19 February 2006

Advice for Victoria

I seem to be running an advice column all of the sudden.

After being called out by Reader I Am, I'm compelled to offer some advice to Victoria regarding hostess duties.

In the realms of cheese or wine, I rarely partake in either so my advice would be worthless.

In the kingdoms of song and desserts, I'm a little more knowledgeable and opinionated.

So let's start with the song.

I'd seek out this album by Julieta Venegas. It's a fantastic album by a fantastic singer/songwriter and I'm told the lyrics are pretty good, too (my Spanish is too rudimentary to confirm or deny).

Second, having teens and tweens from a different country poses problems when it comes to song selection. Are they rockers, or are they hip-hop heads? At that age people tend to become a little more polarized in their tastes then at other times in their lives. Passion is a good thing at that age, but it makes pleasing people you don't know from regular contact rather difficult. With that caveat out of the way, expose them to the classics, and by classics I'm talking A Tribe Called Quest. If they aren't humming and singing 'I left my wallet in El Segundo' by the end of the fortnight then there's nothing to be done for them, cause it would mean they have no souls.

A little mind blowing journey to the unexpected always adds texture to a get together and this album from the Charlie Hunter Quartet definitely qualifies. Natty Dread as a peppy jump anthem is especially fun and surprising.

Also even though it's a tribute to the music of Brazil, this album from Morelenbaum/Sakamoto is beautiful, pleasing and essential. It's a tribute to Jobim, and really what more do you need to know?

For my final suggestion I'd go with some lounge. Lounge is great for pleasing diverse groups of folks cause you can either enjoy it as is, or you can goof on its cheesiness, either way everyone is having fun. And rather than dealing with all the pretenders it's always best to go to the source and go with the real deal. Lounge doesn't get loungier than these two acts. Pick up this Martin Denny re-release and this Esquivel and you (and your guests) will be thoroughly entertained, I'd almost guarantee it.

Now to the sweet, sweet gastronomical suggestions.

You are in Florida so a proper, picked up at a roadside diner Key Lime Pie would seem to be in order. Also rather than making at home, or bringing it, eat it at one of those diners (if they still exist around you) and make sure everyone eats at the counter and wash it down with a tall thick milkshake. (Here on the Westside you have to make do with the ersatz (but still good) versions, and they happen to make a killer Key Lime at Cafe 50s)

Another dessert they may not have had before would be a properly made Peach Cobbler. Nothing better in my opinion. Make sure it has just the right flakiness to the crust and the proper hint of cinammon (doesn't matter if it's homespun or diner bought, the crust is essential in a good cobbler). Also best served while still hot (if it doesn't scorch your esophagus on the way down, then it's too cool).

And really, a simple Pan Suave if it's made with love is plenty good enough dessert for anyone (or purchased at a good Cuban Bakery, which no doubt you have many to choose from, so get to it mamacita (and please, Victoria for the sake of verisimilitude, imagine that I give you a full handed swat across your rear while saying 'mamacita' cause I'm trying to be authentically cubano here, OK)) (as another aside, is mamacita the right term for imitating Cubans? or is it chica? I forget)

That's enough suggestions, I'm positive your guests will be enchanted (encantado, if you will) the entire time they are there, and the 17 year old (and maybe even the 10 year old) will have a big school boy crush by the time they leave. So enjoy yourself most of all, and good luck with all that.


vbspurs said...

How do I love XWL? Let me count the ways.

Way 1: By linking to his post(s) on my blog.

I'm thinking of other ways as we speak. ;)

Victoria (still reading/absorbing)

reader_iam said...

XWL: See? I knew you'd be a hit!