I just spent the entire weekend watching hockey.
Sitting on the edge of my seat, enthusiastically cheering through out the last game of my cousin's high school hockey career, my voice raspy from hollering and my fingers raw and red from shaking my cow bell, I had an epiphany.
Honestly I had a few. Nothing new. Bright shiny objects... flashing lights....
This little ankle biter who I babysat through the better part of my teenage run is now going to college. He used to be half as tall as me and ask me if I would marry him. Seriously. Now he hovers above me, is the captain of his hockey team and is going off to play hockey on the other side of the country with girls lining up at his door. They will be lining up at his room if he doesn't have his hockey gear in there.
Words of advice from a lady to all hockey players:
Hockey has a funny smell.
Chicks will not dig it.
Get what I am wafting at you? You will have game on the ice but that is it. Don't store your gear in your dorm room. Enough said.
The other little *ahh haaaa* moment that I had was rather mind blowing, I love sports. I love the commitment, determination and passion that athletes of any age and ability posses. I am fascinated by people with natural finesse and grace, these gifted individuals make me want to work harder and challenge myself to become a better athlete.
The kiddo, my cousin, who was grown up into a fine young man, has been playing hockey since he started walking, or so it seems. By the end of the game I was ready to go find a pair of skates and take to the ice, the guys made tearing up the ice easy, fast and fun. I resisted the sudden impulse, knowing I would fall on my face and probably induce several unnecessary tears, breaks and most likely concussions.
I need another hobby like a hole in my head.
Instead of lacing up a pair of skates I did the reasonable thing, like eating onion rings and cleaning the grime off the wheels of my road bike, looked into the summer racing schedule and started to dream of being competitive again.
A little fire is lit inside me, the spark of determination ignited all the work I put in over the winter.
There was also a little heat from some Cajun spiced onion rings.
What is any sporting event whether one participates or spectates without some good grub. Sports and healthy appetites go hand in hand. Pub food, the real meal deal, fries, onion rings and burgers are crowd pleasers.
I love onion rings. The unique and distinct O shape, the crunch on the outside, tender sweet ribbons of onion perfectly cooked within a crusty shell has me hoarding piles of fried food. Don't touch the rings. Sometimes sharing doesn't really work for me.
With the hopes of successfully racing my bike this summer, my onion ring fetish has taken to the oven rather than the hot oil. It works. I am not saying good bye to french fries and battered onion rings, they are going to taper a bit and enjoyed with a juicy burger after a long ride and not on daily basis.
I cannot resist temptation at times. When a girl wants onion rings, she wants onion rings. Period. I baked them and I loved them. I got my cake and ate it too. Laugh.
Zesty Baked Onion Rings
Serves 2 hungry bike riders or hockey players*
*I am sure about the bike riders but not high school hockey players....
I used pre-seasoned bread crumbs from one of my favorite restaurant, The Rhododendron Cafe. The Cajun seasoning was perfect and made the onion rings a snap to whip together. You could season your own plain home made bread crumbs for extra credit with 2 teaspoons of your favorite Cajun seasoning or grab a can of seasoned bread crumbs at the grocer.
1 large sweet onion
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or use a silpat mat.
Slice the onions into rings as large as you desire, then break them apart into rings.
Put the flour in a bowl, the egg into a second, and the third is for the bread crumbs.
Dip each onion ring into the flour, then egg and finally bread crumbs.
Place them on the baking sheet and then repeat with the next ring. Ring after ring. You will work up an appetite.
Bake them all for about 20 minutes or until crispy.
J's Dipping Sauce
This man of mine often surprises me with sage advice. This dip is a game changer. I don't really get that tickled for mayo until J throws a curve ball like this dipping sauce.
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbs Dijon mustard
Mix. Dip ring or fry. Chow. Repeat.
Tastes even better washed down with beer.