I've never really believed that adversity brings out the best in one, blitz spirit and all that. Yesterday I changed my mind. There was to be a little party here, and I had set my heart on serving Bloody Marys, even though it was Saturday and for some reason I associate Bloody Marys indelibly with Sunday mornings. By Friday night I had assembled all the fixings, bar one. No tomato juice was to be had, not even for ready money. I had tried two supermarkets and three alimentari, and nobody had tomato juice. Aisles full of passata and other such pomodorous things. But no juice.

I almost gave up. Adversity then brought out the best in me, as I realized that transforming tomato into tomato juice couldn't be that difficult. So I bought a couple of kilos of the biggest, juiciest tomatoes I could find, and spent yesterday morning skinning, liquidizing and forcing them through a sieve. The pure juice was delicious enough, in a fresh and rather bland way. With all the fixings it was really rather good. The Bloody Marys themselves were, though I say so as shouldn't, a minor triumph. I suspect that from now on I shall become a Bloody Mary bore, banging on about how essential it is to use fresh tomato juice, and will always do so myself. Or maybe not.

The Virgin Marys were bloody good again this morning.

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