegan-inclined folk, I'll definitely try this recipe.


MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 8:53 p.m.

Quilly, the girly-drink club is a dicey place to be at best. The smell of Jack on your breath is enough to get your ass kicked, and ordering a Fuzzy will expose you as a non-girly-drink poser. Do not go here unless you are seriously ready to abandon your beer and booze preference, and are ready to embrace the blender as a main component of your drinks of choice.


CuddleFish May 4, 2010 @ 8:56 p.m.

You fit in perfectly, Quillers. :)

Girly drinks are so pretty, MsG!!

I remember in my clubbing days all the strange names of drinks people used to order. Sex On The Beach, Screaming Orgasm, Hairy Monkey. Didn't dare ask what was in them.

Best fun ever: Tequila Body Shots! LOL



MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 9:07 p.m.

It's really good, refried. Take it from someone who used to be a biscuits and gravy connoisseur. When I went veg, I was jonesing for this. There is just something so comforting about this blend of moist carbs and hearty, creamy sauce that I could not stop thinking about. After a little experimenting, I tried it out on some friends without telling them about my "adjustments". They were telling me it was the best B&G they had ever had!!

Note: Do not use anything but unsweetened soy milk when cooking. It is okay to use regular soy milk for baking, but when cooking, only use unsweetened.


MsGrant May 4, 2010 @ 9:28 p.m.

Is that you, CF, you body shot bad-ass, you!! Again, those drinks are shots and not eligible for the girly-drink club. And yes, that is the girly-drink goal. Beautiful drinks with garnish and a glass that has curves.

Oh my god!! We used to drink this shot called a Brain Hemorrhage, and I swear that is exactly what you would think it would look like. Slippery Nipples were a favorite. There was a great shot called a PB&J. It was Chambord and Frangelica. It tasted EXACTLY like peanut butter and jelly.


CuddleFish May 4, 2010 @ 11:27 p.m.

Oooh I forgot about Slippery Nipples! The others, Brain Hemorrhage and PB&J, I hadn't heard about. Good times! :)


Russ Lewis May 5, 2010 @ 12:45 a.m.

(#18) Ever heard of a lesbian slumber party? Can't say I know what's in it, but it does sound enticing.


David Dodd May 5, 2010 @ 1:02 a.m.

Lesbian Slumber Party:

1 oz vanilla vodka 1 oz Irish cream 1 oz Grand Marnier 1 oz chocolate liqueur 2 oz milk 1 marshmallow 2 scoops mint chocolate ice cream

Dude, enticing? This is too sweet even for ants!


MsGrant May 5, 2010 @ 6:50 a.m.

Winner and undisputed champ!! That is the girly-drink champion of all time!! It's liquid Midol!


nan shartel May 5, 2010 @ 10:03 a.m.

don't wait 'til summer for this one peeps...hey guys we'll make some for u 2

Watermelon Julep Ingredients

¼ ripe watermelon ½ oz. simple syrup 3 sprigs of rosemary 2 oz. Grey Goose vodka Watermelon Julep Recipe

Smash watermelon till it turns to juice. Pick out seeds. Muddle 2 sprigs of rosemary with syrup. Add 3 oz. juice and vodka and shake with ice. Strain, and garnish with sprig of rosemary.

i put Lime or Lemon on almost everything i eat Refried...it really improves taste...i started it on salad to keep from using salad dressing

and for all u peeps who like me just can't live without coffee and r Greek

Coffee Frappe Ingredients

1 ½ cup cold water 1 ½ T Instant Coffee 2 T. Sugar ½ Shot Ouzo Milk, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and mint Coffee Frappe Recipe

Blend 5 T water, coffee, and sugar briefly. Pour into tall glass. Add ouzo, milk, ice, and remaining water. Top with ice cream, syrup and mint.



nan shartel May 5, 2010 @ 10:18 a.m.

see Quill..guys can drink pretty drinks 2


MsGrant May 5, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m.

Oh, nan, that watermelon julep is going to be beta-tested this weekend for sure!! I think that might be a keeper in the cocktail recipe book. The frappe sounds delish but I must, sadly, keep my cocktail calories to a minimum in order to enjoy maximum imbibing.

Lemon Juice Salad Dressing

Juice of one whole lemon 2 tablespoons olive oil Fresh ground pepper Sea salt

Add to salad and toss. Light and tasty. We use this all the time instead of bottled dressing. Should be enough for two servings.


nan shartel May 5, 2010 @ 10:52 a.m.

Beta tested this weekend Grantie...PLEASE DON'T GIVE IT TO UR FISH!!!


MsGrant May 5, 2010 @ 2:35 p.m.

There is only one place the girly-drink umbrella, other than in the drink itself, winds up. It is behind my ear, silly!!!


nan shartel May 7, 2010 @ 12:46 p.m.

u look damn cute with an umbrella behind ur ear babe!!!!!


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