Recipe: Pallid Mary Mix
Twice a month, Berkshire native Alana Chernila, mother of two, and author of the cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making (Clarkson Potter), contributes a thoughtful and heartfelt essay/recipe created exclusively for Rural Intelligence readers. Her first cookbook has achieved top-seller status, and Chernila has a new one in the works, titled “The Homemade Kitchen,” due out in 2015.
I’ll admit, there are certainly worse jobs out there than testing homemade Bloody Mary mixes. So, committed to my cause, I soldier on.
It all started innocently enough. Months ago, I started meeting with a group of people to plan a fundraising event to raise money for the new cowshed at the Great Barrington Fairgrounds. It’s a great group, and in the beginning—every week or two—we’d all sit around the table, dreaming about our ideal event. Over time, we managed to shape a real event from all those dreams, and it’s coming up in a few weeks. As soon as we decided it would be a brunch feast, I became fixated on Bloody Marys.
Now I wasn’t talking about your regular old hotel brunch Bloody Mary. I wanted a late-September, Berkshire tomato mix will real spice, kick and texture. And of course, when the group looked at me when I mentioned local Bloody Marys again, and said, “Great! We can’t wait to try your special mix,” I of course nodded and said, “Yes! I can’t wait to make it!”
Of course I’ve never made a Bloody Mary mix in my life. But I’m pretty good at faking it, and I was sure my special Bloody Mary mix was out there, just waiting for me to make it up.
I think I’m almost there. But I’ve got a little bit of time left to perfect it, and I predict a few more Bloody Marys in my near future (more specifically, between now and September 21.)
So will this be the mix you’ll drink at Gedney Farm on September 21 at our brunch feast? We’ll just see how future trials go. But just to be sure you get a chance to try the final version, grab a ticket here. It’s going to be a wonderful meal, and a great party all around. Sam Sifton (king of all things food at the NYT), Jenny Rosenstrach (queen of family dinner and, as of this week, NYT bestselling author), and Andy Ward (head of non-fiction at Random House, Sam Sifton’s editor, and (ta-da!) married to Jenny Rosenstrach) will all be there, and so will I, Bloody Mary in hand. And it’s all for a fantastic cause, too.
I love this most recent version of the mix, which I did with giant yellow heirlooms from Indian Line Farm. The only problem? It’s definitely not bloody. We’ve been searching for a name, and I’m open to any suggestions. The Pallid Mary? Bloodless Mary? Blood-drained-from-her-face Mary? Whatever you call it, it’s delicious. Add vodka to taste (or drink it virgin), and garnish with celery or my favorite, dilly beans.
Pallid Mary Mix
Makes 3 cups
1 large yellow tomato (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
¼ cup chopped sweet yellow pepper
½ chopped jalapeno pepper, or more, to taste
1 ½ teaspoons chopped shallot
Juice of 1 lime
½ teaspoon celery salt
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish, or more, to taste
1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. To serve, pour 1 cup into a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice and a shot of vodka. Shake, pour into a glass, and garnish with celery or dilly beans.