I’ve often wondered how life worked out for Anna Santa Maria, one of the secondary characters in the first book of the Of Gold & Blood series Poisoned Legacy, widowed and left caring for six children – her own son, Antonio and five nieces and nephews – after all the other parental figures died – or in the case of her brother-in-law Vance Pedersen – was murdered.
Women left to care for children with little familial support do it tough in most cultures, but in old time California – and as a woman of Mexican descent – I imagine it was especially hard. I want to believe she and the children – especially Antonio – one of the “little heroes” of Poisoned Legacy – overcame their grief and found future happiness.
Practically, I’ve wondered how she fed them, and what food would be available, and how she’d manage it all… You can see. Anna Santa Maria left an impression on me. She might even get her own followup book sometime!
Meeting together around food
So this was all at the back of my mind when our friends Dinner Club decided on a Mexican theme for our monthly potluck dinner. This may have been a lot grander than anything Anna, Antonio and the other children may have been fortunate enough to feast on… but hopefully better days came for them too!
Melody and Michael hosted our meal and because Michael requires a gluten-free diet we made a few 21st century concessions – like gluten-free tortillas purchased at the grocery store! And gluten-free brownie mix. Modern life has plenty of advantages…..
We began with sinfully moreish Frozen Berry Margaritas – as our host demonstrates below…. (Photos thanks to our hostess, Melody.)
Our menu consisted of pork carnitas, snapper with coriander and almonds, grilled corn with chipotle butter, an array of vegetables, (roasted veg with polenta, smashed potatoes,) with various accompaniments – guacamole, salsas – and two glorious desserts – Pecan Brownie Fudge with Dulce du Leche and Caramel Custard Tart. (Click through to recipe links.)