I was so caught up with new baby fever that I barely registered Martine’s recent move to New Orleans! She road-tripped with her two dogs and her amazing friend Monica all the way from San Francisco. She made night stops in Tucson and Austin and she arrived just in time to witness my last two weeks of relative sanity before having a third child. She also arrived just in time to see the end of The Big Freeze. And just in time to catch Mardi Gras. And spring weather. And to get a margarita from the take out window of the poboy shop next door to her dogs’ vet.
This all makes me feel like a bad friend. Because of the timing of her arrival and the arrival of Baby Powers I haven’t been able to drive her around or take her to my favorite places. I haven’t made Jambalaya for her or Red Beans and Rice. I haven’t taken her to the lake yet for brunch at Southern Yacht Club. She hasn’t had Brandy Milk Punch at Commander’s Palace or steak at Delmonico’s or the awesome $20.14 pre fixe lunch at the best restaurant in town, Restaurant August. I haven’t taken her to my dad’s house in the country and let her shoot a gun and drink beer from a can (laugh if you must but she is going to love that sh*t). I haven’t even bought her an overrated Pimm’s cup at The Napoleon House or taken her to drink at the rotating Carousel Bar at The Hotel Monteleone (by the way, why do people think a spinning bar is a good idea?)
I haven’t yet shown her City Park. Or City Bark. Or The Hornets. Or bought her a silly (but taken veeeeeery seriously) New Orleans T-shirt. She doesn’t yet know where to buy flip flops or Jazz Fest tickets. She hasn’t seen Kermit play…heck, she didn’t even make it to a PARADE during Mardi Gras! My mother would be appalled at Martine’s lack of cultural experience at this point. I bet she can’t describe a Second Line and I bet she has no idea who the Mardi Gras Indians are.
I am a bad friend.
But I am determined to get better.
She was back in San Francisco last week for work and I realized I need to get onto this. I feel responsible for making sure she knows what to see, where to go, what to do and who to hear in this crazy city. Sure, she could read the my travel guide to The Big Easy (which, by the way, was tweeted out by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau in advance of Mardi Gras, very proud of that one!) but that isn’t my personal, snarky, nostalgic tour of my fair city.
I know I can’t make up for lost time all at once, especially since I am still supposed to be “taking it easy” after the birth of Baby Powers, our little bundle of goodness and joy with teeny-tiny snackable little hands, so we will need to approach things methodically. And what’s the first thing you need to get going in the morning in New Orleans? Why a Cajun Bloody Mary of course.
Hang on to your hats. You are coming on this journey with us!
This is a classic Cajun Bloody Mary. You may notice a slew of gourmet ingredients missing – like freshly grated horseradish and finely chopped celery or blue cheese stuffed olives. Instead this the Bloody Mary mix of my youth (wait, can I still get in trouble for that?), the Bloody Mary mix of the bars I bartended in along the Gulf Coast during college, the Bloody Mary mix of my first brunch parties and 11am kickoff football games. There is a time and a place for just about anything and I am certainly not above enjoying the knock out Bloody Mary’s at Employees Only in the West Village in NYC in teetering heels and a black silk dress….but there is also a time for a good old classic. That is what this is all about.
- 2 cups (475 ml) tomato juice (I like good old classic V8 the best)
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) Lea & Perrins worstershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning (or Old Bay if you are in a pinch)
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) of celery salt
- Vodka (I recommend something obscure and Russian for best "cool" factor. Failing that, go with Ketel One)
- Pickeled okra
- Boiled and peeled shrimp
- Celery salt
- Fill a 12 ounce glass to the rim with ice. Then add 2 shots (2 oz) of chilled vodka and 3/4 cup (6 oz) of your Bloody Mary mix. Garnish with a boiled shrimp, pickled okra, wedge of lemon and a dash more of celery salt on top.
- Large stalk of celery (leaves on for flair)
- Slices or shreds of carrot
- Pickled green beans
- Pickled onions
- Cucumber spear