Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
This week, we asked you to booze up your end-of-summer fruit.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Delieite de Dora (the Explorer) -- the new mother's little helper by Mallory S. Langston: What do you do when your adult life has been entirely taken over by your child's? You open up the fridge, find all the juices and fruit snacks you bought for him, stick it in your coffee press, and add some rum! Even if you don't try this delight for yourself, reading Mallory's story is a vicarious thrill on its own.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY WINNERS:
Green Sangria by Linda Shiue: In a lovely tribute to a friend who showed her the traditions and quirks of her Portuguese family, Linda plies us this week with a light sangria, lively with citrus and ginger, made with vinho verde, an irrepressibly refreshing (and unbelievably inexpensive) Portuguese wine.
Beautiful Red Bell (Pepper and Gin) by Gavin Fritton: After an evening, an entire day, a whole summer of blasted heat, make yourself an unusual and unusually refreshing cocktail featuring the clean, sweet flavor of red bell pepper. (And peppers are, of course, technically fruits!)
Peach Old-Fashioned, true Southern succor by Lucy Mercer: When you steep fresh peaches in bourbon, something magical happens, like summer and winter coming together. And when you make Old-Fashioneds out of that peachy bourbon, well, look out.
Black and Blue Scotch Berries by Dollop of Cream: More on the "fruit" side of the cocktail, Dollop says hello this week with a stunning salad of berries dressed with whiskey-infused honey. Why drink when you can eat?
Heirloom Tomato Bloody Marys by Katrocada: Katrocada once spent the summer reveling in her youth, drinking too many fruit cocktails and making one awful mistake. But now, years later, she enjoys more libations more quietly (though one can hardly call this flavor-packed recipe "quiet"), reveling in her appreciation of life.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS
Surly-style Sangria by I Am Surly: A can of fruit cocktail, a bottle of cheap wine, and an airplane-size bottle of brandy (I suppose that means the size they serve you on flights, but when Surly's on the go, she may well mean a bottle as big as a plane) will get you the least uppity sangria imaginable. Throw a party with this stuff, and we'll bring the maraschino cherries.
The Most Serious Bloody Mary Ever by Theresa Rice: You may have made bloody marys before, but we're willing to wager that you've never made them like this: cooking down fresh tomatoes with a rack of spices, vegetables, beef broth, jalapeños and cilantro. To those who take their drinking with the utmost seriousness, we salute you!
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
Next weekend, we will celebrate the most socialist of all American holidays -- Labor Day, a day to honor the American worker. (I suppose a number of honorable, Real Americans will intentionally go to work that day.)
And in the spirit of organized labor, there are those dishes that are really best made with a team to help out -- a passel of ravioli or dumplings to fill; a big stew where everyone pitches in to chop; cakes where some bake, some fill, and the one with the steadiest hand frosts. So this week, comrades, share with us your best team-sport recipes. (And dare we hope for an assembly line of fried pies?)
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC Labor Day (Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you'd like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and the sweat of the working (wo)man.