Considering how much I already enjoy rambling on about the weather, past, present, and future, I can only imagine what a hoot I’ll be by the time I’m 80 and mostly senile. Every conversation will begin and end with the forecast, as reliably timed as the news stations themselves. Who knows, maybe I just inadvertently stumbled upon a whole new gig for when I retire.
Regardless, it seems that everyone is gossiping about the atmospheric conditions lately. 50-degree days in late January, immediately followed by sleet, later to be washed away for another sunny afternoon? It’s the best sort of madness, removing the fangs from a brutal winter season while keeping things exciting. Scores of sunny days in a row make it seem like spring is just around the corner, and I can’t help but feel optimistic that we put the worst behind us way back in October. Unfortunately, the growing season is now lagging far behind my cravings for fresh produce.
Glistening red orbs of heirloom tomatoes taunt from pristine display towers, looking every bit as viable as the misshapen turnips and beets just down the aisle. Winter tomatoes, which sounds like the butt of a joke, tempt me like never before, and with the warmth of an unseasonably bright sun on my side, I can’t resist this time.
Condensing those savory fruits into a pure and fresh elixir seemed like the best approach, and nothing says “refreshing” quite like home-pressed juice. Inspired by the classic Bloody Mary, this virgin drink is not nearly so gruesome, and so much lighter and brighter than the original.
4 Large, Ripe Tomatoes
1 Ounce Fresh Parsley
1 Very Small Clove Garlic (Optional)
2 Stalks Celery
1 Medium Cucumber or 4 – 6 Big Leaves Romaine
1/4 Lemon, Seeded
1/2 Inch Fresh Ginger
1 Teaspoon Coconut Aminos or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to Taste
If you have a juicer, simply run all of the veggies through skim off the foam. Stir in both aminos and pepper.
For those working with a blender, toss everything in, except for the lemon. Squeeze the juice from it first before discarding the rind. Turn it on high speed and process until completely smooth. Pass the liquid through a fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag and discard the solids.
Garnish with lemon slices, celery stalks, cucumber spears, or any sort of pickled veggies. Drink up!
For a Full-Blooded version, simply add 2 teaspoons light agave nectar and 1/4 cup (2 ounces) vodka.
Makes 2 Servings