I am blogs and blogs and blogs behind! Hopefully I can get caught up asap. First things first--if anyone knows how to make an index page or is willing to make one for me (I have no idea what they cost) please let me know. I would like to link each recipe to my post on it and have little progress bars for each chapter.
Also, don't forget about the contest! It's super easy to enter!
I was trying to decide whether to include the "Beverages", "Wine and Beer", and "Cocktails and Mixed Drinks" chapters in my cook-through. I finally decided that I had no good reason not to include them and there was no time like the present to get started on them. So what did I choose for my first drink recipe? Tomato Juice (p. 37). First things first--this is a TERRIFIC recipe if you have a garden of tomato plants that are overproducing and you are throwing away boatloads of tomatoes. As for me? No tomato plants, so I had to use canned tomatoes, which is not as cost effective.
The recipe required a lot of tomatoes. Reading the recipe again, I can't figure out how I came up with the amount of tomatoes needed...but apparently, I decided that one big can and two little cans was the correct amount.
It's a pretty easy combination of ingredients--celery, onion, parsley, some water, and a bay leaf. Ohhh...looking healthy!
The concoction cooks for about thirty minutes...going from this:
So how do you get from soup to juice? A strainer! I think more juice could have been squeezed out but I was getting tired.
Salt, paprika, and sugar were then mixed in and voila! Juice. At this point I poured myself a glass and drank it. It was really great--nice and tangy. I poured Josh a glass and he was absolutely horrified--I forgot it was still warm. Apparently, warm tomato juice is not loved by everyone (I LOVE hot drinks and can drink just about ANYTHING warm). But over ice he agreed that it was quite tasty. Quite a bit of work for tomato juice, but quite tasty.
Looking at all that tomato juice, I started thinking about making a Bloody Mary. I love Bloody Mary's. I think they are one of those drinks that goes perfect with food (ie I could never drink them at a party because they get a bit cloying--but I like them virgin as well), like daiquiris and mimosas (well, a virgin mimosa wouldn't make any sense).
I looked up the Bloody Mary (p. 57) recipe. Seemed easy enough--vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce...Tabasco sauce...celery salt....salt....black pepper...COME ON! HOW MANY INGREDIENTS ARE THERE??? I do want to point out that if you make this recipe with tequila, which sounds absolutely nauseating, it's a Bloody Maria. If you replace the tomato juice with beef consommé, it becomes a bullshot. Why would anyone drink that?? Has anyone HAD a bullshot or a bloody Maria? Please tell me what it tastes like!
I quickly realized that I didn't have a martini shaker. Hmm...what to do...
I decided to use a Ziploc container to shake the drink. I figured that the top screwed on, it should work. And it did! It worked EXTREMELY well and really held up to vigorous shaking! Josh and I use these containers ALL the time--they are excellent for homemade ice cream and I like them for chicken stock.
I stuck a stalk of celery in each of cup and brought one to Josh, keeping one for myself. Don't they look good?
Josh took a sip and this is when I ran into trouble...
Josh--So what type of alcohol is in this?
Josh--Where did you get the vodka?
Josh--We don't have any vodka.
Me--Sure we do. In the refrigerator.
Josh--No--we don't have any vodka.
Me--Yes we do! The bottle of Absolut in the refrigerator.
And then he said it...
Josh--Well, we have a bottle of VANILLA Vodka in the refrigerator, but not regular Vodka.
CRAP! I had accidentally used Vanilla vodka in the Bloody Mary's. Let's just say, not as great match. I love B'Mary's made with pepper vodka...but not vanilla. That being said, it wasn't near as disgusting as I would have expected.
That being said, that was a long list of ingredients! (Oh, and we were out of lemon juice so I used lime juice--the lime and vanilla don't go well together either--unlike lime and coconut).