My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

Oh shame on me. Not only am I so much later with this post than I'd planned that it's nearly Seis de Mayo, but like many Americans, BW and I were under the false impression that Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexican Independence Day. And we should know, having lived in Texas and (in my case) New Mexico, right? Then on Friday I was checking out Nava Atlas' collection of vegan recipes for Cinco de Mayo, and noticed this off-hand remark in her introduction...

"Cinco de Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride (contrary to popular belief, it isn’t Mexico’s independence day)"

and I thought, oh Nava, don't be silly. But having been wrong before (on Aug 22, 1979, lol), I had BW, who also thought Nava was being silly, look it up while he was online, and turns out we were full of toro because Nava was spot on. So in case you too have been under the wrong impression about the reason for Cinco de Mayo - besides as an excuse to drink margaritas on May 5 - here's the interesting history lesson BW found:

Anyway, at least we learned something new, and we were still right about one thing: it IS a good excuse to drink margaritas. :-) And that, along with making a favorite recipe, Enchilada Casserole, had been our plan for today's festivities. But yesterday it rained all day and we spent much of it in the kitchen, making Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad, BW's Bodacious Blackstrap Muffins (recipe coming soon!), and Lemony Baked Tofu with Rosemary, and doing the heaps of dishes that resulted. So when today dawned sunny and warm and absolutely beautiful, we did NOT feel like spending more time in the kitchen. Instead, after taking the dogs for a wonderful long walk, we decided to eat out for the first time since February and try a new Mexican restaurant in town, Las Delicias. Vegan friends had already eaten there a couple of times and gave it a good report, so off we went. Even at 2pm on a beautiful Sunday it was pretty crowded, and we could understand why since la comida was indeed delicias! :-) Glad I'd brought along my little Kodak just in case...

We chose Negra Modelos over margaritas since Mexican beers were $3 for Cinco de Mayo

BW's Spinach Enchiladas with green sauce

The sizzling portion of my Sizzling Veggie Fajitas

I brought at least half of my fajitas home to enjoy again tomorrow (and have met my oil quota for the year!), while BW ate all his food but is swearing he'll never have to eat anything more, ever again. :-)

And now we're heading back outside to continue digesting and enjoying the lovely weather! It's supposed to be beautiful all week, and we expect the nekkid trees to be attired in fashionable leaves by next weekend.

And speaking of beautiful, I found this photo a few weeks ago (photographer unknown, unfortunately), and today's a perfect day to share it!


  1. Chris makes a mean Elegante would go really well with the food.Holy Moly/Ay Carumba! It looks good!!
    Jane x

    1. Oh, yum! How can I get invited to your next fiesta??? We're lazy, and just buy Mike's Hard Lemonade Classic Margaritas for at home. They're delicious though (and vegan, like all of Mike's Hard Lemonade products). Can you get them in Canada?

    2. Come on over! Yes we can get the Hard Lemonade,but Chris loves to mix drinks.. it's difficult to separate a man and his cocktail shaker!
      Jane x

    3. I'll be right there (if only I had an "I Dream of Jeanie" ponytail I could flip and transport myself!) :-) Is this recipe anything like Chris' recipe?

      I dated a guy in college who had a fully outfitted bar in his dorm room. Got me into more kinds of trouble than I can begin to confess! So later I married BW, a man armed with nothing but a beer bottle opener (and charm), while I brought only a shot glass and wine bottle opener to the union. Only later did we buy a blender together. Still don't have a cocktail shaker, swizzle sticks, or, for that matter, a bar! :-)

  2. Anything, any day, any situation, is a good excuse to enjoy a lovely Margaret-Rita, you know that! ;-). Lovely lunch....wowzers!! Thanks for the history lesson, as I too, was wrong! I thought it was the birthday of Dos Equis' founder ;-).

    1. Truer words were never spoken, El Spudero! In fact, who needs an excuse at all? :-)

      LOL at your interpretation of Cinco de Mayo! I think the birthday of The Most Interesting Man in the World certainly deserves a holiday. :-) Actually, did you know that Dos Equis was founded by a German brew master (Wilhelm Hasse) who emigrated to Mexico in the 1800s? ¡Es verdad! No wonder you and BW like Dos Equis so much! :-)

  3. Excellent pics, the picture of the peppers brought back memories of my annual trips to Angel Fire in August of each year. Also, thanks for the link to the pasta salad looks yummy.

    1. Thanks, veganelder, you're too kind - food photos taken with a flash seldom look nearly as appetizing as the food actually appears in real life, but one does what one can (especially when one is seated in a booth far from any windows!) :-) That pepper photo is gorgeous, isn't it? It brought back my own New Mexico memories - I loved all the ristras hanging everywhere though they were almost always all red. I've never seen one with a mix of pepper colors like these! Wish I'd managed to make it to an Angel Fire festival while I lived in NM, bet those were great fun.

      Guess you missed the asparagus pesto pasta salad recipe in my "Greening Up" post a month ago (you can visit it for more details and pictures if you'd care to), so I'm glad I linked to it again here! We've made it several times now, and will continue to for as long as we can get good asparagus!

  4. That's a LOT of food. Wowza, but it looks delious. I'm not a spicey food girl (you know the ancestors came over on the Mayflower. I'm totally a white bread), but I like the anti-spicey versions. Such a colorful meal. I let CDM pass that acceptable?

    1. Yes, the portions were indeed generous! And I think you'd have enjoyed both dishes, as neither was spicy-hot, but both were very flavorful! Hey, my ancestors came over on the same boat, but I love spicy food! So no excuse. ;-) But I know what you mean about an upbringing on New England food - my King grandmother only ever used mild paprika, salt and black pepper! And Adventure Jo, who was raised in NH, can't take the heat either. Having an Italian side of the family definitely helped, but if you ever feel a desire to overcome your aversion to spicy foods, I recommend living in the desert southwest or marrying a hot-pepper loving Texan - both tricks worked for me! :-) My capsaicin tolerance - and appreciation - have gone up considerably since I met BW (who drinks a cayenne pepper tonic every day - kid you not!)

      Yes, letting CDM pass uncelebrated is acceptable, but you miss out on some good Mexican beer deals! ;-)

  5. It's never too late to learn something new. Love the shots - particularly those chilli peppers!

    1. Very true - in fact, I heard or read many years ago that if we're curious and paying attention, we should be learning at least three new things every day. :-)

      I know, I wish that chili peppers shot were one of mine!

  6. This post took me a while to read because I read the entire history of Cinco de Mayo. In my case it did not clear up misconceptions but just taught me something I didn't know. Cinco de Mayo has not been something I've really even heard about until the last 10 years or so and then just in my periphery. I guess I don't have enough Latin American friends!! It was especially interesting that it was invented in CA!

    Anyway, I always approve of a reason to celebrate something and I really like Negra Modelo beer and your food looks awesome so I think you made a great tribute to the day and tried a new place so that's pretty good!! The Fajitas would have been my choice. That green sauce on BWs dish looks SPICY!!!

    1. Good for you for reading that article! Now you'll probably be a lot smarter on that subject than most of the people around you. :-) We thought it was interesting that it originated in California, too!

      LOL, you just validated what I said about you in my reply to Susan above. :-) Nope, that green sauce wasn't spicy, it was very mild and very flavorful, and perhaps "tangy" describes it well. BW told them to hold the cheese that it normally comes with, and the waiter thought, but wasn't sure, that the spinach usually has some other sort of dairy with it (a white sauce? We're not sure, since he wasn't and the menu didn't say!), so BW's enchilada just had sautéed spinach in it, and BW thought it should have had something else - tomatoes, he thought. From the sample he shared with me I thought it was fine as is, fresh and flavorful, but I don't think they'd be remiss if they added some sautéed mushrooms to the spinach. I intend to suggest that if/when I order it. :-)

      Btw, there's another Mexican restaurant in town that we love - Oliva's - that has awesome veggie burritos and house margaritas, so we may be dining at both while you're here. So you'll be getting your fiesta on, girl! :-) Sheridan's Hispanic population has grown a lot since we moved here, which has resulted in greatly improved local cuisine and ingredients available in the local grocery stores!

  7. Whoa — quite a spread! The plates of food are VERY generous and look so delicious. I don't know which of the two dishes I'd choose. I think I'd have to insist Ken and I each order a different dish and split them. I'm pretty sure I'd be bringing half mine home and Ken would eat all of his. :)

    We totally forgot to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. We were too busy celebrating the fact that it's been hot and sunny for days by firing up the grill!

    1. That's sort of what we did, though BW wasn't interested in trying my fajitas because the amount of food he got overwhelmed him. :-) I wish the fajitas weren't so oily, but they were good - I liked having the zucchini in them! And the amount of food was definitely impressive. All that, including the two beers on special and the tip, came to $33. Not bad, especially considering I got three meals out of mine! We can't decide if we have a favorite between Las Delicias and Oliva's. We love Oliva's veggie burrito, being able to dine al fresco on their patio, their house margaritas, and their entrées are a couple bucks cheaper. But having the spinach enchilada and veggie fajitas option at Las Delicias is nice, the wait staff is very attentive, the decor is fun, the portions are huge, and their picante sauce is better. :-) Las Delicias also has a veggie stir-fry (hold the flesh) that Robyn said is good.

      We noticed over the weekend what sunny, hot weather you guys have been enjoying out there! Definitely reason to celebrate! (It's supposed to be 85º here on Monday - cold salad or grilling weather for sure!)

  8. Food looks great! And such a worthy celebration too! I'm all for the year-round margaritas! :)


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  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
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