My Favorite Bloody Mary

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!

Why I Drink, Part 2: Whines By the Glass

Ten Signs You’re Driving While Legally Stupid

1. There are a hundred beanie babies in the rear window of your car.
2. You miss your turn at the four-way stop because you’re shopping for shoes on your phone.
3. Your toddler is standing in the back seat throwing french fries out the window.
4. I can hear your subwoofer from the other side of the mall. Inside Abercrombie & Fitch..
5. You can’t always differentiate between the signs telling you what highway you’re on, and the posted speed limit.
6. You miss your turn at the four-way stop because it’s just too confusing.
7. There are flames shooting out from under the hood, and you’re still driving.
8. Besides the squashed bugs on your windshield, there’s what’s left of a crow, some shrubbery, and most of a wheelchair.
9. Your bumper sticker says “The naked lady on my mud flaps can beat up your honor student.”
10. I was behind you in the Fred Meyer parking lot tonight. You know what you did.

Why Women Are Better Than Men

Yesterday’s Indulge In The City event was full-color proof that girls rule, and boys drool. We had nearly a hundred tuned-in, forward-thinking, adventurous women all under one roof, and the energy we created toward supporting female-run businesses was magical. I went home and put a post-it note on everything in my house that was designed, sold, or manufactured by women. I hate to say it, but there wasn’t much! What I learned at the event was how important it is for us gals to stick together. Why? Because women are better than men in many ways.

1. Women can endure more suffering than men. Like anyone gave us a choice.
2. Women have more and better orgasms, or at least the ability to pretend that we do.
3. Women make better tactical opponents in business, politics, and finance because our brains are inside our heads, not poking out of our bathrobes.
4. Women understand that a television set is inanimate, and shouting at it will not change what’s on the screen.
5. Women are amused by wit and creativity. Men are amused by armpit farts.

If you enjoyed this list, send it to twelve women friends in the next five minutes, and you will become rich! That’s one more way women are better than men. Men can’t complete a project under deadline.

Oh. My. God.


Thanks to everybody who made it out to Cafe Nell Friday night! If you were there, you got to sample Chef Andrew Garrett’s miraculous food as well as get up close and personal to their award-winning Mary Nell. If you weren’t there, I hope you had a damn good reason not to be. How hard are you kicking yourself right now?

Splendor in the Glass

This morning my husband and I took some time to wander through the Hillsdale farmers’ market, and what do you think we found? Fresh-picked, organic tomatoes in a rainbow of colors! My mind was all a-buzz with visions of orange Bloody Marys…or green…or yellow. Patty Earley, bartender at the Florida Room, already makes a killer Verde Mary with tomatillo and lime Mary mix, which she garnishes with lime and jalapeno. That’s only one of the patron saints at her Church of the Bloody Mary. You can worship every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 pm. Meanwhile, I’ll get to work researching my tomato varietals. You never know what I’ll come up with!

Mary as Muse

Creating a truly unique and memorable Bloody Mary is a form of high art. You start with a palette of vibrant ingredients, combine them just so, tweak the tones and shadows, then autograph it with a flourish of vegetation on top.  The best artists don’t measure or write out formulas; they let their mood take them to new places each time.

Compare that experience with making a screwdriver or a manhattan or a gin and tonic or…well, just about every other drink you can imagine. That’s about as artistic as putting together a bookshelf from Ikea.

Studying wine ratings and buying a bottle of something lovely is fine, but it’s a spectator sport. That’s like going to the gallery, picking out a painting, and taking it home. Yawn.

The choice is yours. Muse, or snooze?