The Visitor

My friend LT came for a brief visit from sunny California.  You remember him, right

He flew into JFK and I went to get him at 6AM on Saturday.  The drive there and back wasn’t bad.

I drove through Staten Island rather than take the Holland tunnel; I didn’t want to deal with driving through Manhattan.  Traffic wasn’t bad at all, and it only took me an hour to get there.  It was a lovely drive across the Verrazano bridge and back.

His visit was a short one, but we managed to squeeze in some nice meals, drinks, and talk of Tuvan throat-singing*.  We also enjoyed the weather, chasing Nina around, and we even cut down a superfluous tree in our backyard and re-hung some fencing.

Now I need to buy a chiminea for all the firewood.

I was in Puebla, Mexico last summer and while there I was introduced to sangrita.  Sangrita is similar to bloody-mary mix but it’s meant to be sipped, as a chaser, along with a tasty tequila.  I found a recipe online and modified it a bit to suit my tastes.   Here’s how I make it:

  • 32 oz. of Clamato
  • 4-5 limes
  • 2-3 TBSP of OJ
  • 1/2 TBSP horse raddish
  • 1/2 TBSP celery salt
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • Pepper to taste

Mix everything together and place in refrigerator for a day or two (or just drink immediately– who has time to plan their drink chasers days in advance, right?).  Make sure you buy some decent tequila to accompany the sangrita– I like Patron (green label).

We also had burgers, home-made cole-slaw, and strawberries and cream for dessert.  I made the whipped cream myself, and it came out very good.  I think making it myself from heavy cream, vanilla extract, and sugar will be the only way to go from now on– no more Reddi-whip for us.

LT and I are both fans of spicy food and hot-sauces.  I gave him a bottle of this great sauce that a friend of mine from NY makes.  I must take a moment to plug my friend Christopher’s hot-sauce.  I know Christopher from when we worked together in Selkirk, NY.  He would make this out-of-this-world pepper sauce for all his friends at work to try– y’know, as a hobby.  Well, apparently after years of people telling him he should bottle and sell the stuff, he decided to do just that.  This hot-sauce is so thick and hearty, you can eat it on a cracker with a slice of cheese and there are few things better.  Don’t worry, it’s not one of these how-much-pain-can-you-take macho hot-sauces either– it is really tasty (and it comes in ‘Mild’ for all you capsaicin-phobes).  It’s a little tart, a little sweet, a little spicy, and well, delicious.  It’s perfect for pizza.  Because of the sweetness, I am not crazy about it with Mexican food, but there are those who swear by it.  Check out his website and buy a bottle or two ten at  It’s made in Upstate NY, and a couple of bottles would make a great gift for any spicy food aficionado in your life.

Traffic on the way back to JFK was a complete nightmare– it took about 3 hours to reach JFK– this was on Sunday at 4PM.  LT missed his 7PM flight home and had to get a seat on the flight out the next morning at 9AM.  So with a night to kill, he took the opportunity to roam around Manhattan (bars) getting in adventures– y’know, like Caine from Kung-Fu.  But hey, this blog only covers Cati’s and my adventures… go find his blog for his adventures.  ;)

* Ok, back to the Tuvans– the sounds these guys make are downright other-worldly; it blows my mind a little.  Check it out:

LT and I, with our confidence bolstered by the tequila, practiced our harmonic overtone singing.  We discovered how to quickly annoy everyone around us– even Nacho left the room.  I think we’re ready to start touring.   

Check out the Tuvan Simon and Garfunkel over here:

4 Responses to “The Visitor”

  1. cati says:

    It was a great weekend. You make the best burgers I have ever eaten. And now, with the strawberries and homemade sweet cream, I don’t see how I could ever stop loving your food… I mean you. :)

    I kids because I loves-

  2. Gina says:

    Cati has mentioned your burgers to me a handful of times… and I want to know why I’ve never had them? Have you been holding out on me all this time? Well, no more banana bread until I get a burger (kidding… maybe).

    But seriously… those sound amazing. And I am happy to see the bacon as a condiment for them.

  3. alex|dimitri says:

    I’ll gladly hook some burgers up for you. When are you coming to visit? You have an open invite; you know that.

    America; where bacon– a meat– is considered a condiment for another meat. Stars and stripes forever.

  4. Gina says:

    I’m working on making it down there ASAP. I’ll let you know, so you can go out and get the burger supplies.

    In the meantime, how about a new post on the new addition–or a full family portrait?