I recently returned from a week-long trip to Naples to visit family. With the restrictions of COVID-19, I didn’t know if it would be possible, but I also see how fragile life is right now, and didn’t want to lose an opportunity to see our parents. We calculated risk and benefit and decided that I would go with some of the kids for the week before the 4th of July (Eli and Jay stayed to work). With things looking bleak in the state of Florida, it may be another long while before we see each other again.
We have a quiet and comfortable place to stay while in Naples, as the family home, bought in 1955 by Jay’s grandfather, is kept as a place for family visits and holiday gatherings. We spent the time hanging out with Jay’s parents Al and Mary, my mom, my dad, my siblings (my brother and his wife who live in town and my sister who drove over for the day from the east coast of FL), and my nieces and nephews.
Even the crew of Abby Singer came for a short visit. Summer drove down with Sky and Paige and made all of us deliriously happy.
We shared meals with family members, we puzzled, we celebrated Independence Day, and we generally re-filled our love tanks after feeling so isolated during quarantine in the Keys.
We also kept a Naples family tradition: the opening of margarita season. Last year, I shared mango margaritas with Aunt Lisa, and this year, I plucked fresh mangos from the low-hanging branches of the tree in the backyard and made some for Summer and myself.
I don’t know how long the hard times are going to last, but the love of family and friends (whether together in person or in spirit) makes them bearable. I came home with some fresh-frozen mango and a happy heart.
Here’s the recipe for two large frozen Mangoritas, the taste of a Florida summer:
- 2 ounces Jose Cuervo Gold tequila
- 2 ounces Cointreau
- 2 limes
- 2-3 large fresh mangoes (or 2 cups frozen mango)
- Splash of orange juice
To a blender, add alcohol, the juice of 2 limes, peeled and seeded mangoes (about 2 cups), and 2 cups of ice. Blend until smooth, adding more ice if too runny or orange juice if too thick. (If using frozen mango, add orange juice/water until you can blend smoothly.) Pour into margarita glasses, clink, and enjoy!