So, I’ve never seen a fast food restaurant closed during eating hours. Since a seriously bad guilty pleasure of mine is McDonalds, I’m thankful that the 24-hour drive thru is available to quell my cravings. I’m not incredibly versed on the exact hours of many fast food restaurants (and actually thankful for that), but I do know that Arby’s was closed yesterday evening. Anyone craving a famous a famous Beef ‘N’ Cheddar or those crunchy curly fries dipped in a vanilla shake (I promise, it’s awesome), would just have to wait. For what, you might ask? Well, for Oregon to win, or lose, the BCS National Championship.
I’m constantly leaving new things about this emerald state, and the latest tidbit is that the area almost literally shuts down for an epic football game. I mean, the Beavers and Ducks do football just about as well as Texas!
Last night was the big game between Oregon and Auburn, and I must admit, it was an exciting game to watch. It was the first time that Oregon has made it to the National Championship, and our town was in full support and shouting its enthusiasm. Even my first graders, all decked out in green and gold, were asking me if I was excited about watching the game (if only I could get them that excited about math!).
I went to the gym after work, and noticed the eerie solitude of my repetitive thump-thump-thump on the treadmill. The only other person there was an old man, relieving a flashback to the 70s with his high socks and sweat band. I’ve never been a fan of working out with a ton of people around, especially at a coed gym. But being one of the only people there made me wonder how many people ruined their ever-motivated I’m-going-to-work-out-every-day New Years Resolution, just to watch “the” game.
However, the highlight of my night was coming home to a green and gold laden husband wearing the biggest, goofiest smile, and literally jumping up from the couch to tell me the game was about to start.
Game? What game? Who’s playing?
But seeing the expression on his face quickly turn to concern, Rob voiced his worry for Oregon’s chances of winning because of the – believe it or not – the cheerleaders. The theory: the more scantily the cheerleading uniforms, the worse the team will do. And while Oregon has always had quite tastefully dressed dancing supporters, the attire last night was, well, delicately covering. Patting the big green “O” on his chest, I reassured him that they would probably be OK.
We cheered, we yelled, we cuddled on the couch, we ate, and it felt like a stay-at-home date. However, the theory proved true, as Oregon lost last night, to the sadness of many. I felt especially bad for those poor saps who got the double whammy of Oregon losing AND not getting their Arby’s fix.
But at least our food was good. I had promised Rob I would make his favorite football food – pigs in a blanket – but had to throw in a lovely winter salad. After all, we have to keep our resolutions of eating healthy. The salad was chocked full of lovely greens (arugula and baby lettuces), red bell pepper, sliced apples, and hearty chunks of parmesan. With a tangy, citrus dressing, it was the perfect compliment to the buttery crust delicately encasing the small mixed-meat product (dipped in mustard, of course). I had a glass of lovely ’05 KJ Reserve cabernet, and Rob enjoyed a beer (made in Oregon), both also seeming to adequately fit the mood and the food.
Though the excitement of the day was tackled by a last-minute field goal by Auburn, I was thankful for the night. It was the perfect relaxing, entertaining way to start off the week (and learn more about Oregon’s, and Rob’s, love of the game).
Apple and Bell Pepper Salad with Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette
- A few handfuls of baby lettuces and arugula, rinsed and dried.
- 1 apple (I love the Honey Crisp variety this time of year), cored and thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/4 c parmesan regiano, chunked off the brick using the tip of the a pairing knife.
Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette
- 1 garlic clove
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- juice and zest of 1/2 mandarin orange
- 1/8 tsp hot paprika (make it heaping if you like the spice)
- 1/2 tsp agave
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Take the garlic clove and rub it on the inside of the serving bowl. In the bottom of the bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the extra virgin olive oil. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients while pouring in the extra virgin olive oil, emulsifying the dressing. Taste for seasoning.
Put the salad ingredients in the bowl, and toss. Taste for seasoning, and serve.