An Accidental Cinco de Mayo

You can probably tell by the lack of recent posts here that I've been pretty busy elsewhere. So busy, in fact, that I almost let a holiday slip by uncelebrated. And this on a blog whose theme is about highlighting the causes for celebration; a possible catastrophe! Okay, just kidding. I guess if you set out to make each day a high occasion, then it wouldn't be so bad missing a holiday here or there. Nonetheless, Cinco de Mayo almost came and went.

That morning I invited two friends over for cocktails and munchies, unaware of the actual date. I had an unopened bottle of Trader Joe's Bloody Mary mix in the back of my fridge just crying to be cracked and shared. Noel and I had been trying to reconnect over the last two weeks to no avail, but this time things clicked into place.

Noel is co-owner of a local pickling company, Pickled Silly. (Check 'em out; I styled and photographed the main image on their website!) Her and her business partner, Sandra, make a delicious array of fresh and crispy pickles, but it was their spicy okra that took special place at the table today; the brine was our mixer and the okra, the garnish. With over 20 years of restaurant and bar experience, my beloved Ron was our bartender of choice. He cracked pepper, sprinkled smoked salt and stirred the spirits with professional mystique, all while carrying on a conversation about the common lawn weed, oxalis. Our Bloody Mary's were made with gin instead of vodka; a pleasant change from the traditional spirit of choice.

I'm a lightweight, and while I sipped on my one, perfectly concocted cocktail all afternoon, my three compatriots knocked back their Mary's with vigor. We drank and chatted on the back deck until late in the afternoon, gnoshing on homemade pickles and honey roasted peanuts. It was an incredibly pleasant, laid back day. Glancing at the calendar in the evening and realizing it was the fifth of May just made the impromptu gathering that much more serendipitous.

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