I remember Jenny before she remembers me. On the first day of Kindergarten, I dutifully filed past a little girl whose father was kneeling down in front of her reassuring her that it was going to be all right to go inside. She was all teary-eyed and he had to lead her in by the hand.
Jenny and I coexisted peacefully and without incident or much interaction besides birthday parties and recess and chicken coops until I pop up in her diary from 2nd grade: “I hate Alison O’Keefe!” (I don’t know what I did except rock that wicked boy-short haircut. Thanks, Mom. Much appreciated.)
From there, we moved on to Centennial Pool where I allegedly (lies!) tried to drown Jen in 5th grade (perhaps in revenge for her slanderous Hello Kitty Diary campaign against me?) and Jen didn’t pop up again in my world until October of 8th grade when she arrived on the scene with a penchant for black clothes and prank calls (we are still absolutely outstanding at the latter, by the way…).
She was just in time, but she had been there the whole time. Life is funny like that – sometimes the people that we need most are right there and we don’t even know it.
I remember that when Jen rolled back into my world, I was enamored of her. Her wheels were always turning and the boundaries of possibility seemed endless in terms of what she might say or do or think. From pulling apart mating cicadas to spiral notebooks full of “poetry” to plowing a pathway into the woods to build “The Fort” (What? You’ve never mixed vodka and Mountain Dew in the ripped-off bottom of the Dew can in the woods? You haven’t lived.), Jen was always up to something. Always.
And always, I was just a half-step behind her, and I never really minded letting her lead.
It’s still that way now. I admire Jen endlessly for her tenacity and curiosity and honesty. That little girl who was scared to go to Kindergarten became a world-traveling journalist (and for a while, I ended up being the one wringing her hands when Jen would announce a trip to Syria or India).
I’m honored and very blessed to call her my friend. I love you, lady.
Now, let’s have a cocktail and watch some TCAP! The Jenny Jo is made with a few of Jen’s favorites…cheers!
The Jenny Jo: Honey Jalapeño Margarita
For one margarita. Multiply as needed.
For the Jalapeño Honey:
You won’t need all of this for one drink…
- One Jalapeño Pepper
- Honey – About 1/2 Cup or so….
For the Margarita:
- Juice of One Lime – About 2 Tbs.
- 2 oz. Patron Tequila- Use good tequila for this recipe. Don’t make me nag you about ruining a perfectly good cocktail with bunk liquor, ok?
- 2 oz. Seltzer Water – I use plain Perrier.
- 2 Tbs. Jalapeño Honey
- Rimming Salt
- Lime Slices
- Shot Glass or Measuring Cups for Liquid Measure
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Small Ramekin or Bowl
To make this drink, you will first need to make Jalapeño Honey:
Chop up one jalapeño pepper (seeds and all) and place it in a small bowl. Cover it with honey and let the flavors steep for 30 minutes or so.
Once the honey is ready, it’s game on:
- Rim the glass with either a little jalapeño honey or a slice of lime and dip the rim in salt.
- Fill a shaker part of the way with ice.
- Add the tequila, jalapeño honey, and lime juice to the shaker.
- Cover and shake for 20 seconds to mix the ingredients.
- Strain into your glass. On the rocks or up is your call.
- Top the drink with seltzer water and give it a light stir.
- Garnish with jalapeño slices from the honey and a lime slice.
Why don’t you have a seat right here…and enjoy?!