Here's a recipe for a good time, Jackson Hole style:
- Take several hundred skiers, ranging from Olympic downhill gold medalists to housewives on fat skis.
- Put them on Snow King Mountain, one of the steepest and notoriously icy venues in the West for downhill speed.
- Throw in that Friday night feeling of relaxing celebration.
- Mix in one or two or three of Pica's legendary margaritas, a few of their award winning tacos (named Best Tacos by Food and Wine magazine), and the best guacamole in the West.
Pica's chef/owner Andy is the mastermind behind the much-revered Pica's margarita.
What do you get? The one and only Pica's Margarita Cup. An adult ski racing league for the fast and not so fast grown-ups amongst us. (No kids allowed; none of us could beat them).
Polly in the gates, with the town of Jackson and the Tetons all laid out in front of her.
Pica's Mexican Taqueria, in conjunction with the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club, generously sponsors this hometown event. Everyone in Jackson loves Pica's, and it is a special treat to have a Friday night taco and margarita supper after skiing with friends.
Erika and Peg are looking fast in the giant slalom course.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers is my team. Our motto: we may not be fast, but we look good.
Hopes were high when 19 year old pro skier Alex George joined the slightly over-40 Red Hot Chili Peppers. Alex was named one of Powder magazine's 20 under 20 skiers to watch, and we were thrilled to have her on our team. Certainly this would improve our chances of getting our team's name engraved on the Pica's Margarita Cup plaque. (Look for it on the wall next time you are at Pica's).
Carrie and Erika sporting celebratory Jello shots that make you feel like a 20 year old.
Erika and Ned, the masterminds of the Margarita Cup Jello Shots.
Sadly, Alex was injured in a real ski competition, but raced with us in spirit for the rest of the season.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Team Captain Cindee celebrates a successful race with a green jello shot.
Team Captain Cindee was sporting new racing skis and she was skiing fast. The rest of us put absolutely no effort into improving our skiing, but we did try to coordinate our outfits every so often.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers: me, Carrie G., Cindee (Team Captain), Erika, and Carrie K. "We may not be fast but we look good."
Jean, Mira and Anna lined up and ready to race
Pica's Margarita Cup is all about friendly competition and sharing a margarita with your teammates and competitors at the end of the race. For the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it was also about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone by skiing as fast as you can on a steep icy slope in front of dozens of your peers.
Ned is a member of the Slow Daddies, and good for at least 2 margaritas after the race.
We also got to admire some beautiful Friday night skies from the top of Snow King Mountain. Snow King is our "Town Hill" in Jackson Hole. With the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club's offices located at the base, it is the prime training ground for local kids and visiting clubs.
Danielle in the starting gate is determined to beat Tucker.
But every other Friday night in the winter, the King belongs to the grown-ups.
Tucker (a Slow Daddy) almost got beat by Danielle (a Spicy Sister and Picas's owner) in a very close heat.
Kari skis for The Wrong Wax Society.
Polly and I have matching pink pants. I love it when people mistake her for me: she's one of the best skiers on the mountain.
Peg (an honorary Red Hot Chili Pepper) and Carrie (a real Red Hot Chili Pepper) on top of Snow King Mountain sporting Happy 50th BIrthday stickers for Doug.
Anna of the Spicy Sisters is fast, fast, fast.
Carrie G. is showing perfect racing form coming out of the gates.
Andy with girl-Friday Morgan dishing up tacos to the hungry racers. Morgan is a super-fast skier herself on the high school racing circuit.
In case you forgot to check, race results are posted on the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club website: http://www.jhskiclub.org/picas_margarita_cup
. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are proud to not be in last place.
The recipe for the famous Pica's margarita is a highly guarded secret, but you can buy the mix at Pica's and make them yourself at home. Or you can try my Perro Salado
, a margarita of a slightly different breed, made with freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice.
The racing season may be over, but the skiing is still good. So gather your teammates, pretend like it's spring, and make a pitcher of Pica's famous margaritas or my Perro Salados. Or better yet, head down to Pica's and enjoy one on their deck. Ski racing is hard work; you earned it.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Perro Salado (Salty Dog)
The Perro Salado is a descendent of the Greyhound: tequila gets swapped out for the vodka or gin, and freshly squeezed ruby red or pink grapefruit juice amps up the citrus flavor.
This recipe makes 2 margaritas. Feel free to double, triple or quadruple the recipe if you have your whole Margarita Cup team over.
I had been fooling around with a grapefruit margarita recipe for some time when I saw the Perro Salado in the latest edition of Canal House Cooking, a quarterly seasonal cookbook. Many of their books have a chapter entitled It's Always Five O'Clock Somewhere, with inventive cocktails that capture the spirit of the season.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed ruby red or pink grapefruit juice
- 1/2 cup 100% agave blanco tequila
- 1 lime, cut in half
- kosher salt
Carrie and I, wearing our Pica's Margarita Cup hats, took time out yesterday for a Perro Salado after skiing remarkably good snow at Teton Village.
- Moisten the rim of each glass with the cut side of the lime. Roll the rim in kosher salt.
- Fill each glass with ice.
- Add 1/4 cup tequila and 1/2 cup grapefruit juice to each glass.
- Squeeze each lime half into each glass and stir gently.
Cheers to a great season, Margarita Cup Racers!
Culinary Word of the Day: Kosher Salt
Although all salts are considered "Kosher", Kosher salt likely got its name because of its use in koshering meats. Kosher salt does not contain iodide, which makes it ideal for making a pickling brine without cloudiness. Cooks love Kosher Salt because it comes in large, flat crystals that are easier for the cook to pinch, sprinkle and see on the food surface when seasoning. Kosher salt is also perfect for coating a margarita glass, but coarse sea salt will also do the job nicely.