There seems to be a renaissance in pickling these days, even amongst our family. This year we pickled 45 quarts of asparagus, resurrected our Grandmother’s Danish Pickle recipe after 20 some odd years of slumber, and also whipped up some Dills, Bread and Butter Pickles and Pickled Okra. And boy oh boy, were they good, it was well worth the effort.
Our pickled aspargus under construction
You can find a wide variety of tangy pickled products on the shelves of sustainable grocers in the bay area from Studebaker Pickles, and you can also visit the Cultured Pickle Shop in Berkeley where they are whipping up Kim Chee, Sauerkraut and Kombucha, who knew?!
On a recent trip to Portland, we were in need of an adult beverage, so we headed to one of the state liquor stores (unlike California, you can’t buy liquor in the grocery store), and as I was perusing the shelves, low and behold, I saw a McClure’s Pickle label; but it wasn’t pickles, it was Bloody Mary Mix. I felt like I had hit the jackpot! I have seen McClure’s products in specialty grocery stores here in the bay area and had picked up a few jars here and there, but I had never seen this concoction! Joe, Bob and the McClure family use their great grandmother’s recipes for the Brooklyn pickles they produce by hand.
When you picked up the bottle and shook it around, you could see that there was some love and attention given to this bottle of tomato juice. Flecks of hot chili flakes and black pepper, chunks of vegetables, this was a must have. And sitting next to it was a welcome addition to any Bloody Mary, pickled asparagus. So I loaded up my cart with a lemon, celery, some potato vodka and we headed back to the hotel. My friends had never had Bloody Mary’s with pickled asparagus, and we certainly had never sipped on McClure’s mix, this was a real winner, a unanimous vote for Best Bloody Mary Mix on the Planet!!
Bloody Marys concocted in our Portland hotel room
Our family’s favorite Bloody Mary was found at The Point, a restaurant on the banks of the Sacramento River in the San Joaquin Delta. They have been voted Best Bloody Mary on the Delta numerous years running, and that’s where I learned about adding pickled asparagus, because of course, we’re near the asparagus capitol of the world! Unfortunately, they are closing this December. We were planning our next family reunion in February at The Point, so if you have any recommendations for a new restaurant serving killer Bloody Mary’s on the Delta, please post it on the Holm Family Cookbook facebook page!
Bottom’s Up! Nancy