Laboring Last Labor Day

Let’s face it, we all believe that every weekend should be at least three days long. There’s the unwinding and then the settling followed by the satori-moment when we catch our wave and finally, the gearing back up. Isn’t it odd how even the most mundane of tasks can translate from labor to a zen-like repetition under the right circumstances?

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In my last post I mentioned the notion of sending my oldest out of the house with ten recipes. That’s a future post (or ten) but when I caught him in the kitchen this weekend and asked, “what is it that you remember from our lesson on cooking eggs?” He replied, “the secret is to do it slowly.” I gave him a deep Williams-Sonoma sigh, “Amen.”

In 2001, the Official Slow Food Manifesto was published in“Slow Food: A Case for Taste”. Here is an excerpt: “We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods… A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life… May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency. Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.”

According to Slow Food USA, the concept of conviviality is the heart of the Slow Food movement: taking pleasure in the processes of cooking, eating, and sharing meals with others. This belief is reflected in the way the group is structured – decentralized so that each local chapter or “convivium” can promote local farmers and local food artisans and get close to the local flavors in their area.

In the case of my Labor day weekend, I took the slow route every step of the way with locally roasted chiles in our supper dishes and fresh, local tomatoes in our wake-up beverage. The addition of fresh tomato juice to the traditional Bloody Mary recipe rachets up the freshness quotient and anchors the concept of conviviality.

As I read through the varying accounts of who invented the Bloody Mary, I’m struck by the notion that she is continuously reinvented and my labor day weekend was no exception!

Laborious Mary


  • 5 ripe tomatoes
  • Handful of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Extra hot horseradish
  • Hot sauce
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • worcestershire sauce
  • good vodka (can be omitted)
  • good crunchy green garnish like spicy pickled green beans


Run the tomatoes through a juicer. I use a Breville Elite and put the pulp through a second time for that extra squeeze of goodness. Pour juice into each glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add salt to taste, horseradish (I use a slight teaspoon as it’s my favorite part), several drops of hot sauce and a dash of worcestershire. Add 1 oz of vodka (or not) and ice cubes. Stir and garnish.

What is your favorite slow food beverage?

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  1. What a great idea to run the pulp through a second time. I love tomato juice but I’m not at all fond of bloody Mary’s 🙂

  2. Jill Faber

     /  September 7, 2014

    Honey lemonade: I squeeze all my lemons at end of season into ice cube trays; make a honey syrup (1 part honey to 3 parts water boiled one minute and then kept in frig); in a tall glass a couple of lemon juice ice cubes, honey syrup to taste and fill with sparkling water and then fresh basil or tarragon or mint leaves.

  3. A drink like this that takes a while to make should be sipped slowly! We had Father’s Day here yesterday and I slow-roasted some shoulders of lamb. They were in the oven for seven hours! xx

  4. Jane Ward

     /  September 8, 2014

    LOL, timely! My husband and I bought a block of Himalayan pink salt last night, I was just looking at a bunch of green beans and wondering what to do with them, and after my busy month of August I could use a Bloody Mary, even the laborious kind! Thanks for the recipe and the Slow Food reminders. I’ll be going to the first part of the Slow Food conference in Turin in October. The movement’s birthplace!

  5. I don’t care for Bloody Mary’s but this one sounds wonderful! Fresh tomato juice would make all the difference, I’m sure. I make lemonade only from fresh lemons, hot cocoa only on the stove top, from scratch. Thanks!

  6. Sounds like a great way to slow down and exhale! I made Mint Juleps this week ~ starting by making a simple syrup and steeping the mint leaves for 4 hours. Bliss!

  7. Lisa H

     /  September 8, 2014

    Oh, yum! That sounds delicious and very relaxing.

  8. Sounds delicious!

  9. Fresh tomato Bloody Marys! Wow–I think this will be my next use for any tomato “seconds” next week!

  10. Naomi

     /  September 14, 2014

    Oh wow, Tammy . . . every word a gem and I love your photo too! Thank you for this special inspiration. I’m off to fire up our Breville juicer now 🙂

  11. Looks fantastic!! the best bloody mary I ever had was made with home made tomato juice at a B&B where I used to work….I still think about that tomato juice. I can’t wait to try this!


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