Blog - biscuits and such
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Bloody Mary

I love Bloody Marys. They’re hearty, delicious, complex, and the perfect cocktail for both sunrise and sunset. There is pretty much nothing I enjoy more than sitting on the back porch of the Swamp House drinking a bloody mary and watching the marsh life. Which is something I did plenty of last week. There’s just something about a cocktail that’s also a full serving of vegetables that makes my heart sing.

For a good bloody mary you need a fair amount of ingredients. Each one is important, and each one plays a particular role. However, this is also a recipe you can play with- adding more of what you like and leaving out what you don’t care for.

First, lemon & horseradish. The lemon adds a necessary cut in the heavy tomato flavor, and the horseradish adds spice and complexity.

Next, pickled okra. This is totally optional and a far cry from the usual celery, but completely delicious. See also: anything pickled, bacon, celery, other vegetables, etc.

Follow with pickled green beans (or carrots or beets) and a finger’s worth of pickle brine. Olive brine also works.

Then comes the vodka. This is to your taste, and also optional. A virgin bloody mary is completely delicious and just as refreshing, though you might want some ice to thin the mix out.

Bloody mary mix, recipe below. Add ice/tomato juice to to make the drink your desired thickness/strength, and mix. And enjoy.

Crock Pot Bloody Mary Mix

5-7 tomatoes, medium size

4 carrots

1 green pepper

1 onion

2 tbsp horseradish

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Old Bay (or another season-all)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp celery seed

1 tsp mustard seeds

5 garlic cloves

1 tbsp hot sauce

Juice of 2 lemons

Peel and chop all ingredients and combine in a crock pot. Fill 1/3 of the way with water. Cook over low heat for 1-3 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Using a blender or an immersion blender, mix to your desired chunkiness.  If you’d like, strain or cut with additional tomato juice. Chill. Mix as instructed above and serve.

 

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Pickled Green Beans

Tonight after the last water ballet performance we hop in the car and drive south. The car packed, our phones loaded with music and audio books for the ride, and a tiramisu made by the man who claims to have invented tiramisu chilling in the freezer bag, we are ready to hit the road. To say this week in Morehead is eagerly anticipated would be the understatement of the century.

For most of the week it’ll just be Dan, myself, and Paps. Ryan and his girlfriend Erin will drop by earlier in the week, and I’m hoping my sister Lauren and my stepmom will come later in the week. But mostly I’m looking forward to a week of reading, diving, relaxing, swimming, and running. And, of course, sitting on the porch, looking at the marsh, and drinking bloody marys. Which is exactly why, in addition to making a big batch of bloody mary mix, I pickled green beans and carrots. Because nothing is better than a bloody mary full of pickled green beans, okra, carrots, and garlic. And nothing is better than drinking a chunky bloody mary full of pickles while sitting on the porch watching the egrets fly by.

Pickled Green Beans

4 pounds of fresh string beans

6 pint size canning jars with lids and bands

3 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

3 1/2 cups water

6 tbsp red pepper flakes

12 cloves garlic

2 tbsp salt

6 tsps whole mustard seeds

6 tsps whole cumin seeds

Begin by sterilizing your jars.  About an hour before you want to can fill two large pots with water.  I recommend that you have some canning equipment, at the very least a large pot with a rack and a pair of tongs.  You’ll need a separate pot for sterilizing your jars and lids.  Bring both pots of water to a boil.  In one pot (the one without a lid) place your jars and the lids (not the screw bands).  Allow them to boil for at least 10 minutes, but keep them in the pot until right before you fill them.

In a non reactive sauce pan heat vinegar, water, and salt.

Clean the green beans, but leave them whole.  In each sterilized jar, place two cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, and as many green beans as you can pack in tightly.  Ladle vinegar mixture into each jar, leaving about 1/4″ headspace.  Wipe the rim down, place a clean lid on each jar, and screw band on tightly.  Process in your large pot (with rack) for 10 minutes.  Remove from water, give the band another squeeze, and allow to sit.  Once the jars have sealed (you’ll know if you can’t pop the lid up and down), set them in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks.  They will stay for up to a year.

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