Is there anything that feels longer for Winnipeggers than the six weeks we have to live through while waiting for Spring to come?
Some folks wimp out and fly off for a few weeks.
They figure it’s a necessary mental health expense.
Most of us tough it out here at home.
A few years ago I posted about how Eaton’s, a Department store, would take pity on Canadians and have a sales promotion known as ‘Uncrate the Sun’ at about this time.
There’d be fancy displays and posters, as well as a few exotic dishes for us to try.
Hard to believe, but in the late 1970s we thought eating a five-cent taco was exotic fare.
Amazing what a minus 40º C week can do to a person.
Well, a little pretending can be fun.
National Margarita Day is celebrated on February 22.
As Jimmy Buffett sang in Margaritaville:
But there's booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on…
It’s time to pull out the straw hats and have a staycation.
The Margarita recipe was first published in the December 1953 issue of Esquire.
Some say it was invented in 1938 by "Danny" Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria in Mexico.
He created it for former Ziegfeld dancer Marjorie King who, allergic to many spirits, enjoyed tequila.
Marjorie is a variation of Margaret, so I guess he thought the Spanish variation, Margarita, would look better on the menu.
There are a few other stories - most involving women - but I like this one.
A bit of History trivia…
The first frozen margarita machine was invented on May 11, 1971 by Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez.
The machine was originally a soft-serve ice cream machine and now sits in the Smithsonian National Museum of History.
If you’d like to cook something Mexican to go with the Margaritas, here are some spice mixes you could easily make at home:
Crushed Red Pepper / Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix and Taco Seasoning Mix
It’s National Chili Day on February 25… Celebrate!!
You could also offer your guests a choice by making a Piña Colada or two.
That drink also inspired a song.
Margarita can be served shaken with ice (on the rocks), blended with ice (frozen margarita), or without ice (straight up).
Use glasses ranging from cocktail and wine glasses to pint glasses and schooners.
The drink is traditionally served in the margarita glass, a stepped-diameter cocktail glass that looks like an inverted sombrero.
In formal settings margaritas are served in a cocktail glass, while in informal settings, particularly with ice, margaritas may be served in an old-fashioned glass.
Besides Cointreau, other orange-flavoured liqueurs that might be used include Grand Marnier, Gran Gala, other brands of triple sec, or blue curaçao (for the blue margarita).
Alternate fruits and juice, such as mango, peach, strawberry, banana, melon, or raspberry, can also be used in a margarita.
It’s traditional to prepare the glass in this way:
Place salt in a smal bowl.
Rub the rim of the glasses with a lime slice.
Dip the rim of the glasses in the salt.
Margarita, as in Esquire magazine, December 1953
Pour over crushed ice
1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Stir and carefully pour into prepared glass.
Pour into a blender or shaker with crushed ice
7 ounces tequila
4 ounces Cointreau
3 ounces lime juice
Blend or shake very well until smooth.
Carefully pour into the glasses, taking care not to dislodge any salt.
a lime slice
About the moon and sky next week…
According to the Farmers Almanac:
February 22 – February’s Full Snow Moon at 1:20 p.m. Learn how it got its name in this short Farmers’ Almanac video.
On February 22 Jupiter shines as a brilliant silvery “star” in Leo low in the eastern sky as evening twilight is ending. Jupiter will arrive at opposition to the Sun on March 8th and thereafter will now appear to climb higher in the evening sky.
This giant planet is ready for telescopic observing by 9:30 p.m., roughly one-third of the way up from the horizon. It reaches its highest position in the south around 1 a.m. and is heading toward its setting in the west after sunrise.
February 23 – Look to the east in the evening and see Jupiter sitting just 2° to the upper left of a nearly-full Moon. Usually when the Moon is this bright, it will overwhelm most stars that are this close to it, but not Jupiter.
Please don’t call the local radio station to say you’ve seen a UFO!
February 29 – Castor and Pollux, the brightest stars of Gemini are nearly overhead at around 9 p.m.