A Refreshing & Intoxicating “Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook” and a “Spicy Golden Mary”

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Above is a cool, refreshing & quite intoxicating “Spicy Golden Mary”.

Below is the refreshing & intoxicating cover of the “Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook” by Nancy Vienneau (her blog is Good Food Matters). This book’s release date is just a few days away, June 17th, 2014 and will be available at your local bookstores and on-line. It’s a beauty full of wonderful stories of food and folks. The “monthly chapters” feature seasonal produce & recipes from each month of the year. You can cook your way through 5 years of Third Thursday Potluck gatherings all in one book. I was so pleased to do the food and prop styling for this book, which was a real labor of love.

Third Thursday FINAL

What do these two things have in common you might ask?

One is a much-anticipated cookbook that chronicles the stories and recipes that have been shared over the past 5 years, every Third Thursday of every month, at one of Nashville’s best kept secrets. Nancy, and her friend, Gigi Gaskins (who owns HatWRKS) started this potluck as a way for a group of food friends to get together, share incredible seasonal recipes & foods, have a glass of wine and talk. There is no set theme except for the season.  As the cover says, this truly is a potluck like no other.

To herald this book’s release I want to share with you a recipe of mine from the book. The deliciously refreshing & intoxicating “Spicy Golden Mary “.  Get the book for this and so many more enticing recipes and stories. This recipe is from July’s Chapter “The Big Tomato”.

Before we have a “Spicy Golden Mary”, here are two events you will not want to miss if you happen to live, or be visiting the Nashville, TN area on these dates….lots of fun and good food.

This one is on Tuesday night, 6/17……

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This is on “Third Thursday”, 6/19 of course! Bring a dish and a drink (wine, etc) if you like and come join all of us…..

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Here is how to make my  recipe,
“Spicy Golden Mary”
Orange heirloom tomatoes
1. Core and chop 4-5 pounds of very ripe yellow tomatoes. (About 7 cups).
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heirloom tomatoes
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2. You will also need 1 1/2 cups good quality Vodka such as Tito’s from Austin, Texas or Ketel One from Holland.
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3. Puree chopped tomatoes in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade until smooth.
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4. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the pulp, pressing down gently with a wooden spoon to get all the juice from the pulp.
IMG_1649Whoa! Look at that beautiful golden tomato juice.
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5. To the bowl of tomato juice add the following:  the Vodka, 2 tsp grated horseradish, a generous pinch of salt to taste, freshly ground black pepper to taste, 1 tbsp Serrano chili-lime pepper sauce (or 2 tsp Tabasco sauce), 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.
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7. As I was making this for a  Third Thursday Potluck evening I used two bottles to transport it to the gathering. First I made a label on my computer of a giant tomato on a gold background and added type identifying what was in the bottles. All the ingredients were listed, along with my blog name and a catchy phrase “Drink your breakfast for dinner right now!”.
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I cut up some fresh limes & celery sticks, packed it all up in my antique carrier and off to Third Thursday!
Here is a toast to all the past Third Thursday Community Potluck dinners and to many, many more! Congratulations Nancy on your beautiful cookbook!

“Cilantro Limeade Rum Cooler for Third Thursday July Pop-Up Potluck”

“Cilantro Limeade Rum Cooler”

It seems that the “Third Thursday Potluck” here in Nashville, started by lover’s of good foods and good deeds Nancy Vienneau (Good Food Matters) & Gigi Gaskins (HatWRKS), is getting quite a bit of buzz. Relish Magazine  (relish.com) is now running a regular monthly column on this wonderfully social, local & edible event. Writer, Nancy Vienneau shares with readers interesting, seasonal recipes as well as tips on how to start your own community potluck dinner club. Third Thursday is always one of my very favorite evenings of each month. I love the food, the camaraderie, the ever-changing parade of guests as well as the stalwart friends.

For a few years now Third Thursday Potluck has been hosted by Nancy and Gigi. One month at Nancy’s house, the next at Gigi’s, both in the Hillsboro/Belmont neighborhood of Nashville. This July they decided to shake things up a bit. They asked me to host a “Pop-Up Third Thursday Potluck” at my house in Historic Germantown, downtown Nashville. It was lots of fun, well attended, the food & drink abundant & outstanding. It was a hot night….perfect for lots of fresh local foods & homemade peach ice cream, not to mention a large jar of my ice-cold “Cilantro Limeade Rum Cooler” made especially for the evening.

First a quick recipe for “Cilantro Limeade Rum Cooler for Third Thursday July”

1 1/2 cups Raw Sugar

1 bunch fresh Cilantro

1 cup Water

2 cups fresh squeezed Lime Juice

2 cups (or to taste) White Rum

1/2 cup St. Germain or other Elderflower Liqueur

Lots of Crushed Ice, Seltzer Water, Lime wheels for Garnish

1. Make a “simple syrup” by putting the raw sugar & water into a saucepan on med heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to melt sugar.  Remove from heat, stir in fresh cilantro sprigs, cover & let cool. When cooled, strain out cilantro & discard. Pour syrup into a large pitcher or jar when ready to serve.

2. Add fresh lime juice, white rum & liqueur. Mix and adjust taste if needed. Fill pitcher or jar halfway with crushed ice. Fill the rest of the way with seltzer water. Serve with additional crushed ice, lime wheels & cilantro sprigs.

 

Photo Gallery of “Third Thursday July Pop-Up Potluck Dinner”

Getting ready….Plates, plates and more plates…
Flowers….there must be flowers.
A makeshift bar….there must be a bar.
Tables, chairs….
…and more tables & chairs!….yes you are correct…to left is a little table (stool) and a wooden box (stool) to sit on…

Everything is ready…

Great people, lots of laughter, conversations, fresh good food…

We ate outside, inside and on the steps!

Then there were desserts…pies, cookies, ice cream,  berries & cream, bread puddings.

Do you have room for dessert? I think so…..

Bon Appetit.

“Pimm’s Please”

Recently, while in Kuala Lumpur on a mind boggling hot & humid day, I had a a sublime Pimm’s Cup…Just the right amount of Pimm’s No. 1, Ginger Ale, Cucumber & ice in a very tall glass. It absolutely revived me and my friend, food writer & book author, Nancy Davidson. Truthfully, it was her idea to order a Pimm’s and I followed suit. It is the perfect cocktail for a hot summer day in Nashville, or anywhere else for that matter. Pimm’s No. 1 has only 25 percent alcohol so is a pretty laid back liqueur. Along with Gin & Tonic, the Pimm’s Cup was what many Brits living in Southeast Asia & India used to help mellow sticky hot days unlike anything they had ever experienced back home in the UK.

Pimm’s No. 1 has been around for over 150 years, had a few years of unpopularity, but is making such a strong comeback that at times it is hard to find in my local liquor store. This week we scored one of the three bottles available and on Saturday took our favorite ginger ale, some chilled sticks of Cucumber and our Pimm’s to a dinner party. It was a hot evening, very humid and our Pimm’s Cups carried us through.

I had emailed Nancy earlier in the week for her favorite recipe and she sent me this simple, refreshing version.

“Nancy Davidson’s Favorite Pimm’s Cup Recipe”

2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1, 6 oz. Ginger Ale, Cucumber slices for garnish. Fill a tall Collin’s type glass with ice, pour in Pimm’s No. 1, add Ginger ale & garnish with Cucumber slices.


Pimm's, Boylan's Ginger Ale made with pure cane sugar.
Just add garnish!
Cucumber added, ready to drink.

History of Pimms

Rewind back to a London oyster bar in the 1840s where owner James Pimm invented the thirst-quencher. Using gin, quinine and a secret mixture of herbs, good old Pimm served up the brew as an aid to digestion, dishing it out in a small tankard and the No. 1 Cup moniker was born.

After the Second World War, Pimms extended their range, using a number of other spirits as bases for new cups. Scotch lent its name to No. 2 cup while No. 3 used brandy, No. 4 rum, No. 5 rye and No. 6 vodka. Of these sequels, the vodka cup and brandy (now called Winter) are the only ones in production while original No. 1 cup still reigns supreme in popularity.

Salut, y’all.