This is a toast to my friend Erin, whom I sadly left back in California when I moved to Nashville. She is of Scottish descent and she avidly supports her heritage, as kilts hang in her closet, and her son James plays the bagpipes. But this Scottish lass can cook Mexican food, authentically, honestly, and more deliciously than anyone I know.
There is no way I could make any dish to celebrate Cinco de Mayo the way that she can. She has a catering business. The best birthday my husband had was when she so generously shipped boxes of tamales for his party.
I have years of memories of sharing food together at her house, my house and at restaurants. I have never been able to replace what we shared together because while I might have friends who eat with us at restaurants or eat at our home, Erin and I did it all together. I could give you a list a mile long of the different dinner parties, but her favorite food story of me took place while she was in labor in the hospital with her third child, Gavin.
I stopped at a market and picked up a bounty for her family to eat in the hospital room, while we waited for the baby. Gavin, to this day, likes to tell the story of my response to the looks I was getting as I was setting up the banquet. “Gotta eat.”
Is it any wonder Gavin is a little chef and foodie? He was born into a room filled with good food. And, at just two weeks old, he attended a dinner party at my house in his honor. This was the way we did things. Everything was celebrated with food and drink.
While I always had the love for Italian food, Erin or Erina has honored and cherished the flavors of Mexico, although she can take on just about any cuisine.
The best I can do to keep up with her is to offer her a glass of “sipping” tequila. It is made with a blend of blue agave anejo and reposado tequilas. Each is aged separately and then infused with the Damiana flower. The añejo tequila is aged up to eighteen months and the reposado tequila is rested for nearly a year. The result is a beautiful smooth sipping drink enjoyed neat or on the rocks. You can make cocktails with it, keeping in mind it has a bit of sweetness compared to regular tequila, but I like that.
At just 64 proof, and not the usual 76 proof, Agovera Tequila probably won’t make you do something you either can’t remember or wish you couldn’t remember. But, it is known to be an aphrodisiac, so be careful who you are drinking it with.
Tell me, what is your worst tequila moment?