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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

Tomato season for Santa Barbara is almost here. The smell of the vines when you run your fingers across the stems is one of the most pronounce aromas of summer. My garden this year is doing well with Roma's and Green Zebra's coming first. Our usually Juliette cherry tomato gives us our daily grazing of it's few early bloomers. One of the most anticipated events is the canning of these tomatoes for enjoyment over the rest of the year.

An interesting recipe came to my page and I have been thinking about setting aside tomatoes to make it this year. I saw a picture of pickled vegetables posted by Genevive from my FB page that she deemed were for a Bloody Mary "Mix". A mixture of veggies to dress a Blood Mary not the tomato juice. One of my other followers Michael posted his version of the actual mix, but I wanted to research my own. I wanted to make sure that it was safe and had all the elements and intensity of a really good mix. One that I could give as a gift to friends for the holidays.

I found the standards of a "Vegetable Juice Blend" from CGHC and adapted a few ingredients within the guidelines to come up with a mix that will compete with the best. Here is the recipe:

I want to send a personal thank you to Josephine for her amazing photo of the final product. Josephine said "It's delicious!"

Bloody Mary Mix

canning bloody mary mix
Picture courtesy of Josephine du Lac
30 medium tomatoes, quartered (not peeled, any tomatoes will work)
1 1/2 cups of green peppers, chopped (you could use sweet bell peppers)
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 small onions, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons salt (you can use less if salt restrictions since this is for flavor only)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 medium jalapeno, diced including seeds (1/4 cup) (or hotter peppers if you want it spicier)


Preparation : Prepare 6 quart jars, lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till its time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and get the water to a simmer.
Cooking: In a large stainless steel or enameled dutch oven cook tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, and hot peppers approximately 30-45 minutes or until veggies are breaking down. Remove bay leaf.

Note: If you want to remove the seeds and any additional skin of the tomatoes you can pour in batches through a sieve or fine mesh strainer. 

With your immersion blender, food processor, or upright blender work through the recipe until the contents are smooth. Stir with your spoon just to make sure you did not miss any big pieces. 
To the pot add the sugar, bottled lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Heat to a boil over medium, stirring frequently.


Filling the jars:
 On a dishtowel place your hot jars and using your funnel in each jar ladle the mixture into the jars leaving 1/2” headspace.  Remove air bubbles and refill to the proper headspace if necessary. Taking a clean papertowel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just "finger tight".

Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 40 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.
Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

To make a Bloody Mary:
 
In a pint jar 3/4 filled with ice;
3 oz of Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

bloody mary in a pint jar1 1/2 oz vodka

Optional: 

celery salt

ground pepper
hot pepper sauce to taste
celery stalk and/or pickle spear for garnish
lemon and/or lime wedge for garnish

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