I was making things hard on myself. I was trying to do a big code block on this blog in Markdown with backticks all over the place.
But the way it works in Markdown, you just tab or indent four spaces, and it's all wrapped in
<code> with all the tags rewritten so they'll show up the right way on your live site.
Backticks like `this` (which renders like
this on this site) are still good for shorter code blocks on a single line.
But for longer code blocks, it's better to tab 'em.