Cowboys 3 Vikings 34 – Not a Total Loss
You don’t have to like the Cowboys or even the NFL to take advantage of opportunities to feast with friends during the playoffs. All the smart kids do it, especially on a perfect day in January when the sun is in full bloom and the wind is brisk and cool.
In our case the Cowboys – Vikings game was just the excuse we needed to spend some time with friends we hadn’t seen in what seemed to be ages. While the 34 to 3 stomping was clearly a grim experience for the Cowboys and their fans, we somehow manged to have a great time in spite of the smack down.
We brought two racks of smoked pork ribs from Hirsch’s Specialty Meats in Plano. Mindy made her sweet potato bake and a pound cake with fresh strawberries. The latter is from a recipe she found on the Pioneer Woman’s site. Mindy’s been on a cooking tear for a year or so now. Maybe longer.
Margie’s serving counter was filled with all sorts of ingredients for salad making like mozzarella cheese balls in olive oil, dried cranberries, fresh vegetables, greens, and olives. I love olives. She also made a shrimp cocktail with generous portions of ripe avocado. Hubbard offered up a very crisp and slightly sweet (in a pleasing way) Apricot Ale from Pyramid Brewery in Seattle. Pyramid is located a few blocks from where I used to work and I’d eat lunch and dinner there often. We called it the “5th conference room” or something close to that. Their Audacious Apricot Ale is a great, flavorful spring or summer beer.
The ribs had been smoldering at our place for 3 hours or so at 200 degrees before we arrived. When we got there we put them back in the oven for another hour; ribs can never be too tender. While we waited on the main course we dove into the array of hors d’oeuvres that Margie had prepared. We had to pace ourselves to avoid filling up before the meal. Seriously.
While we anxiously waited for the pork ribs to finish cooking we watched the Dallas Cowboys fall flat on their faces in front of the entire football watching world. Ouch. As depressing as that should have been we were too busy enjoying the meal and conversation to get too worked up over their debacle. There’s always next year, right?
Half-time gave us a good opportunity to look at the 1991 Bianchi Sika mountain bike that Hubbard just picked up. He’ll be writing about it later but here’s the spoiler – it’s awesome. That’s all you’ll get from me for now. A gorgeous commuter. So we took to the road for a short while and went by the neighborhood light power station to look at the parakeets that live there. Weird that parakeets seem to like living in such a dangerous environment. One wrong move and they get zapped with about 50,000 volts. Reminds me of the Cowboy – Vikings game. Ouch.
So after the ladies told us “10 more minutes” for at least a half a dozen times it was finally time to take out the ribs and eat. By then the Cowboys were destined to lose but the food took the edge off. I won’t say we didn’t notice the loss, we did, but we were having such a good time we hardly shed a tear. Well not many tears. Maybe a few tears, but they were manly tears.
After the meal we relaxed over coffee (Cafe Verona, a full body blend) in the back yard. Hubbard’s yard is a certified Texas Wildscape Backyard Wildlife Habitat, which is a fancy way of saying most everything he grows is native to Texas and also very friendly to wild life. His yard was the original inspiration for me to take up gardening. Seriously. I’ve included a few candid shots but one of these days I’m going to spend an afternoon and take pictures of everything he’s got going on in his yard. It’s amazing.
So getting back to and finishing the story…Whether you like football or not, the play-offs offer an exceptional opportunity to get together with friends over a feast and then enjoy a leisurely bicycle ride through the neighborhood. And watch football of course.
Finally, some of you may not know that Margie is a well known food writer and has a website called, Eating In Dallas. She’s been written about in the Dallas Observer and is well known amongst the better eating community in Dallas. She reviews various eating and drinking establishments and also talks about her own cooking. She’s a pro! Mindy’s new baking site is called Baking in Dallas. Her focus is healthy meals for children, vegetable dishes and creative pastry/desserts. Her birthday cakes are legendary. Seriously.