Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Say it 3-5 times in a mirror and you'll be cooking with gas

That's right, cats and kittens, we made a Bloody Mary. My earliest memories of this drink are scenes from Walk Like A Man and my ex's parents enjoying one with after-Mass brunch. They looked good, but I wasn't a huge fan of tomato juice at the time, and I was well underage.

This is definitely a "hair of the dog" kind of concoction for the mornings, but it's also a good one for happy hour or the evening if you don't want to eat any bar appetizers, because not only will it sufficiently get you feeling quite good, it is quite filling. I'm sure someone like Alton Brown could come up with reasoning as far as the fiber from the vegetables and reactions with the stomach and insulin and yadda yadda yadda, but I'm no Alton Brown, and I'm just here to share some tasty cocktails with you fine feathered fiends.

Basic rundown for this drink:

1-1 1/2 ozs Vodka
Fill the remainder of the glass with tomato juice (I used V-8, which would technically make this a "Bloody V or a Bloody 8," but there are so many variations of this drink I had to use what I had on hand. The bottled mix is essentially V-8 with all the extra stuff mixed in, so I'm actually being more of a purist here.)
2-4 Dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 dash each Celery Salt, black pepper, lemon or lime juice, and Tabasco (I would use Texas Pete as well)
1/8 Tablespoon Horseradish (Eww, I skipped it. Sorry. If I had cocktail sauce on hand, I would have subbed that, alas, no. I just can't stand horseradish in the buff)

After reading what can only be said to be a buhjillion recipes, we have a surprise ingredient: 1 dash Liquid Smoke

Okay, okay, okay. I know what you're probably saying after reading my tirade about tradition and drink rules, but this drink is so much more fast and loose than the martini or margarita that I'm not going to nitpick this one to death. On the wiki for Bloody Mary cocktails, there are 41 variations on the recipe. So hush, and drink up.

There were two variations on the actual mixing, either pouring the whole shebang over ice in a highball glass and stirred, or shaken and strained. I went the shaker route, and I strained the ice out, because I don't want the melty tomato juice flavor happening. Mine is also in a double old-fashioned glass because I shamefully don't have a highball or a pint glass. Garnishes range from the simple celery stalk to skewers of vegetables, meats, cheeses, and seafood draped artfully over the rim. I didn't have any celery, and may retry when I do, so for now the toothpick has a couple of olives on it, because hey, I like olives. Here's the result:

I have a heavy hand when it comes to Tabasco, so mine is a trifle on the spicy side. Traditionally it's paired with a beer, so I'm chasing it with my standard Old Milwaukee to cool the burn. Let me tell you, it's good. Definitely for sipping, you don't want to pound this mother. Or maybe you do, it's up to you; I'm drinking this one a little faster than I probably should due to the heat I packed into this thing.

Wowza; I know why they serve these with breakfast now; eggs and toast belong with this. Unfortunately, it's not anywhere near breakfast here, and I'm a bit too tired to deal with cookery. I want to thank my ex's parents for truly introducing me to this after-church-with breakfast-before-the-serious-drinking-during-the-race cocktail. One's plenty for me, so for now, I'll just finish this beer.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cooking for One: How to Make a Pot Pie

1: Open freezer.
2: Say to yourself, "Wow, its cold in there."
3: Shift bags of freezer-burned vegetables around until you find something in a brightly colored box.
4: Wrench said brightly colored box out from behind the bags of freezer-burned vegetables and read the contents.
5: No, don't read it per se, just look at the picture on the box. If needed, scrape ice from what you think is the front. If that's not the front, scrape the ice from other side.
6: Decide that this brightly colored box is not the brightly colored box you were looking for.
7: Engage search and destroy mission for pot pie.
8: Repeatedly judo-chop the freezer door for not staying open on its own accord and hitting you in the kidneys.
9: Locate 2 variations on pot pie.
10: Internal debate as to whether you'd like chicken or turkey, what the differences may be, and decide that they're probably the same thing, just with different gravy, and put one back in freezer.
11: Close freezer.
12: Open freezer again and trade pot pie in hand for one in freezer, just in case there is a difference between the turkey and chicken.
13: Read directions on pot pie.
14: Upon reading that they are "Not for use in toaster oven," restrain urge to attempt to cram pot pie in toaster.
15: Turn oven on to 400 degrees.
16: After 10 minutes, open oven and try to gauge if it feels like its 400 degrees or not, since you can't find your oven thermometer.
17: Half-heartedly search for oven thermometer.
18: After 15 minutes decide that it's probably hot enough, because you keep hearing the *woomph* of the gas lighting.
19: Remove pot pie from box.
20: Throw box in trash can.
21: Place pot pie on cookie sheet and insert into oven.
22: Wait.
23: Peruse movie selection.
24: Flip through channels.
25: Realize you don't know how long the pot pie is supposed to cook.
26: Go to garbage, retrieve box.
27: Boggle at the cooking time. 35 minutes?!? Jeez.
28: Replace box in trash can.
29: Wash hands.
30: Check pie: Still frozen solid.
31: Realize you're really, really hungry.
32: Check pie: Crust is a little gooey, still solid inside.
33: Get Cheetos from pantry.
34: Eat Cheetos in front of the TV.
35: Give a Cheeto to the dog.
36: Give another Cheeto to the dog.
37: Dog now looks expectantly at you every time you reach into the bag.
38: Battle dog for control of Cheetos.
39: Win, because of opposable thumbs and use of squeaky ball.
40: Dog still looks expectantly every time you reach into the bag, but with the shame of defeat in his eyes.
41: Check pie: Outer crust ring light brown, still gooey on top and cold in center. It's been 30 minutes.
42: Answer phone, leaving Cheetos unattended on table.
43: End phone call.
44: Engage in Battle Royale with dog over absolute control of Cheetos.
45: Tie, because of massive bag tear and Cheeto spill. Dog is now content, due to abundance of Cheetos on the floor.
46: Check pie: Outer crust a darker brown, top crust bulging and bubbling, but still nowhere near golden brown. Watch for a second while giving imagination time to produce fantasy of an alien face hugger popping out of pot pie.
47: Close oven, increase temperature to 425 degrees, and watch dog enter kitchen with expectant look.
48: Explain to dog that there are no Cheetos in the oven.
49: Convince dog that you're not lying.
50: Dog leaves.
51: Dog barks at invisible burglars.
52: Let dog outside to defend his territory.
53: Return to regularly scheduled programming.
54: Smell something.
55: Something's burning.
56: POT PIE!!
57: Rescue pot pie from hot oven.
58: Ignore directions as to letting pie rest for 5 minutes.
59: Seriously burn tongue on bite of steamy lava gravy meat.
60: Cry a little.
61: Let dog back inside.
62: Convince dog that he really doesn't want my pot pie.
63: Eat half.
64: Realize it's really not that good, and that I've wasted an hour of my existence.
65: Place remaining pot pie in dog's dish.
66: Dog thinks he's totally super-fly because he's got pot pie now.
67: Make peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
68: Eat sandwich.
69: Eat remaining Cheetos from the bottom of the bag.
70: Sigh and wonder if you want to try making cookies for dessert.