Monday, July 21

bittersweet chocolate chocolate

Somehow, three days have gotten away from me. BUT...MPBCPMS is not over yet. There's still intense fun to be had and highly efficient packing to be done!

It's been kind of a bittersweet MPBCPMS, if you must know, because we had Sara, Joe, and Baby Eli over for what could potentially be our last intimate supper together the other night before they fly off to Hawaii. To live. In Hawaii!

Eli knows he's cuter than you are.

I met Sara about two weeks after moving to Tucson seven years ago. We were working on an excavation downtown together. Every day it was 100 degrees. And every day monsoon storms rolled in at 2:00 p.m. So Sara and I bonded over Sierra Nevadas in the murky, smoky darkness of The Buffet - the windowless bar the crew holed up in to stay dry. There were weekend Bloody Marys at Bison Witches and enthusiastic afternoon games of pool, just her and me, at the near-empty Red Garter on Sundays.

We went to parties and barbeques, bars and concerts. We Jeeped around. We liked all the boys that didn't like us and didn't care for the ones that did. We cooked each other elaborate Valentine's Day dinners and then went out to look for boys who would agree with us on who liked who. Eventually we found those boys, but that came much later. We made breakfasts and lunches together, and she made me hike up that one mountain that one time in the middle of the summer before giving me homemade bread to make me feel better about the whole thing.

There was that one St. Patrick's Day when I got that late-night call from her roommate who was all like, "Where the hell's Sara?" and I was all like, "I thought she was with you". The trip to Puerto Penasco - Mexico - where we lost someone else for awhile but not Sara for a change. The Pecos Conference in Flag where we found Christine (but didn't realize it at the time). The countless nights spent out on Fourth Avenue.

Sara and me, pre-digitally. I don't remember whose knee that was. I hope not one of ours.

Sorry. You don't get to hear those stories. You probably have no desire to hear those stories. Trust me, though, those were the days.

Anyway, Sara was the first real friend I made in Tucson and now she's moving. It's the end of an era. So to celebrate and say goodbye, we had dinner under the ramada in the pouring rain. We grilled chicken marinated in beer and lime juice and ate it in flour tortillas with a delicious spicy white sauce, corn relish, limes, fresh-squashed Guatemalan-style guacamole, chunks of fresh pineapple, and coleslaw mix from a bag. And for dessert, we enjoyed a lovely, fluffy lemon icebox cake and coffee.

Ah, these are some pretty great days too, though, huh?

Spicy White sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 teaspoon minced capers
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Cilantro, minced, to taste

Mix together sour cream and mayonnaise. Stir in lime juice until sauce is slightly runny. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Corn Relish
3 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (roughly 4 ears)
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
Several fresh basil leaves, chopped

Mix all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook, stirring often, 4 or 5 minutes until corn is glossy but crunchy. Chill until ready to serve.

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