I am a HUGE sucker for a good Bloody Mary. It’s become a tradition, for several reasons, in our household, and since it’s Throwback Thursday, I’m going to tell you all about my illicit love affair with this famous lady in red.
Several years ago, I had the honor (and burden) of preparing the entire Thanksgiving day feast. I love to cook, and people seem to enjoy what I prepare, so I had no problems taking on the Turkey Day task.
I’m also a horrible procrastinator; I work well under pressure. I knew everything I was going to make and had my list, but as happens in life, time got away from me and we ended up doing most of the shopping the day before the big event.
I also don’t want anyone to be alone on a holiday, or feel like a “blue plate special” at Denny’s is their only option. So the guest list kept growing, right up ’till the day of.
What started as dinner for five or six, quickly ended up being 15. I’m working with a 18 pound bird, doing everything from scratch, including pie crusts and things I could have done a day or two in advance.
But, did not.
Stressed does not begin to explain what I was feeling; one hand up a turkey’s butt while the other is dumping yams and brown sugar in the slow cooker.
I needed a drink.
Craig had been in the mood for Bloodys, but I’d never really had a good one before (just watery tomato juice and vodka), but at this point, as long as it was alcoholic and going down my gullet, I didn’t care.
And, my wonderful husband, who as I’m yanking turkey innards, rubbing butter under the turkey skin, watching potatoes boil over as I’m kneeding pie crust dough with my elbows to have my hands free, is right there behind me, drink to my lips and wiping the sweat from my brow.
My love of the Bloody Mary was born.
We visited Tombstone a year or.so later (as I mentioned, we ghost hunt as a hobby), and after a long, sleepless night,found Johnny Ringo’s, who to this day, served up the best Bloody I’ve ever had. Made ingredient by ingredient to order, this is where I learned how exactly I like my Bloody.
What I like, is more of a Bloody Caesar; using Calamato or clam juice. But, if you’re not Canadian or near the Northern border, asking for one will probably just get you a funny stare.
There’s also a Bloody Maria, which doubles down on the hot sauce and uses tequila instead of vodka, and Micheladas, common here in the Southwest, that use a good,Mexican beer like Sol or Tecate in place of hard liquor.
An obsession was born! It became a Thanksgiving and Christmas morning tradition, as well as a general special occasion drink.
Okay, so on to the good stuff – the booze!
As I mentioned in a recent blog (California Dreamin’ ), when we got married in San Diego, I was craving Bloodys. South Beach Bar and Grille had my order down, the day before we left! Its our favorite restaurant whenever we’re in San Diego. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has a pretty good one, but it’s more of a Bloody Maria, with tequila, and they don’t add much (if any) Worcestershire sauce, which is sinful in my opinion. Andrew Zimmern’s recipe is the closest I can find to exactly how I like mine.
I really want to try either this spicy or pickle flavored vodka , in place of my usual plain.
Think I’m crazy? Check out some of these garnishes, that could take the place of breakfast, second breakfast, brunch, lunch, liner,diner,midnight snack and fourth meal.
The rim? Eh. I’m not a fan of celery salt, but Bloody Mary Salt, which would be great on steak or seafood too, or Old Bay Seasoning , which is my all purpose season all salt, are my favorite ways to go. And, of course, fresh, cracked black pepper is a must.
I must have Worcestershire sauce in my Bloody, preferably to the point it resembles the color of week old menstrual blood. If you’re not going to buy the best, try making your own. Add some of that Bloody Mary Salt and a jar of olives, and you have a cute DIY gift for a friend, hostess or holiday.
Of course, you can get kettle potato chips and flavored nuts to to along with this next idea.
Throw a DIY Bloody Mary party or add a DIY Bloody bar to a brunch or shower. Add some Bloody Mary Jello shots (you can get vegan gelatin, by the way), and try some of these things to do with leftover Bloody Mary mix, like ice cubes and the goat cheese appetizer.
Bloody Mary bread, Bloody Mary Chipotle shrimp, or these 5 other ways to eat your Bloody Mary, might be a hit as well.
Not sure I’m brave enough to try a peanut butter Bloody Mary, but celebrity Iron Chef Jose Garces has come up with some delicious sounding regional takes on the traditional Bloody, that I’d be down for – the ‘Gotham Mary’, inspired by a NYC Everything bagel, ‘Fisherman’s Blood’, with malt vinegar which I’m a huge sucker for and ‘Al Fresca Mary’, with balsamic and pepperoncinnis, to name a few.
What’s your favorite cocktail? Or, your favorite Turkey Day memory? Let us know!
And, in case you missed it, here’s last week’s Throwback Thursday,, where I wax poetic about concerts and state/county fairs!
Images:pinterest, oola, foodbeast, pastemagazine, cracked,gapersblock, buzzfeed, personal.