In the MUNCHIES inbox, we get a lot of strange requests, pitches, and general tomfoolery. "How do I pitch a story?" (Just send us the actual story idea.) "Will Action Bronson come to my small town in Idaho and hang out?" (Probably not.) "Want some weed?" (Maybe, but don't send it to us in the mail—that's just common sense.)
Anyways, a few days ago, we received a couple of photos of a Bloody Mary from one Dan Miller from Erie, MI. But this was no ordinary hangover cocktail. It was made in an enormous plastic jug and topped with an entire Monterey Bay Aquarium's worth of seafood, enough bacon to make an IHOP cry, and a generally weird assortment of large vegetables and cooked poultry. It was interesting.
So we figured, what the hell—let's call him up and see what he did here.
So, what've we got here? We joked about it, called it the Bloody Anya, because it started as a joke with this girl named Anya, and then I made it. She didn't really know we were going to make a giant one.
Had you read something in particular on MUNCHIES that inspired you to send us this creation? I saw the one with the fried chicken on it, and we were doing Bloody Marys on Saturday anyway for an adult summer camp that we were at, and someone saw the picture of the one with the fried chicken and said "Hey, are they gonna look like this?" and started joking. Then my gears just started spinning. I said I'll do one even bigger, as you can tell in that picture.
How many people is this Bloody Mary for? This was a centerpiece for the morning. We did 60 individual drinks in the morning, and there were 100 people at the camp.
Yeah, it's gigantic. Can you tell me what's in it? I see that there are some sliders, there's an octopus, there's a couple of fried chickens… There's the octopus, then there are the Cornish hens, and behind those—you can't see them—are some turkey legs. Then all of the vegetables: peppers, olives. There are shrimp, and a couple of crayfish in there.
Are those snow crabs? Oh yeah. Oh yep, and snow crab legs. Yep.
Gotcha. How did the octopus and the snow crabs and stuff come into play? Did you go to a seafood market and just point at things? What was your process here? Well, my wife picked up the snow crabs. Thought they'd be a good touch. I saw a drink online with a tentacle in it, and thought that was pretty neat, and I'd actually just smoked an octopus two weeks ago. So I started thinking about that, and said, "Well, let's do a whole one." I went to the fish market and they had one frozen there. It shrunk a little bit, but I thought that if we could stretch it over the whole thing it would be pretty neat. But it started curling up a bit on us.
I think the octopus is really one of the kickers here. I don't know if you've ever cooked one before, but if you boil them, the heads kind of flip inside out and turn into what looks like a deflated balloon, so I wanted it to still look big and puffy. So that's why its head is so huge. I got it to keep its natural head on there.
How much bacon is that? Two pounds. The jug itself is five-gallon.
I assume that you are "Chili Dan." Do you make hot sauces, or what is that stuff? Right now there's this one sauce, an all-purpose sauce like a barbecue sauce, but we found a ton more uses when our friends, families, customers starting using it. So we thought to put it in a Bloody Mary, and I liked it, so that's how we came up with the idea to start doing Bloody Marys with it. It's starting to be our most popular use of the sauce. It's just the tomato juice with our sauce, but our sauce has enough seasoning and flavor in it that it's like a Bloody Mary mix.
What's next? We're going to do a giant one, but each individual one is going to look identical to the giant one. So if the giant one has olives on skewers, the smaller ones will each have a pea on a toothpick. We're just nuts, and food people. That's pretty much it.
Thanks for answering our questions. A strong contender in the Bloody Mary garnish wars.
Have you cooked up something over-the-top that you want to share with MUNCHIES? Send your photos, with subject line "TASTE THIS," to firstname.lastname@example.org. No n00dz, please.