According to a very scientific research study (conducted by me) in my laboratory – a very high percentage of architects enjoy cooking and at one point considered becoming a chef. According to that same study, an even higher percentage of architects hate washing dishes.
You: Wow Bob, that’s really interesting. Please, go on.
I would say that I fall into the architectural demographic that at one point thought they would find themselves working professionally in a kitchen. While I don’t consider myself a foodie (I‘m more of a “couch-ie”), I take food preparation seriously and notice the efforts that others put together properly prepared and presented (phrase has been trademarked as “The Three P’s”™) dishes. Because of my affliction (medically known as “couch fondness”), I don’t prepare many elaborate meals, BUT I am more than capable of quite a few expertly prepared dishes so when Thanksgiving comes around, I feel like I’m in my natural element. It’s the one day of the year when Food and Couch come together in such a way that is widely acceptable … even celebrated.
It is in this spirit that I decided to reach out to the other #ArchiTalks participants and I suggested the topic of “From an Architect’s Table” thinking that it would be the online equivalent of a recipe swap … but with architects … who decided not to be chefs.
Maybe this wasn’t the genius idea I originally thought it was going to be.
If you thought this was going to be a turkey post, you are going to be disappointed. Do you see that marvelous-looking margarita … of course you do. It’s amazing and it’s only a picture. The real thing is so much better. So when I thought through which time-honored recipes from Thanksgiving I was going to share – at first I thought about my Mom’s Lemon Chess Pie (which was proven to be the most architectural of all pies) but I’ve already written that post. The next thought that came to mind was the tradition my family has of going out for Mexican (Tex-Mex) food the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.
Not really. We are all from this area and I believe that, according to the aforementioned laboratory, Dallas is where Tex-Mex food was invented. Since everyone in my family has since moved out of the state – where all Tex-Mex food is even more garbage-ier, they return for Thanksgiving with a craving.
And you can’t properly eat Tex-Mex without drinking a margarita. And since you can’t drink just one margarita, my family would typically return from dinner but the consumption of margaritas would continue for several more hours.
So to start this post (because what good is a recipe without images?) I went to my Instagram feed to see if I might have, maybe, possibly taken a picture of some margaritas from my past. As it turns out, I had a few that I could use.
The thing about making a proper margarita is the mixer … or the fact that you shouldn’t use a premixed version – they are disturbingly electric green, syrup-y, and coat your tongue in a very unpleasant manner.
I am a fan of making your mix – because it is ridiculously easy and it makes a difference. The image above was from an epic afternoon of Mojitos … another drink that benefits from homemade simple syrup. You can see the entire process in those 9 pictures and from beginning to end, I made these in less time than it would take to go to the store and buy mix.
Here is my super-secret margarita recipe … you can tell from the aged index card that this recipe has been in my family for uhm, generations. This is definitely a recipe worth keeping.
Since I have been talking on and on about making your own simple syrup, and the importance of using real lime juice and not some weird chemically mix, I am going to break it down for you.
Start with a bunch of limes. Take them out of the bag and place them on a table.
Cut those limes in half.
This is what a bowl full of cut limes looks like. mind blown
Juice those limes. (So far, this is a recipe that even toast burners can handle)
When I do this, I typically juice somewhere between 18 and 24 limes – lime juice keeps when refrigerated for only a few days so either juice what you need or invite some friends over.
Put that juice into a jar. Save for later.
Now for the lime-infused simple syrup. You are going to have to zest two limes … zest them good.
In a small-ish stockpot, add 1 cup of sugar. Toss in the lime zest.
Take a picture and post it to Instagram and tag me in it.
Add 2 cups of water and bring the whole thing to a boil. Chill the simple syrup until you are ready to use it.
So now that I have all my ingredients, it’s a simple matter of assembly. I prefer my margaritas on the rocks and with salt, so this is literally the perfect recipe for me. The weird swampy-looking jar of liquid on the far right is the lime-infused simple syrup – which is absolutely worth the 7 minutes it took to make.
We all know that Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for people, maybe a few of these margaritas will get you in the right state of mind.
Finally (because I’m sure that you all want to race off to start making your own batch of Thanksgiving stress-reducing margaritas), according to the geniuses over at Google Analytics, of the 3,310,181 people who have visited Life of an Architect this year, approximately 1,903,394 of you (57.5%) of you celebrate Thanksgiving …. to the other 42.5% of you, ignore the “Thanksgiving” part and take this post at face value – a good recipe for Margaritas.