About judy

Judy Bennett is a Bloody Mary alchemist who fully understands the necessity of providing good people with good ambience. She is a native of Portland, Oregon and her hobbies include exploring new or underappreciated venues for food, drink, shopping, art, and culture. She counts herself fortunate to have married the only perfect man on earth, and she has three beautiful and successful children. Professionally, she is a physical therapist, actress, model, social activist, dog foster-mommy, and respite caregiver for her elderly parents. No wonder she drinks.

The Bloody Mary Tattler: August Edition

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bloody-mary tattler copy(1)Hello again, Bloody Mary lovers! I hope your summer is going gangbusters. If not, you’re in exactly the right place, because what I have to share with you today is going to completely turn that around. If it is, hold onto your garters; it’s about to get even better.

Make sure you’re on my mailing list so you’ll always get the latest gossip. I wouldn’t want you to miss a thing!

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I’m trying out a new format for my newsletters, sort of like an old-fashioned newspaper. I’m calling it The Bloody Mary Tattler. When you say it out loud, it sounds a little like a superhero name. Or maybe it reminds me of a superhero because I’m wearing a cape and spandex right now. Anyway, let me know what you think of the new format in the comment box below. Meanwhile, here you go!


COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Better stock up on vodka. It’s shaping up to be a busy month!

 August is:

Family Fun Month – (I know booze makes MY family seem more fun)
Romance Awareness Month – (refer to page 40 in my book, but get the children out of the room first)
National Picnic Month – (page 150 has that all handled for you)

 Weekly Events:

Week 1: National Simplify your Life Week – go garnish-free!
Week 2: National Smile Week – don’t run out of liquor.
Week 3: Friendship Week – meet a friend for happy hour.
Week 4: Be Kind to Humankind Week – share a favorite Bloody Mary recipe with someone in need. Let me know if you need inspiration.

August 2014 Daily Holidays

National Mustard Day – in a Bloody Mary? Why not? See page 184 in my book.
3 Friendship Day
3 Sisters Day – a good reason to drink, for sure…
8 Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day – makes a perky garnish, or grill some and blend it into your tomato juice mixture.
9 Book Lover’s Day – preferably mine. Hey, mama’s gotta eat.
11Lazy Day
12 Middle Child’s Day
13 Left Hander’s Day
15 Relaxation Day
21 Senior Citizen’s Day
25 Kiss and Make Up Day
26 Women’s Equality Day
27 Just Because Day
29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day – try muddling basil leaves and cherry tomatoes in a shaker, then add a couple ounces of cucumber-infused vodka and your spices. Heaven!

Coming attractions:

I’ll be making a pilgrimage to the St. Regis Hotel to sample the original American Bloody Mary, August 1-5
http://www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis/beverages/index.html?language=en_US

BLOODY MARY OF THE MONTH – MAMA’S LI’L HELPER

If you’re anything like me, you love a good Bloody Mary. You’d drink them all day long, if you could. But pesky things like jobs, family, and other obligations keep getting in the way. What if I told you that there’s a way to keep the goodness going without abandoning your wholesome life choices?

This month, rather than highlight one extra-special Bloody Mary, I present to you 5 recipes featuring Bloody Mary mix that you can whip up in minutes. They’ll help ease you through the hours from one morning eye-opener to the next. DIY, made-to-order mix is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes premade, bottled Bloody Mary mix is truly mama’s li’l helper in the kitchen.

Bloody Mary Dip

Combine 1/2 cup Bloody Mary mix with 1/3 cup mayonnaise, a package of softened cream cheese and a handful of chives. Serve with celery sticks.

Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Blend Bloody Mary mix with a little olive oil and a handful of celery, peppers, and a little garlic. Serve chilled.

Bloody Mary Salad

Whisk a little Bloody Mary mix with olive oil to make a quick salad dressing. Toss it with some chopped celery, cucumber, bell peppers and red onion. Mix in some chopped green olives or crumbled blue cheese.

Bloody Mary-nade

Put together skewers of mushrooms, peppers, onions, and your choice of meat, then marinate in Bloody Mary mix before grilling. Grill and serve with warmed tortillas.

Bloody Mary Cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne
1 can tomato paste
½ cup Blue Collar vodka
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot (or whatever hot sauce you have on hand)
1 Tbsp Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning (I used the Classic Recipe flavor, but it also comes in Extra Horseradish, Chilies & Peppers, and Chipotle-Habanero! Go nuts!)
8 oz or 2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs

Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
8 oz or 2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp celery salt
1 Tbsp creamy horseradish
3 Tbsp Blue Collar vodka
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cayenne
Bacon bits or other fancy toppings
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease up a muffin tin, or get out some little fancy paper cupcake liners.

Put the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper into a regular-sized bowl, and set that aside. In a different bowl, combine the tomato paste, vodka, lemon juice, hot sauce and Demitri’s. Set that bowl aside too. Now get out the biggest bowl you got; you’ll see why in a minute. Using your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, about 5 minutes. Add 1 egg at a time, and keep on beating while you do. Turn the mixer down to the lowest speed and dribble in what’s in the first 2 bowls, alternating between the two, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Now that everything’s in the same big bowl, mix it up good, but stop as soon as it’s just combined.

Fill each of the cupcake liners or muffin tins three-quarters full with batter and bake until a toothpick comes out clean; 15 to 18 minutes, give or take. If you have little ones around, they’re gonna want to lick the beaters, but you tell ‘em they’re just for grownups this time.
Now, here’s how you do the frosting. Cream the butter and celery salt together for about a minute. Then add the powdered sugar and vodka, alternating between the two. Beat until it’s nice and creamy. Add the lemon juice, horseradish, vanilla and cayenne pepper, and beat it some more. Then turn your mixer up to high until the frosting looks light and fluffy, 5 or 6 minutes.

Wait until the cupcakes are nice and cool before you frost them. I like to pass the time out on the porch with my beaters (if you’re lucky, now you’ve got 4 to lick!) and a Blue Collar vodka tonic. Speaking of frosting, you can use one of them icing bags with the little funnel on the end, if you go in for that sort of thing, or use a butter knife like I did. After that, sprinkle a few bacon bits or a little black pepper on top for decoration. Makes anywhere from 12-15 cupcakes.

BONUS!

Of course, if you prefer to simply drink your Bloody Marys (and who could blame you!), save extra mix by pouring it into ice cube trays and freezing. Then you can do one of two things. 1) Use the Bloody Mary ice cubes in place of the regular kind, so your drinks don’t get watered down; or 2) Fill a glass with the Bloody Mary ice cubes and just pour vodka over the top. That’s called an Inside Out Bloody Mary, and is quite the conversation-starter!

THE CLASSIFIEDS

 FOR SALE: Bloody Mary books make great gifts, and they help solve the problem of what to do with all the tomatoes popping up in your garden right now. Get one here.

WANTED: Facebook likes. Do that here.

HELP WANTED: Forward the Tattler to a friend so they don’t miss out on any of the juicy gossip.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news.

The GOOD news is, this Saturday, July 12, I’ll be at the Mississippi Street Fair sellin’ books to all the Bloody Mary lovers who pass by. You can find me at Booth #309, under the sign that says “Stumptown Scribes.” It’s gonna be a scorcher, I’m told, and I mean more than just the weather.

If you come by the booth between the hours of 10 am and 9 pm, and you’re one of my loyal tribe, I’ll give you a scorchin’ deal on a brand new book – ten bucks! Everyone else has paid $16.95 for theirs, and yours will even be AUTOGRAPHED!

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How will I know you’re in my tribe? Well, just say the word “Tribe” and you’ve got yourself a deal. Here’s some more information for you about how to get there, and all that.

 

Ready for the BAD news?

Booth #309 is located between 2 streets named Failing and Shaver. That means, I’m probably gonna be spending the day with a bunch of guys that look like this. Failing Shaver

If you’re in Portland on Saturday, I really hope you’ll come by and say “Tribe” to me, or at least “Hello.”

Until then!

~Judy

Like tweeting, only boozier

starbarbloodyHello, friends! This month I’ve rounded up 10 of the juiciest Bloody Mary tidbits I’ve come across lately. Everything’s here – from recipes to jaw-dropping photos to cool serving suggestions – all laid out in at-a-glance, 140-characters-or-less format. After you’ve looked at everything, why not share/tweet/pin your favorites, or the whole doggone list maybe? Then, tell me what you liked the best in the comments below.

Hangover Helpers: http://cltampa.com/potlikker/archives/2014/06/11/hangover-helpers#.U6Gsf6huXtw

People are always asking me where my favorite Bloody Mary is. It’s in this jar. http://metrotimes.com/food/features/mcclure-s-bloody-mary-mix-1.1701081

15 of the craziest Bloodies I’ve ever seen, and they’re all in Chicago. Road trip, anyone? http://www.thrillist.com/drink/chicago/best-chicago-bloody-marys

See how a professional chef stocks her DIY Bloody Mary bar. http://inspiration.kenmore.com/2014/06/cookmore-the-ultimate-bloody-mary-bar

Not your typical Michelada-type beer cocktail. http://www.theintentionalminimalist.com/2014/04/stout-bloody-mary-with-stout-beer-salt.html

A healthy Bloody Mary, just in time for bikini season: http://laurenkellynutrition.com/homemade-bloody-mary/

Seriously? A Bloody Mary with only 2 ingredients? http://liquor.com/recipes/holy-guac-a-mary/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=holy-guac-a-mary

Organic Bloody Marys: http://econewsnetwork.org/2014/05/organic-bloody-mary-recipe/

The cutest li’l Marys you’ll ever see. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/254171972694881190/

Cool off in a hurry with these Bloody Mary popsicles! http://www.bowlfamilyvacation.com/2014/05/05/bloody-mary-popsicles/

If all of this has got you craving Bloody Marys,
this is a great time to pick yourself up a book here. Or, if you’re in Portland, come see me at Mississippi Street Fair July 12.

If all of this has got you craving Twitter, follow me at @bloodymaryment.

Five things that make me giddy with delight right now

When I woke up this morning, I was struck with the idea of how much I appreciate you sticking with me all this time. I’ve been blogging pretty regularly for a few years now, and whether you’re a new subscriber or not, I want to thank you very kindly for tolerating all the random notions I clog your inbox with.

And now I want to give you a gift. Actually, five gifts. The following are my very favorite best-kept secrets. I hope you like them as much as I do. IMG_0428

1. It’s official! Your Bloody Mary counts as one of your daily servings of vegetables. So enjoy 5 Bloody Marys a day, guilt-free!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2633222/Yes-Bloody-Mary-DOES-count-one-five-day-After-Mail-columnist-Richard-Littlejohn-posed-question-ultimate-healthy-juice-guide.html

2. Bloody Mary-flavored ketchup. Because you can. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/63543044717604377/

3. Just when you thought they couldn’t get any weirder: http://dc.eater.com/archives/2014/05/20/del-campo-has-a-bloody-mary-with-squid-ink-octopus-and-fish-stock.php

4. Quite possibly the finest collection of Bloody Mary porn on the interwebs: http://www.steveharveytv.com/extreme-bloody-marys/

5. A BLT Bloody Mary…now why didn’t I think of that? http://www.beautifulbooze.com/2014/05/13/blt-bloody-mary/

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip down the Bloody Mary rabbit hole. Have you come across a bit of Bloody Mary awesomeness that you want to tell the class about? I want to hear about it! Post your comments below, or stick ‘em on the Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/bloodymarybook. Sharing is caring!

See you next time!

Judy

PS: Don’t forget Dad on June 15. A Bloody Mary recipe book is the perfect gift, because it will shut him up for hours. Order a copy at http://www.bloodymarybook.com, and it will arrive, freshly autographed, in plenty of time for Father’s Day brunch.

How to Perfect the Bloody Mary

A simple recipe to enhance the classic cocktail

Wine cocktails are by no means a new invention, but mixologists are constantly on the lookout for new drinks that feature wine, from red wine to champagne. Some people cringe at the thought of creating a new beverage out of a product that already tastes complete. On the other hand, Oliver Scutts, who works for the Marlborough wine label Rochfort Rees, explains that adding New Zealand wine to create La Sangria Robada Rosé is a business strategy to expose his product. Like others looking to market their own products, he was looking for a new, appealing and innovative way to showcase his. “My rosé is a stand-alone fantastic product, but I also think it is interesting and fun for young and older people to be able to enjoy it in a variety of ways,” he says.fw1b01_perfect_bloody_mary.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

Wines are quite versatile not only in terms of food pairings but also with cocktails. Common brunch cocktails such as mimosas and sangrias contain flavors that appeal to young and older people. Because wine can cater to the taste of many, retailers ought to provide hampers that package the necessary ingredients for wine cocktails. This is why a lot of bespoke hampers are being heralded for their individuality among many leading retailers, most notably ones that identify a niche that hasn’t been addressed and take advantage of said market. Recently, Marks and Spencer launched their Taste of Spain hamper, consisting of oloroso sherry and Piquillo peppers, which adds a new layer of flavor and body to alternative Bloody Mary mixes and to Bloody Mary-based dishes.

If you are to create your own however, you must provide body to the cocktail, and adding red wine to a Bloody Mary is a perfect way to do that. Although the main spirit of the cocktail is typically vodka, a dash of red wine will provide the fruity undertones that the Bloody Mary needs.

In a highball glass with ice, combine the following ingredients:
· 2 ounces of vodka
· Dash of red wine
· Dash of dry sherry
· Pinch of celery salt
· Salt and pepper
· 7 drops of Worcestershire sauce
· 5 drops of hot sauce
· 6-ounce container of tomato juice

After stirring, garnish the cocktail with a celery stick and a cherry tomato. According to the Food Network, these ingredients are all you need to make the perfect Bloody Mary.

Bon Jour, mes amis!

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I’ve recently returned from Paris, where I had a lovely time sampling both classic and DIY Bloody Marys. Paris is the actual, factual birthplace of the Bloody. It was created by Fernand Petiot way back in 1920 at Harry’s New York Bar, according to the newspaper article hanging on the wall at Harry’s. Legend states that Fernand poured a can of tomato juice into an equal portion of vodka, and voila: “We all agreed it was pretty good,” the modest Frenchman said. “One of the boys suggested we call it Bloody Mary, because the drink reminded him of the Bucket of Blood club in Chicago, and he had a girl there named Mary.” Harrys4

Fernand brought the drink with him to New York in 1934 when he signed on to be head bartender at the St. Regis Hotel. Many New Yorkers considered the flavor flat, so he altered the recipe to appeal to their more sophisticated palates: “Cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce. Then add a dash of lemon and some cracked ice, put in two ounces of 100-proof vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shake, strain, and pour.” He thought he was making a cocktail; little did he know he was making history.Harrys2

Fernand Petiot held the post of head bartender at the St. Regis for thirty years, after which he retired to Canton, Ohio (his wife’s home town). He continued to tend bar part-time throughout his sixties, just to keep his skills sharp. Was the Bloody Mary he invented his favorite drink? Nope – he was partial to scotch and sodas, and drank two a day.

I had such fun talking to the bartender at Harry’s. I showed him photos of what Bloody Marys had become in the US, especially in Wisconsin. He was flabbergasted! “But, how do you drink it??” he wanted to know. outrageous bloody mary

Weird coincidence: there, on the wall of a tiny bar in an obscure part of Paris, was my college pennant from li’l old Walla Walla, Washington. I’d give anything to know the story behind that! photo

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In another part of Paris sits an unpretentious little cafe that appears to cater to American tastes. They serve whopping big hamburgers and fried chicken alongside more traditional French cuisine. I was curious about their interpretation of the Bloody Mary, so I ordered one. What arrived was a glass of watery-looking tomato juice, and an assortment of spices: Tabasco, celery salt, and Worcestershire. It was the closest thing I found to a Bloody Mary bar like the ones you’d find in the States. Not bad, but I think I went a little heavy on the Worcester. Better luck next time!

Have you run across a newsworthy Bloody Mary in your travels? Where were you, and what was it like? Do tell, and share pictures, please!

City girls vs. country girls

In Lola’s day, it was easy to spot the difference between a girl who was brought up around nature, and a girl who has spent her life in the city. Lola refers to that quality as elasticity. No, she wasn’t talking about the sexual kind. An elastic woman “is like a wood-nymph, with a foot as light as that of the goddess, whose flying step scarcely brushed the unbending corn, whose conscious limbs and agile grace moved in harmony with the light of her sparkling eyes.” Compared to her city cousin, encased in hoops and stays and buckles, an elastic gal sounds like way more fun to be.

But how did each of them come to be the way they are?

1. Country girls are early to bed, and early to rise. City girls crawl into bed in the wee hours, and haul themselves out at midday.
2. Country girls bounce through their day, singing and laughing with the sheer joy of their own excellent health. City girls “mope through the tedious rounds of daily dullness with a jaded body and a feverish mind.”

To city girls everywhere – there is hope.
Whenever elegant but languid ladies in France and Italy find themselves in need of elasticity, they mix up the following liquid:

8 oz deer fat
6 oz olive oil
3 oz virgin wax
1 grain of musk
1/2 pint white brandy
4 oz rose water

Melt everything together over low heat, then allow to cool. Rub some all over your body at bedtime. In the morning, wipe it off with a cold, damp sponge. Over time, you will see a dramatic increase in your elasticity, regardless of the hours you keep or how little you tend to bounce.

Try as I might, I just could not come up with a recipe to go with this piece of Lola-wisdom. Instead, I decided to introduce you to a real-life Bloody Mary, and if the stories are true, she’s as elastic as they come. This excerpt is on page 124 of my book.

11163238823_78cd57869d_bAsk anyone in New Orleans who the number one expert on voodoo is, and they’ll tell you it’s Bloody Mary. Voodoo queen, shaman, healer, storyteller, historian, medium, lightworker, psychic, and ghost hunter, she also happens to be descended from another famous Bloody Mary, Queen Mary I. She has appeared on The History Channel, A & E, and CNN. Visitors to The Big Easy say her Tour of the Undead is not to be missed. She can even perform weddings (www.bloodymarystours.com).

There are more real-life Bloody Marys to meet, more fun facts, and more darn delicious Bloody Marys than you can shake a stick at in my book Bloody Marys: Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations. Pick up your copy today at your neighborhood bookstore, or right here on the website (that way I can autograph it for you).