Summer Eating & The Greatest Spectacle in Racing

Now that Memorial Day has ushered in the unofficial summer season, I’ve added a few summer recipes to the collection. My Minnesota garden contains more rhubarb than I know what to do with, but I love Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and have included my recipe here. Summer also means Egg Salad Sandwiches, which reminded me to write up instructions for how to cook soft- and hard-cooked eggs.

Yesterday was the Indianapolis 500 (aka The Greatest Spectacle in Racing) or “an intimate gathering with half a million of your closest friends” as I like to call it. I miss not being in Indiana during the month of May–practice, time trials, qualifying, race day. This year’s field was filled with too many rookies, newcomers, and idiots, many of whom had difficulty turning corners and entering/exiting pit row. Danica was knocked out by one such knucklehead. Not the most exciting Indy 500 ever raced, but not the most boring either.

My Cubbies are holding on to first place in their division, but just barely. Lou keeps making excuses for Soriano’s miserable outfield performance. Easier to listen to when he is on a hitting streak, but when he’s not it’s more annoying than all the other annoying things Lou says . . .

Oh well, he tried . . .

My boy Matty Murton is back down in the minors. Unfortunately for him, everybody else had really hot bats while he was up, so he didn’t get to play much (8 games, 14 at bats, 2 runs, 3 hits, 4 rbi, .214 AVG, .267 OBP). So Soriano comes back and Matty goes back to Iowa.

The good news is that the Cubbies are still in first place in the division (though just barely in front of the Cardinals).

So, time to get back to the recipes I promised . . .

And by the way “HAPPY MAY DAY!!!”

The Adorable Redhead is Back!

No, not me.

MATT MURTON, my favorite Chicago Cub. Resurrected from the minors due to Soriano’s calf strain/sprain/pull/tear . . . . Matty is only 1 for 8 in two games, but yesterday he had two very “productive outs” producing 2 RBI. I’m sure he’ll do better once/if the Cubs stop playing head games with him. (When Soriano went down, they first brought up Eric Patterson who went 0 for 6 in 3 games—possible publicity stunt so they could play up the Corey/Eric Patterson matchup.) I will resist the urge to rant about how Soriano has been a big waste of money, but you might notice that the Cubs scored 53 runs in the 6 games since he’s been injured compared to 59 runs in the 12 games he played (his average .175) 🙂

BTW—if you didn’t get the “adorable redhead” reference, see
Are You Smarter than A Cubs Fan? #3

In other exciting sports news, Danica Patrick is the first woman to win an Indy Car Race (the Indy Japan 300)! This news brought back memories of cheering for Janet Guthrie in the ’70s and watching Lyn St. James at the Indy 500, especially the one year (I believe it was 1992) it was about 35°F. My parents and I had seats on the backstretch bleachers. Cars were dropping like flies due to cold tires and driver stupidity, so lots of yellow light racing. Eventually mom & dad gave up and went to wait in the car. I stayed to watch Lyn finish 11th (okay, there were only 12 cars that finished, but on a day like that, just staying on the course was a victory!). A long cold day.

Snowy Opening Day

Been away for awhile. Lots to report, but probably won’t try to do it all at once.

This past weekend was a busy one. Nephew Sean was in town on Wheaton Academy’s “Instrumental Tour 2008: Phil. 2:3-4”. Went to hear them play at Bethel University on Friday and at the Salvation Army on Saturday morning. The highlight was the Percussion Ensemble, especially their “Jam” with the clients at the Salvation Army. WOW–very powerful and moving.

On Sunday poet Mary Oliver read at the State Theater. Lovely. And I got to see three of my favorite writers on the same stage (thought not at the same time): Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew had the honor of introducing Mary, and Mary Rose O’Reilley moderated the question and answer period.

To top off the weekend, Monday brought the Home Opener for both the Chicago Cubs and the Minnesota Twins. At 10 am the Cubs held a ceremony to unveil the new statue of Ernie Banks. Even the rain and a cold couldn’t keep Ernie under the weather. Unfortunately, the rain did delay the game by about an hour, but just before 2 pm, Wayne Messmer sang The National Anthem and things got underway. A pitchers’ duel through 8 innings, the game broke open in the ninth with each team scoring three runs. Our new outfielder Hosuke Fukudome was the star of the day. Unfortunately, the Brewer’s came back in the 10th and the game ended with the Cubs losing 4-3. But “it’s a long season and you gotta trust it” as they say in the movies.

Due to a mid-Cubs-game rain delay, there was just enough time to change channels and catch the start of the Twins Home Opener at 6 pm.

Heavy wet snow had been falling all day, so the question of the day was “Can anybody say ‘Retractable Roof’?” If this were 2010, the game would have been scheduled in the new outdoor ballpark (sans roof). The Twins organization, cheapskates that they are, and MLB, get all the revenue from the stadium, but it is being paid for primarily by the taxpayers of Hennepin County. When it was clear that the voters had no interest in paying for a new stadium, the County just decided to go around the law and not put it to a vote. But they knew there would be an absolute revolt if the price included the extra $150 million for a retractable roof, so they went ahead and (stupidly) started building without one. They’ve promised not to come asking for more money for a roof later, but I’m not putting any money on that promise. [Am I bitter? YES!]

Okay, back to the game. Another good start for a new outfielder: Carlos Gomez (who Burt Blyleven renamed Gonzales 🙂
Thanks to him, the Twins won over the Angels 3-2.

Unfortunately, last night’s Twins game was too painful to watch. The Angels won 9-1, hammering Boof Bonser pretty hard.

On the food front, more recipes soon; I was on a rice kick for a while and have several of my favorites to add. Of course, Opening Day is all hot dogs and brats and root/beer.

Enough for now. Enjoy the season.

Diverting Projects

Greetings,

My apologies for the long absence. I was diverted by an excursion into the world of Facebook, cataloging my books on LibraryThing, extremely cold whether, no desire to cook, and depressing news on the baseball front.

I explored Facebook enough to see that it wasn’t really for me. I originally signed up during one of the Presidential Debates so I could see an article about Obama. Played around enough to discover that 90% of my friends are NOT on Facebook, and left it at that. I’ll check back there occasionally, but other projects are more interesting right now . . .

LibraryThing.com is a place to catalog your books and explore other people’s libraries. Right now I’ve only entered about 80 books, so I haven’t made “Lucinda’s Library” public yet. When I do, I’ll post a link to it here.

I’ve also been rereading Jane Austen’s six novels in conjunction with the Masterpiece Classics” versions showing on PBS (Sundays, 8 pm CT here). Mark your calendars for the 5-hour BBC/A&E version of Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle on February 10, 17, & 24 (check your local PBS station for the dates/times in your area). It’s excellent (I liked it so much I bought the DVD 🙂 .  Masterpiece chose to make their own version of Sense & Sensibility (showing March 30 & April 6), though I can’t imagine it will come close to the Emma Thompson version.

On the baseball front–the Twins lost Hunter & Santana, but kept Morneau (boring) and Cuddyer (breath of fresh air). Nothing the Cubs have done in terms of trades is inspiring me. Lou Pinella continues to make statements that reveal how little he cares about either his players or the fans. And my favorite red-head, Matt Murton, continues to get The Snub.

That’s all for now. Stay warm.