Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gazpacho and The Hangover Part III

Oh my gosh, this past week was spent visiting family and friends on South Padre Island. It was a blast, but the island kicked my ass. I woke up on the morning of July 6th in a penthouse hotelroom tired and sore, and unaware that I was about to star in the Hangover Part III. 

Here's the backstory: I was there to hang out with my family, but was going to see some friends who were on the Island for a wedding. On the 5th, my cousins and I proceed to get completely and totally trashed. Shot-gunning beers on the beach. Yelling at hot girls in bikinis. Playing volleyball and diving around unnecessarily, becoming immortalized in the sand. We were drinking Turbos (amazing drink that I'm going to have to attempt to recreate soon) and Coconut Rum out of the bottle. It was a mess to say the least- and all the more so, because my phone broke (for no fault of my own- it's messed up a few times since I've had it and I finally went in to the T-Mobile and my replacement is in the mail as we speak). So after dinner we're pre-gaming with some chicks we met on the beach- friends of friends of cousins or whatnot and I'm being an ass, because I don't care at all for these chicks and just want to meet up with my friends who I can't even call, but know are at a particular bar. I guess I could've walked, but in the end everyone headed out and I find my friends. Awesome! We drink and chill and then go to the Whataburger. Shortly after we arrive, dumb bikini chick arrives from the pre-game. We're all making fun of each other until my family surprisingly (or not) shows up. Party! For a few minutes, at least, until my teacher friends and I head out. We picked a good time to leave, too, because apparently all hell broke loose after we left. Whatever, while the Whataburger was doing whatever we find a hotel with a $300 a night penthouse suite that hasn't been rented, so they give it to use for $69, but we're too tired to enjoy it, so we just sleep.

In the morning we get breakfast tacos and then a friend drops my Doctor friend, who shall henceforth be known as Doc, and I off at my aunt's condo where all my stuff is. Literally all my stuff other than my wallet. She has my (broken) phone, keys, clothes, glasses, toothbrush, everything. Also, I'm wearing my cousin's way-too-tight shirt. I'm hung over, and I don't understand why nobody's at the condo. 

Doc's following me and I have no clue what's going on, so we start walking down the beach towards the bar where everyone seems to congregate. She has my cousin's number in her phone, so we talk to him and he has no idea what's going on, but he gives me a couple numbers and I start calling relatives- none of whom answer. According to Doc I was leaving messages along the lines of "Hey, I don't really know what's going on... I'm just trying to figure out what happened last night, and you know, where everyone and everything is. What's going on?" 

So you can see why the Hangover is becoming an apt analogy. 

Finally we get to the bar and I hear my name. Heck yes, it's my aunt who has all my stuff! Score! "Cousin said you were leaving the island?" I say.

"We are," she says. "We had to check out of the condo, but we wanted to enjoy the beach a little more."

Right on, I think. She tells me about the previous night's drama and then I ask her where my stuff is. Don't worry she tells me, you cousin has your phone and your other cousin has your things. I'm relieved. Where is the cousin with my things? Back at home. Home? You mean on the island, right? Nope. She meant an hour and a half away. 

WTF family. Seriously? You guys know I'm on the island and despite there being three or four condos/hotel rooms on the island and a half dozen cars all of where you could have put my stuff, you decide to send it an hour and a half away. Dammit. This is about the time, a la Hangover, that my cousin takes out her camera to show me pictures of the previous night. Thanks. This is also around the time that it becomes clear that I"m covered in bruises- or blisters, really of unknown origin. My whole left arm is covered. I have a giant blister over my left peck (boob). It's really quite gross. They're still there, but improving. I don't want to be seen like this! But anyway...

Doc and I borrow a car and drive out to get my stuff. When we finally arrive my cousin's she's all like "oh you came back for your beers?" 

"No, I didn't choose to drive 3 hours roundtrip to grab a couple beers that you took. Are you out of your freaking mind!!!" I didn't say that, but seriously. Wow. 

So Doc and I get my stuff (and leave the beers) and we look at each other and say we might as well drive the extra hour to West Valley where we used to live for dinner. We ate a Pirata at Tacos Aka, a Raspa, and a Papa Loco from El Jarepeo (which we had to save until the next morning). Neither of us could believe how much we used to be able to  eat.

We drive the now 3 hours back to the Island and decide to camp on the beach. The weather's perfect for it; warm, but cool enough to sleep comfortably. The gentle roll of the ocean against the shore. A huge moon and stars above. We get our tent up around midnight and have just finished talking and enjoying the scenery around 1-1:30 when, as we're just beginning to drift off, some damn fools start blasting Corridos. For 45 minutes I kid you not they played the same damn song. They continued playing until well past 3. Around 2 some idiot frat boys join in the fun, pull right next to us and start blasting rap. I'm only 27, but get off my lawn. Damn.

Waking up the next morning sandy, bug-bitten, blistered, tired, not-hungover, but feeling like I might as well be, and then cracking open a Papa Loca on the beach made me realize how good my life is. I have the best friends and family I could hope for. My body will recover, after all, I'm just 27.


9 Vine Ripened Tomatoes
1 Large Cucumber Seeded
2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Red Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
1/8 c. Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 c. Vinegar
1/4 c. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

I made this entirely in the food processor.

Liquify 5 of the Tomatoes in the food processor. Most recipes call for Tomato Juice, but this is the same thing and you know exactly what's in it. Salt this to taste. It may require more salt than you're used to, but that seems normal for Tomatoes, as it is with Beans and a couple other Salt-intensive foods. Set this liquid aside in a large bowl.

Now chop the Garlic as well as you can. Slice the Onion in small chunks and then let the food processor cut it coarsely. Add this to the Tomato Juice. Do the same with the Red Bell. Then with the Cucumber. Then with the Tomato. Stir in the Vinegars and Oil, add Salt and Pepper as necessary, and enjoy.

I thought there was a little too much Vinger in this and I might cut it down a little next time or else juice more Tomatoes. Otherwise it was really quite good. It's more or less just  a non-spicy Salsa or Pico de Gallo in Tomato Juice, but it certainly makes a fresh and refreshing summer soup!

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