October 2, 2011
Oh. You didn’t know I was gone? Well, I was gone. I had a weekend jaunt to Dallas where some 40,000 of my closest friends and I screamed ourselves hoarse as the Arkansas Razorbacks made a most improbable comeback to welcome the Texas A&M Aggies to the Southeastern Conference.
(Aside: I am batshit crazy over college sports. I am also in the peculiarly schizophrenic position of being both a Tennessee Volunteers and Arkansas Razorbacks fan, which is troublesome in the moderately infrequent occasions they happen to play each other. If the stars ever align and they’re up against each other in the SEC championship, my head will likely explode.)
(I face no such divided loyalties in basketball. I am a Memphis State alum and a Tiger fan through-and-through when it comes to the hardwood. As Memphis State has not won a football game in recorded history, and is tagged by no less noteworthy an authority than the Wall Street Journal as possibly being the worst football team in the U.S., it is not a factor until December.)
April 10, 2010
I love horses. I love horse racing. I’d forgotten, it having been some 30 years since I’d been to the track, how much I loved horse racing until I moved over here, where several of the past few years’ triple crown contenders including Kentucky Derby winners Curlin and Smarty Jones have raced.
So needless to say, I was thrilled beyond belief at getting to watch one of the legends of racing, Zenyatta, win her 16th graded race and tie Citation and Cigar for the title of winningest horse ever.
She raced against four other horses, ran dead last until she got into the final turn, and hit the overdrive gear she has. And 45,000 people went nuts.
If you want to see one of the most unbelievable feats of horse racing ever, watch this video: http://www.drf.com/replays/RachelZenyattareplays.jsp?RACE=0, and keep your eye on the 4 horse.
Today it was a long shot, Line of David, breaking out of the box first and leading box to wire to take the Arkansas Derby, one of the prestigious preps for the Kentucky Derby. Look for him on May 1. Today’s race was televised live, I don’t recall what network, but you ought to be able to find it on the website of whichever one it was.
This after a morning drive up Hickory Nut Mountain, to one of the most gorgeous views in Arkansas. And that after breakfast at the Pancake Shop.
God, I love Hot Springs.
September 6, 2009
Why do I do it? Why do I eat way too damn much, even when I know that what I have on my plate is never going to fit in my stomach?
Well, I got close. I had a couple of bites of burger, and a little potato salad left. I polished off the rest of the burger (sans bun), a couple of ribs, a slice of brisket, and an ear of corn roasted on the grill. I am replete. And I haven’t gotten to dessert yet.
April 3, 2009
The other post from today was too long already to add something else of some length to. Thus you get a two-fer tonight.
I am happy to report my string of Friday successes remains intact. A few things want a little tweaking, but on the whole, I got no complaints.
Diced leftover pork chops, originally cooked with mole’ sauce, simmered in a guava glaze. Polenta with goat cheese and a little manchego thrown in for good measure. A salad with fresh corn, Campari tomatos, chayote, and hearts of palm. A bottle of that Alamos Malbec. And the Braves’ season opener on TV and they’re up on DEE-troit, 5-1(can’t get used to interleague season openers; that’s just strange). Life is GOOD, that’s all.
OK. Polenta. This was my night to lose my polenta virginity. I figured, how hard can it be? And what have I lost if it sucks? Answers: It isn’t, and it didn’t. It’s a good, simple starch for a side dish, and I will make it again. I used chicken broth and regular Martha White yellow cornmeal, because some cookbook somewhere said I could; stirred in some goat cheese and a little grated Manchego at the end. Tasted just fine to me. It took a little more water after I stirred the cornmeal in, but that didn’t seem to hurt matters any. No complaints.
Guava glaze. This is Bobby Flay’s recipe, and it calls for guava jelly, dijon mustard, orange juice and salt and pepper. Which is what I used, except the mustard was spicy brown, rather than Dijon, and the orange juice wasn’t fresh squeezed. Good glaze. I could see it being good over a steamed fish. Or chicken. Or any number of other things. It IS sweet; whatever you’re putting it over should have some hot to cut it. The leftover pork chops worked just fine.
The salad. Now, this one has real possibilities. I quartered and steamed two chayotes, cut the kernels off four ears of yellow corn and just brought them to a boil for about a minute before taking them off the heat and draining them. I quartered 6 or 8 small Camparis (would have been better had I dunked ‘em in boiling water so I could’ve slipped the skins off) and seeded them. I diced two avocados. I sliced up three hearts of palm left over from a can I’d opened for something last weekend. The dressing was a quarter-cup of olive oil, the juice of two limes and the zest of one of them, 1/2 tsp of paprika and about 1 tsp of sugar. Tossed it all and refrigerated it. Not bad; wants some salt, which I will add tomorrow to what’s left, and maybe some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Could’ve used more chayote. Could’ve used more tomatos. In the alternative, could’ve used a little less corn, just to be a little more proportional. Very nice springy-summery salad, though; I’ll make it again when I’m grilling.
And oh, my, the Malbec. I ran by the liquor store today while I was out and picked up two bottles of it, because I had two holes left in the red wine section of my wine rack. Now I’ve opened one of them.
Good Lord. I just about had a conniption just now. Didn’t realize the Braves’ game was over, and heard the “clink” of an aluminum bat. I was convinced MLB had adoped the aluminum bat, which would have meant the end of civilization as we know it (a slide which began with the adoption of the designated hitter by the AL, which is the reason I despise the AL). Thankfully, CSS had segued over to the Miami-Florida State game. So I have segued over to the MLB Channel, which is offering the Yanks and the Cubbies. I have not yet seen a score.
Anyway, I’m going to watch baseball and goof off and drink some more of this excellent wine. No blogging until Sunday evening, as I’m hitting the road tomorrow, but I’ll report in detail on the stepmother’s Sunday dinner then.
Meanwhile, y’all have a good evening, and tell y’mama ‘n ‘em I said Hey.
March 31, 2009
Went to a business thing (commercial real estate, yawn) after work. Reasonably decent wine. Food was, well, OK. Some kind of jerk chicken skewered thing. Mushrooms, marinated, pretty good. Really good marinated and barely-steamed asparagus. Cheese. Smoked salmon. Some kind of pink spread on crackers that looked like it ought to be sweet, but was savory. Not bad. Not thrilling. Enough to stave off starvation and keep me from cooking when I got home at 9 p.m., as I have to leave at oh-early-thirty tomorrow to BACK to freakin’ Little Rock to deal with the Ledge and other assorted stuff.
Oddity: The only “sweet” on the table was fruit. Which struck me as strange for a 5:30-7 p.m. reception.
Had to go by and swap out a new bathing suit I bought Sunday. I don’t try on bathing suits in the store. (I don’t like to try on much of anything in the store; it’s way more trouble than it’s worth.) If I’d'a thought about it, I would have known to buy this swimsuit a size larger than my regular size, as it was a Nike, and Nike stuff always runs small, for some reason. So the red-and-black swimsuit has become a blue-and-brown swimsuit, as they had that one in my size. So I am now ready to Go To The Beach in late April. Can’t wait!
News of note in Memphis today: Memphis State (I won’t call them U of M, it’s too freakin’ pretentious) basketball coach John Calipari is going to Kentucky for a reported $35-mill, 8-year contract. He may not be loyal to a fault. Nobody said he was stupid.
Question: How many kids in Kentucky graduate from high school and have to take remedial work in order to succeed in college? How much would 35 million do toward upgrading the academic performance level in public schools? Now, granted, the vast majority of that 35 mill is in private donor dollars. Does this tell you anything about the priorities of people with lots of money?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m as passionate about college sports, particularly college basketball, as any other fan. But there is something inherently wrong when coaches get paid that kind of money while universities are raising tuition and laying off staff, and public schools are trimming budgets. Pretty short-sighted, you ask me. And you didn’t, but I told you anyway.
End of rant. I’m going to bed so I can get up at oh-early-thirty-minus-thirty, the extra thirty being what it’ll take me to get ready. Thank God for short hair.
See y’all tomorrow evening. We’ll cook some more this weekend. Tell y’mama ‘n ‘em I said hey.
March 21, 2009
Little cooking going on today (minor munchies for ballgame-watching). Lasagna tomorrow.
Tigers whupped ass on Maryland today. Take that, ACC! I missed one of the second-round games today — had Texas picked to upset Duke, and they damn near did it. I had Wake, BC, FSU and W VA picked to win tomorrow, and they’re already out. (Midwest regional whipped MY ass!) Other’n that, I should be pretty solid. Tomorrow I’ve got Louisville over Siena, Missou over Marquette, Pitt over Oklahoma (that ought to be a GOOD game) and Syracuse over Arizona. So I could be 11-5 in the second round. I’ll miss at least two Sweet 16 games — BC and Texas are out, and I had them both winning — but my Final Four is intact.
Will report in on lasagna. Right now, I’m beat. Tell y’mama ‘n ‘em I said g’night.
That’s me, right now. A great big massive “Ahhhhhhhhhh….,” because I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee, listening to NPR, after sleeping until almost 8, and I don’t have to do a damn thing today except go to the liquor store, write a grant application, send half-a-dozen emails and watch basketball, and I can do every one of them except for the liquor store sitting right here on the chaise lounge in my PJs.
Basketball. I am COOKING, folks. After the opening night of the NCAA, my bracket stands at a proud 14-2. LSU squeaked by Butler, and UCLA held off VCU. I did pick the W. Ky. over Illinois upset (hey, those kids beat freakin’ Louisville, and Big 10 basketball is so horribly overrated anyway…)
Of course, I remember last year when I was 29-3 after the opening round, and promptly turned around and went 7-9 in the second one. We shall see where I am Sunday night. I have, for the record, Memphis, Louisville, NC and Pitt in the final four, with L’ville and NC in the final, and NC winning it all. Much as it hurt me to put down L’ville beating Memphis.
Liquor store. I deeply respect my good friend John’s opinions, so I reckon I may have to try Chopin vodka. I’m getting something of a wild hair, though for Absolut Peppar. May have to get a little bottle of that, too. And I need to pick up Scotch, as I am nearly out. Wish I liked cheap whiskey.
And I still have to get egg roll wrappers and Italian sausage. Haven’t made fried rice yet; that may be tonight, or lasagna may be tonight. GC is waffling on tonight…he may have to help ex-girlfriend move her stuff out of new boyfriend’s house. You don’t even want to know the back story behind that one. I’m thinking a good dinner at home and basketball is much preferable to waiting for a call as to whether we’re going out or not. I don’t do this beck-and-call thing particularly well.
The more I think about it, the lasagna is sounding good. Must go get Italian sausage. Got a good Malbec over in the wine rack that the wine kid at Buster’s recommended. (Also have a bottle of that Windmill red zin.) Got leaf lettuce, can pick up some cherry tomatos and a radish or three. Got some good boule. Yeah, I think that hits the spot.
Will check back in with y’all. Have a good Friday.