People always ask me, “What’s your favorite Bloody Mary?” A smart PR person would advise me to come up with a snappy comeback to deploy at times like these. But since I have neither a PR person or a snappy comeback, I flounder around not knowing what to say. I mean, that’s like asking, “Which is your favorite molecule?” Or, “What’s your favorite thing about your husband?” One, there are too many choices, and two, it depends on what mood I’m in at the moment. I can, however, tell you what I tend to appreciate in any Bloody Mary, and you can extrapolate from there.
1. A harmonious balance between spice and flavor. If the Scoville units are off the charts, it overpowers the rest of the ingredients. Think of it this way: if the hot sauce is a trumpet, it’s very hard to hear the violin and piano, and they deserve their place in the orchestra, too.
2. Substance. I’m a meal-in-a-glass-half-full kind of girl. To use a health care term, the texture I’m looking for is called “nectar thick.” Besides that, I appreciate lots of garnish. I have sent a Bloody Mary back to the bar for being nearly transparent, and naked on top to boot.
3. Originality. Although it’s vexing at times, I admire bartenders who spend years perfecting their proprietary Bloody Mary base and won’t tell me what’s in it. I love all the recent innovations such as pickle-infused vodka, pureed okra, and celery bitters. It’s not a sin to use a bottled brand of mix, but for heaven’s sake add your own stamp of originality onto it.
You know what? All this talk has made me thirsty. I’m changing my answer. My favorite Bloody Mary is almost always the one in my hand. Cheers!
I used to hate when my kids did this to me. One of them would realize, at the last possible second, that they had a major assignment due, or they needed four dozen cookies for the fund raiser, or they needed a ride or twenty bucks or a kidney or whatever. And what did I do? I got all swept up in their emergency, and so it became MY emergency. Not the healthiest of reactions, but really, what’s a mom to do when staring into the panic-stricken brown eyes of one’s offspring?
Well, I apologize in advance for now doing the same thing to you. What’s fair is fair, though, as I’ll explain in a minute.
Tomorrow night, Thursday October 3, I will be speaking at the Rain or Shine Coffee House on SE 59th and Division. I go on at 6:30, but come a little early to get a snack and a good seat. I will be talking mainly about my book, but you know me…I’ve got a few surprises up my sleeve. There will be a history lesson, story time, a game with prizes, AND the unveiling of my new party shoes!
I wanted to tell you that you’re not the only one surprised by this announcement. A couple of weeks ago, I was volunteering at the opera, when a woman I met years ago came up to me. “Are you the Judy Bennett that’s going to be speaking about Bloody Marys next week?” (She was wrong about the date, thank God.) I said, “Yes and no, because the reading I’m doing is at the end of October.” It didn’t bother me until I got home and looked at my calendar; sure enough, Rain or Shine reading, October 3!
One thing I can say confidently about myself is that I step up. So I brushed aside most of the chaos in my life and put this little presentation together. I really hope you come, because I know that you’ll have fun.
See you in a few hours, with my panic stricken green eyes!
…but here’s a handy compendium of ideas for what to do with the excess, should there be any.
Well, I must say the competition was fierce, but I have chosen a name for my car from among the flood of entries. But first, to announce the winner! Dolores Castellano, you will soon be receiving an autographed copy of my book, and a little card proclaiming you as the official godmother of Bebe!
I loved this name because of its etymology, and it’s kind of a pun too. Apparently, “Beatrice” means “voyager,” and that certainly fits…in the nickname form, Bebe, it also means “baby.” Plus, she can say her own name, every time I honk the horn. It’s perfect, Dolores, and I thank you. Judging from your name, I’d say you’re going to make a wonderful Italian godmother. Welcome to the familia!
If you’re looking for a decadent getaway, look no further than the St. Regis Bali resort (www.stregisbali.com). You may recognize the name as the hotel that became the birthplace of the Bloody Mary in New York City.
For a limited time, you can book yourself a Bloody Mary spa treatment in honor of the St. Regis’ most celebrated bartender, Fernand Petiot and his even more celebrated hangover cure. The 150-minute treatment starts with a tomato and wasabi body scrub; next comes a vodka clay wrap, a full-body massage, and the big finish, a tomato vermouth salt bath. After that, participants snack on freshly shucked oysters while lounging about in a fluffy bathrobe. Heaven!
If a trip to Bali is a tad out of your price range, try my DIY Bloody Mary facial.
1. In a glass dish, mix together 2 tablespoons of celery salt, 1 tablespoon of tomato juice, and the juice of 1 lemon.
2. Spread gently all over your face, neck, and decolletage. Wait 5 minutes, then rinse off. This also works great on rough knees, heels and elbows, too.
3. If any of the mixture remains, add 2 oz of vodka and drink up!
Earlier this summer, I welcomed this chubby little cutie into my life. (The car, not the dude. I welcomed him into my life a long time ago.) It’s a 2013 Fiat 500, or cinquecentro, as I like to say. We spend all day, every day, joined at the hip, and we’ve had such fun getting acquainted! As of today, we’ve racked up nearly 4000 miles together. This past weekend we traveled down to Ashland to an event called Mirafiori, which is a playdate for Fiats of all ages and from all over the country. Here they are all lined up for their class photo. Mine’s on the far left.
Needless to say, there was a fair amount of drinking that went on.
And I’m proud to say, the custom-made Caprese Bloody Mary mix that I brought was a huge hit! Plus, my hubs found the perfect vodka to go with it.
Here’s where you come in. My baby needs a name! I haven’t decided if it’s a male or female; it does have a mustache, but that doesn’t mean anything – it’s Italian, after all. Submit your idea for a moniker by August 15, and if I like it, you could win a brand spankin’ new copy of my book!
Here’s what to do: think of a good name for my bouncing baby buggy, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to submit as many ideas as you like! When I pick a winner on the 15th, I’ll email the lucky person to congratulate them and to get their address so I can send them an autographed copy of my book.
That’s it! Andiamo! And good luck!