Friday, May 4, 2012

You're invited to a Cinco de Mayo party!

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Let's not let a little thing like, oh...being in different states and cities (or a cracked pelvis) spoil the party! This Saturday the Jungle Reds will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo and you're all invited. There will be book and tchotchke giveways - more books from the Edgars winners and nominees - virtual margaritas and paella.

But you have to bring something to the party and tell us what you'll be wearing, what kind of music you'd like to hear. Five of the best party guests will win book prizes and the winners will be announced on Cinco de Mayo.

I'm bringing a six-pack of Negro Modelo beer (even though the Dos Equis man IS the most interesting man in the world) and I may resurrect the outfit I wore when I went to a Halloween party as Frida Kahlo a few years back - hair braided, long skirt, peasant blouse, shawl, unibrow and I forced Bruce to dress up as Diego Rivera. What will you be wearing?

JAN BROGAN: I'll bring tequila shots - the cute ones that come in a sampler kit- with lots of salt and lime. All my peasant blouses and colorful skirts got given away in eighties, but I have cowboy boots and a tooled leather belt I can throw over a white beach dress I picked up in the Dominican Republic.

HALLIE EPHRON: I'm bringing fish tacos -- the kind I had in Florida last time I was there. And churros with sugar and cinnamon. I'm wearing a red mini-skirt an a black bolero jacket embroidered with white curlicues... and tap shoes. Definitely tap shoes. Not sure why.

ROSEMARY: I love it! And tap shoes make perfect sense to me. Why is that?

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm bringing Jimmy Buffett and his band to play for us. And key lime pie for dessert (no poison, I promise!) Wearing my imitation cowhide skirt and red boots...

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Going against the grain here.  I do LOVE Cinco de Mayo. BUT it's Kentucky Derby Saturday!!! So I will be wearing a sundress and the most suitable derby hat I can find (will post pic.) Last year, never having had a mint julep, I very carefully looked up a recipe and made one from scratch.  Hated it!!!!  As in violently hated it.  So this year I'm going with the English Derby favorite, Pimm's #1 cup, and will be glued to the big screen TV for the whole extravaganza.  Afterwards, maybe I'll switch to Jan's tequila shots, put on some latin/reggae (I'm sure there is such a thing,) and cook some shrimp on the grill!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  Sangria! No, Palmyras. Our favorite summer drink--its vodka, simple syrup, fresh lime juice--put in a shaker full of ice. Add several stems of fresh mint. Shake shake shake shake shake..and the ice pulverizes the mint. It turns out to be frothy pale green, icy and wonderful! After a few, you won't care what I'm wearing!
Queso fondito with jalapenos and chips for food...

But okay....Derby Day on Cinco de Mayo...I've got a long black chiffon skirt, wide black leather belt, dark green leather boots, and a white T-shirt from Hellman's. (Because Hellman's makes...) (I know, that outfit makes NO sense. But it's a look, right?) And still thinking about a hat...hmm.

ROSEMARY: LOVE mint juleps and have a bottle of Maker's Mark which my Kentucky pal Brian and his wife Melissa brought over one day but - Dios mio - my heart belongs to CERVEZA! Melon and mango on the street coated with chili pepper. Me gusta! Y usted?

Bring something to our Cinco de Mayo party, tell us what you're wearing and you'll be entered to win an MWA canvas bag filled with books!


  1. I'll be wearing black silk pants and tunic with a red-striped handwoven rebozo wrapped around my shoulders with huaraches on my feet. I'll be drinking mojitos, though I do love Negro Modelo, Ro. That and Dos Equis are the only beers I'll drink.

    To the feast, I'll bring "Creamy Gazpacho with Avocado" and "Pineapple Mango Coconut Salad."

    Mariachi and ranchero music are always great, but for a special treat, I'll bring Los Lobos from East LA. You have to watch out, though. When I've had a few drinks, I revert to my youth and sing, so I'm likely to join in on classics like "Volver, Volver."

    Love the tap shoes, Hallie! Maybe you want to try flamenco.

  2. Tablecloths! I have vintage tablecloths (yes, plural) that fit the Cinco de Mayo theme. They will make our virtual tabletops muy cute!

  3. Well, IMO, Cinco de Mayo falling on The First Saturday in May is fun, but I have other priorities that day.

    When I get a new calendar, the first dates I mark are our wedding anniversary, our birthdays and Derby. Then, Christmas.

    In past years, I've been able to be in KY, if not at Churchill, but on "home soil" doing horsey things on the Big Day: visiting farms and attending horse shows. In Kentucky, Louisville isn't the only town to celebrate Derby.

    Otherwise, even though I've been to a couple of Derbies, my perfect Derby is spent right here in front of our TV. I watch all the preliminary races. Derby Day is my Super Bowl Sunday. I pop special popcorn with drizzled Irish butter and parmesan cheese. And, yes, I cry when the U of L band plays "My Old Kentucky Home." That's why it's just better if I stay home here.

    BTW, I've had mint infusing in decanted Maker's Mark for months in the fridge. Come to think of it, I need to freeze special ice with spring water. A julep's taste depends greatly upon the quality of the ingredients.

  4. I will bring the makings for burritos and will be the one who looks like Chiquita Banana!!! and singing that song!!! Dee

  5. I'll bring a gallon of guacamole. My special recipe.

  6. Everything sounds wonderful . . . I will bring chips with homemade mango salsa for munching and pastel de tres leches for dessert. I'm wearing my long, full twirly skirt with an off-the-shoulder blouse and my dancing shoes.

  7. I'll do the vegetarian enchiladas and homemade salsa. I'll wear my black jeans with a Day of the Dead shawl (I WISH I had red cowboy boots...). And yeah, mojitos. What a fun party!

  8. Though it may seem somewhat immodest, I am personally responsible for the 40-year upswell in Cinco de Mayo parties throughout southern California, where celebrations are now more popular than in Mexico. My first -- still a legend among survivors -- included home-grown corn and peppers, a "new" kind of tequila called Herradura Gold, and hand-made, deep-fried, crispy beef tacos with slices of avocado from the backyard tree. A tradition that still lives began that day: Each new arriving guest couldn't get in the door unless they did a shot of Herradura.

  9. That's it...everyone over to Jack's! I used to have red cowboy boots..must get another pair.

    I lOVE vintage tablecloths...maybe I'll dig one up for tomorrow's post.

    Guac, salsa...can i have those for breakfast...I'm getting hungry and oatmeal is starting to feel boring.

    All of you Derby girls are welcome, for all the hoopla the race only takes a few minutes! Do you have a fave this year?

  10. Well, since it's both Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day, and I'm always dying for Chocolate, I'll probably wear a 'chocolate' hat with a Mexican Derby Pie :-)

  11. Rosemary - I don't usually pick until I see the horses in the saddling area to watch how they react to that roaring, excited crowd.

    So far, though, I do like Bodemeister - I like the horse, like how strong he looks, his pedigree - but I don't like picking the favorite because his "routine" will change, what with all the media and excitement, and I think that messes with horsey heads.

    Still, it'd be fun to watch another jubilant Calvin Borel post-finish-line celebration. He's got a good horse, already close to where he likes to run, so I wouldn't rule out Take Charge Indy, either.

  12. I'll bring huevos rancheros (my version of comfort food.) However, since we're going to the women's softball game at the college, I'll be wearing my "You Wish You Could Throw Like a Girl" t-shirt.

  13. May I bring my daughter, and her choice of tequilas for tasting? She has gotten into tequila tastings with her half-Mexican boyfriend, especially after they spent a month traveling around that amazing country, and I now defer all such choices to her.

    My red cowboy boots, turquoise jewelry, and embroidered blouse would fit in just right.

    What a fun party! Thanks for the invitation, Reds!

  14. I'll try my hand at flan, but don't think I'll be able to match my friend's, made with her mother's recipe. I'll bring out the gauzy embroidered blouse I bought in Guatemala . . .
    Linda, I am now craving that salad -- care to share a recipe?

  15. A variation of a recipe in my cookbook, The "I Don't Know How To Cook" Book: Mexican (Adams Media).

    Pineapple Mango Coconut Salad

    You can add papaya and oranges to this also.

    Serves 8

    What You Need:
    2 cups canned chunk pineapple, drained
    1 cup chopped fresh or thawed frozen mango
    2 cups shredded coconut
    2 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon lime juice
    8 large lettuce leaves

    What You Do:
    1. Combine pineapple, mango, coconut, cabbage, mayonnaise, and lime juice in a large serving bowl. Toss gently until well mixed.
    2. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve by scooping onto lettuce leaves.

    Buen provecho, Mary!

  16. I like the Kentucky Derby theme - I will bring a Kentucky Derby pie.

  17. Mmmm . . . I will bring Sopapillas, wonderful little fried pastry puffs with cinnamon and honey.

  18. I'll bring chocolate pecan pie and my friend, Joe, who plays a mean Spanish guitar. Maybe Los Lobos will let him sit in.

  19. I am rolling cabbage tamales (recipe via Linda's book) in great anticipation of this event. I considering a fresh lime drink and something coconutty but don't know what yet.

    I will be wearing an embroidered blouse from The Old Pueblo. Kendall will have on his summer serape.

    With Los Lobos from East LA this will be the best Cinco de Mayo ever.

  20. I wanted to bring the negro modelo! Ok, I'll bring the mint juleps (rather, I'll make them right there at the party). And I love desserts, so even though it doesn't fit the theme, I'll also bring a Hershey Bar pie!

    Nothing special for my dress - signature black (denim black skirt, black top) - but I think I'll switch to black cowboy boots for the party!

    It's gonna be a great party!

  21. Nancy,
    I'll have one of your Mint Julips and one of Hank's drinks which I've never heard of before, but since i have an ABUNDANCE of mint in my backyard will be making sometime soon.

    Better eat something with all that alcohol. Lind,a the Creamy Gazpachowith Avocado sounds perfect.

    Hallie, I've never had a good fish taco. But I like the concept so Ill try one of yours.

  22. I'm going to a Kentucky Derby party and bringing black-eyed pea salad and wearing a hat with lovely feathers and ribbon. But - I would like to have a Cinco de Mayo party in my head, and I would be eating guacamole, queso, salsa, chips and fish tacos. I'd be hoping that someone brought margaritas.

  23. Jan, mojitos require fresh mint also. Mint, lime juice, rum. And good fish tacos are heavenly! You know Hallie's will be deliciosa!

  24. I'll be bringing a Mexican salad, with chopped black olives and green onions, tomatoes, red kidney beans (drained and rinsed, of course), lettuce, frito corn chips, and Catalina dressing, oh, and we can't forget the shredded cheddar cheese. YUMMO. I definitely want margaritas on the rocks, so I will be bringing a cooler of them, and I will be wearing a tan pantsuit with my turquoise and amber pendant and matching earrings, with cute little turquoise sandals. Will be bringing the hostess a lovely gift, as well!

  25. I will make a virtual chicken mole dish,which I have wanted to try since I first heard of it. I will bring Kahlua and cream to make Sombreros. I'll wear an apron sporting numerous chili peppers, and since this is my own virtual world the chili peppers will have faces -the faces of he JR Writers. They will be really cute,of course! The apron will cover my usual jeans and a shirt also decorated with chili peppers. My socks will have the same design. On my head,I will wear a sombrero,which will also hono the Kentucky Derby.

    I will be accompanied by strolling musicians playing mariachi music. There will be at least one burro.

    Oh, yeah:the serving bowls will be the Mexican tripod clay vessels that were designed and made by high school students in my town this year. They are currently on display in one of the public buildings and I will be allowed to borrow my favorite ones for our virtual party!

  26. Forgive my typos...I'm tired!

    I forgot to mention that I will wear one of the silver and turquoise bracelets that I purchased in Mexico many years ago, along with some matching earrings that I made.

  27. Deb, you need to get Lila Downs' CD, La Cantina, so you can listen to her Spanish and English versions of a musical recipe for Oaxacan mole, Cumbia de Mole.

    Mole is one of the great masterpiece dishes that has strong indigenous roots. Each region and town within regions has its own version of this wonderful signature dish.

  28. Ole! What a party! I'll bring the pool and poolside from California to this virtual fiesta, along with gentle warm breezes, umbrella-covered tables and beach chairs. After a brisk swim I'll be hiding from the sun in a wide-brimmed straw hat, my modest swimsuit and a floral long-sleeve shirt and Hawaiian sarong, with comfy old rope sandals. I'll sport some oversize sunglasses for a laugh.

    I've brought out a large tray of margaritas made with fresh-squeezed orange and lime juices and enough tequila to do the job. Here's the hot refried bean dip. It sounds like there's plenty of guacamole, but if not we've got more. There's a chile relleno style casserole coming (stuffed with either kale or eggplant, your choice) and it's smothered in organic pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheeses.

    It's so great to see you all here. And thanks for all the fabulous dishes, tamales, the mole, the Pineapple Mango Coconut Salad. And thanks, Jack, for the Herradura at the door! Ay caramba!

  29. Linda:

    Thanks for the tip!

  30. Well I am bringing red sangria, which I make on my own, and really needs 2-3 days to marinate before the taste is right. And sorry but the ingredients are secret so I can't pass them along, but I will tell you that, I make it for my kids' teachers every year, and I am very popular!

    I also make a heated black bean dip, so I 'll bring that too.

    I'll be wearing my 5-foot-across sombrero that really is a wall decoration, but my kids love when I wear. and a peasant blouse and skirt!

  31. I LOVE vintage tablecloths! Fantastic!

  32. We are going to have such a fabulous party! I can tell it's going to be one of those happy occasions when a party lasts into the wee hours and everyone's having too much fun to go home!

  33. I'm wearing off the shoulder Mexican dress (the white one with multi-color pattern on the bottom) and I'm bringing more fish tacos, rice and beans, fajitas and non-alcoholic margarita

  34. Seafood enchiladas and strawberry margueritas! I'm wearing a long red skirt, sandles, and a white peasant top. Very comfortable. Spanish guitars are definitely the way to go for sound. This will be a blast!