Bonanza

8 Sep

This weekend was, as predicted, a whirlwind of laughter, underwhelming weather, copious amounts of food, plans, and general good times. And cocktails. OH, THE COCKTAILS. When we (my mom, sister and I) were all phone-tagging to coordinate the meals and beverages for the trip, I asked probably three times ARE YOU SURE THERE’S ENOUGH BOOZE?! And my sister said yeah, she thought so. And my mom was like, I ASSURE YOU, THERE’S PLENTY. Obviously she has no idea how much liquor seven people in close quarters and nothing to do can consume, HOWEVER, I stifled any and all impulses to stop at the liquor store just in case. Well, HOWDY-DO, guess who ran out of liquor AND mixers within like, 3 hours? Oh yeah, this family. We’re champions. And Beth made these killer prickly pear margaritas, the prickly pears she harvested herself in the desert of Utah, that crafty fox.

She’s actually so crafty that every time she visits or send presents she always packs along something she’s preserved herself, more likely than not from something she grew or harvested as well. She’s known for her delicious dilly beans, but the spiced honey blackberry jam took the cake this year. Er, the French toast, actually, since that’s what I ate it on. I ate it and then died a thousand tiny blissful deaths. It was good, obviously.

When C and I arrived, the family and Jeff (Beth’s man) were out at the lake, Jeff and mom were just pulling up in their kayaks after fishing for a bit. Well, mom didn’t catch anything, but Jeff caught one adorably undersized trout that he cleaned up and stuffed with garlic and sauteed for a mini tasty appetizer for our first night’s meal (a big vat of chili and mom’s not-to-be-fucked-with-it’s-so-good cornbread).

After dinner I got electrocuted approximately three times by a possibly possessed and/or short circuiting hot tub that smelled like feet. I still enjoyed soaking, though. We all stayed up and chatted and blah blah blah and then the next day we hiked. Um, well, C forgot his shoes and only had flip-flops, and I was nursing a sprained ankle (NOTE TO ALL: DON’T FALL DOWN STAIRWELLS IN THE DARK WHEN YOU’RE WALKING YOUR BIKE AROUND SKETCHY BACKYARDS WITH HIDDEN BASEMENT STAIRCASES) and some sore muscles from horseback riding the day before. It was lovely and beautiful, obviously:

But I have a low tolerance for discomfort (read: I am a cranky mofo sometimes and really good at complaining especially when I am hungry and/or cold and/or my shoes have rocks stuck in them) and I was all, MY FOOTWEAR IS INSUFFICIENT! LET’S GO HOME AND EAT MORE!

At first I was feeling panicky about cooking my mom’s birthday dinner for seven by myself, and started to do that whole hyperventilating/irritable sally attack where I’m like WAHHHH I’LL NEVER GET THIS DOOOOONE! But then Beth offered to whip up a chicken sausage, almond, and some other stuff I forgot stuffing for the stuffed peppers. C manned the grill and took care of grilling off my onions, assorted hot peppers, and tequila lime chicken. My mood relaxed, I busted out my Cuisinart that I’d packed along (of course, don’t you when you travel?!) and pretty soon we had a FEAST. Fajitas, stuffed Poblano and Anaheim peppers, roasted spicy peppers, black beans over rice doused in Cholula hot sauce and jalepenos, watermelon, and my favorite thing to make ever, guacamole.

I love guacamole because it’s stupid easy. For mine, I just throw in avocados, chopped garlic, fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, and a bunch of cilantro. Normally I hand mash it with a fork since I like the avocado chunks, but since I was making a big batch I whirled it in the food processor. No set recipe, I just keep adding bits and pieces til it tastes perfect, which isn’t hard to make happen with avocados.

All in all the family carnival-disco-trust-exercise-fun filled bonanza was a success, all of us having managed to show up at the same place, not tear out our hair, and generally be kind to each other and enjoy our time together. Hell, the cabin even had an air hockey table, and I’ll be DAMNED if I don’t take my title as family reigning champion next vacation… dad only got lucky this time. After the first four games I was tired. And maybe drunk…next time, dad, NEXT TIME!

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