Christina Wren and daughter Chloe at Chloe's bridal shower at my home in 2017.
So who do you know who throws her own birthday party and is the very person doing all the cooking in order to serve others? That would be dearest friend and most enduring friendship with Christina Wren. I have another post about Christina on my website under the title: What to do for a Grieving Friend. It was Christina to whom I referred when I wrote that piece. Her husband, the man who was the executor to our wills and would help raise our children with Christina if my husband and I had died before our children were grown, suddenly passed away from a heart attack in January 2017. Next to my own mother's death in 1975 and the death of a very close friend in 2008, Chris Wren's death was a blow to not only me but my husband and children. He was like a second dad to my kids; he was the most outstanding male friend I have ever had (other than my own husband). So I have weathered the worst of storms with Christina; I have weathered the happiest moments as we raised our kids together (she has four; I have three-they are all very close. We say we are "cousins.") I met Christina when I was a senior in high school as we attended a senior weekend at the University of Arkansas. She has red hair. That's all I needed to swoop in and say, "Hi, I'm Lisa from the Big D (Dermott) and I love redheads. Will you be my best friend?" I must be convincing because that cute thing said, "Sure." I have loved her ever since. That was 1981.
I set all of this up to tell you she isn't just someone I met at the DMV recently and struck up a convo (though I have been known to do that.) We once taught cooking classes at our church in the 90s. I talked her into it. We used to make salsa by the vatful. Until we didn't. She is Ethel to my Lucy; Thelma to my Louise. She is witty and thrifty and talented beyond measure; the girl can do everything! In fact, she's in beauty school in her, well, it's not mine to tell her age. (She taught me that 20 years ago. She would say, "It's not mine to tell" when she knew something that wasn't appropriate to share. My son still quotes that.) Her birthday is in July, and I asked her to dinner. She said, "No. You come here. I'm having a few people over." So she cooked up sour cream enchiladas, the best guacamole salsa I have ever had along with homemade peach pies and homemade ice cream along with margaritas. The time commitment to whip up a meal like this is quite intense. While I would just pick up dinner for everyone, she spent the entire day ON HER BIRTHDAY serving others. My friend Jennifer Christman Cia said, "She is SO talented. And so dang funny. She needs her own blog." 'Tis true. Christina is a Renaissance woman. Everyone who knows her says that.
But back to food. I want to share the recipe that she gave for the salsa. Her salad is magical but she doesn't share that. I tried getting her hammered that night with her one margarita but to no avail. So back to the gauc thingie. It is the best salsa I have ever had.