History is written by the victors and this is the story of the inadequate Bloody Mary Meat Potato Cup.
Nearly every year, my dear friends M&H host a Bloody Mary Off. Contestants bring their best Bloody Mary recipe and a healthy sense of competition; participants come armed with an appreciation for tomatoey drink and a bottle of TUMs.
And, while I love the pickled veggies and other spicy accessories that come with a Bloody Mary, the drink brings an intensity that I’m not ready for at brunch. Couple this with a posse of talented, creative, and competitive friends and I usually spend Bloody Mary Offs drinking Rainier and watching the showdown from the sidelines.
The day before the event, M asked me to participate as there weren’t enough competitors. I’d already planned on bringing meat art, I had one last jar of spicy pickled carrots, and I’m a wee bit competitive, so yes! I WAS IN IT TO WIN IT!
To start off, I boiled several Yukon potatoes and halved them. During the process of peeling and slicing them, I learned that potatoes are effective retainers of heat. Ouch. Once they were slightly cool, I carefully hollowed them out into cup shape while being careful to maintain the integrity of the vessel.
Once I had the potatoes ready, I made a batch of meatloaf (aka what appears to be my favorite medium). I flattened the meatloaf into round patties and pressed them around the potatoes and arranged these face down on a broiler pan. I cooked them for 30 minutes which allowed for the potatoes to finish cooking.
In retrospect, I should have realized that meat shrinks during cooking and planned accordingly. And because I needed as much vessel depth as possible, I opted to not trim off the excess potato.
Once the meat cups were cooked, I righted them and cleaned them off. Then, I made my Bloody Mary mix. Using spicy V-8 as the base, I added some Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, pepper, a smidgen of the spicy carrot brine, and a healthy amount of Bakon Vodka.
How could this magical combination not win!?
I arrived at the Bloody Mary Off full of hope and cocky confidence. I was in it to win it! But upon arriving, I realized that I was up against some stiff competition. Wasabi Bloody Mary’s. BBQ Bloody Mary’s. Perry’s fancy roasted serrano and cilantro Bloody Mary’s. M must have asked everyone to compete because it was a virtual sea of Bloody Mary competitors. And in spite of all the worthwhile competition, I thought I had victory in the bag. I had MEAT! I had a potato cup! I had Bakon Vodka!
And then it happened. With a mere 20 minutes left in the competition, a herd of five hipsters arrived with “Poison Ivy”. In spite of being both ironic and weirdly charming, they sweep through the party with their elixier of tomatillos, cucumbers, green apples, and soul-crushing success. And they ruined my meat cup victory dreams. They won the 2012 Bloody Mary Off. And, they gloated. Bitches.
Next year, I’m throwing down. Let’s see how the hipsters do against a Bloody Mary Fountain that pours from the noses of a Meat Loaf Mount Rushmore …