Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Breath of Fresh Air

Ahh... fall is in the air. And the Autumnal Equinox is just days away.
For the record, Fall is my absolute favorite season. It has most of my favorite holidays in it, has the cleanest, purest, best smelling air, and the most glorious weather. AND, college football.

For those of you wondering (because I know you are!), my favorite holiday of all is Thanksgiving. It's the one holiday that truly has retained it's meaning, I think... it's a gathering of loved ones (however you define "family"), good company, good food, and all the things that in my opinion, make a house a "home", and what give meaning to life. It hasn't been over-marketed, lost in commercialism, or involve a whole bunch of people in rented suits attempting to extort money. It doesn't involve giving more gifts than you can afford, and it's really about the greatest gift you can give another human being... your time, company, and caring.
I always make a fuss over Thanksgiving. We traditionally have my brother-in-law, but since he couldn't even be tempted by a free plane ticket to brave Alaska's cold version of autumn, I will be desperately missing his company this year. (If you are reading, I hope that makes you feel guilty! Just kidding, because I know it won't...)
Not to worry, though... I will still cook as if I am feeding the entire clan.
And, we also seem to have "adopted" the stragglers over the years... all the people we know who don't have local family to hang with, all the single guys at the fire station who live too far away or can't take leave to go home, the occasional stray hippy... they all have a place at our table for Thanksgiving.
I never ask for help with the meal (in fact, I am offended by it!). I love cooking, I love all my recipes, and I love fattening up my family and friends. If you MUST contribute, you can bring drinks, or maybe an appetizer, or another pie. You can never have too much pie at Thanksgiving. But if you get invited, we really do want you to just be our guest.

Where to start today?
Well, let's start with how refreshing it was to talk to my very best friend in the whole world today. That WAS a breath of fresh air. And since she was stuck in traffic, I was able to finally hold her captive for a lengthy conversation (no small feat, since she has three of her own children who are normally running around driving her crazy!). With all three rug rats buckled into their seats, we actually got to have a conversation that wasn't, "Hey! Can I call you back? Beans is flushing heirlooms down the toilet." Or, "Sure, call me back, because my own children are currently playing with matches."
It's so nice when we get to talk about grown up things, which is, um, mostly our kids. LOL

That was a wonderful start to my day and had me ready to go get things accomplished.
And on my list of things to accomplish:
-Make my infamous Buffalo Wing Dip for College Football Day
-Consider sharing some dip with J and the guys at the fire station
-Go to grocery to insure enough supplies to feed all those people and still make sure there is enough dip left to satisfy my own craving
-Watch college football. Especially the Auburn/LSU game.
-Oh, maybe actually take a shower today.

Yep.. there is ONE thing that I definitely miss from the South, and that's Auburn Football. For starters, I happen to think that Coach Tuberville is attractive, for an old dude. I have been known to occasionally scream, "I love you Tommy!" at Auburn Football games.
Oh, I miss that stadium. And the student section (even though we had to sneak alcoholic drinks in under our shirts). And the band. And "Aubie", the team mascot. And screaming "War Eagle!" until my throat hurts.
Sure would like to be in the stands today, watching the Tigers Vs Tigers rivalry.

Before y'all think I've flipped my lid, any decent southerner will tell you that College Football (especially the SEC) is a religion in the south. In fact, it could probably be said that more people attend the Saturday "services" than they do the Sunday ones in the south. Game Day is nothing to be reckoned with. I know people who have quit jobs because their boss wouldn't give them the day off during a particular game. And, um, I even might know a paramedic or two that drove REALLY slow to a 911 call, just to hear the last couple minutes of a really close quarter. (Oh gosh, I hope none of my former patients are reading this blog now...)
SEC rivalries have broken up friendships, marriages and partnerships. You think I'm kidding? I once had another paramedic refuse to work with me on the day Auburn played Alabama. Fine with me, I didn't want to work with a 'Bama fan anyway.
I have known doctors to have a TV rigged in the ER, and even knew one such doctor who refused to speak to me the rest of the day when my Tigers (Auburn) beat his Tigers (LSU, boo boo boo!) a couple years back. That DID pose difficulty when transferring patients. And we did eventually have to get over it. Of course, that didn't stop me from taking cheap shots about his team for the rest of the year.

In all fun, I really miss the constant fan rivalry that presents itself over college ball. In Alabama (and much of the south), we take college ball almost as seriously as Texas takes high school football. I really do miss waking my former coworkers with the Auburn Fight Song ring tone I had on my phone, or being tormented by their own rings to various other teams.

I recently discovered that I could get the Auburn games on ESPN. I was thrilled. I mean, well.... PAC 10 teams just don't have the same allure as SEC football. Sure, there are some good teams. But have you seen those home-grown southern boys? Like we used to say, "Them cornbread-fed boys ain't playin' around, buddy." They are BIG, BURLY, TOUGH, guys who really know how to play some ball. SEC is serious football, buddy.

One of our old traditions on Game Day was to pack the house full of as many people as we could, make lots of horrible-for-you-but-really-yummy treats, fire up the grill, and get ready for some football.
My Buffalo Wing Dip was a tradition in it's own right, and had folks hoping for an invite or at least asking me to bring it to their parties.
Before I get in TOO much trouble with some of my old pals, I should add a disclaimer.
I stole the recipe.
From another friend.
OK, OK, she gave it to me. But now, it's MINE. heh, heh, heh.

I don't usually share my recipes, but since it's stolen, AND really yummy, I'll post it, in case you have a Game Day of your own:

8 oz cream cheese
2 cans of chicken, drained
1/2 bottle ranch dressing
1/2 bottle Frank's Hot Sauce

Put it in the crock pot until everything is melted and simmered for a while. Serve with tortilla chips. Or eat it with a spoon, like my husband has been known to do.
If you are an LSU or Alabama fan, you should also add a cup or two of Ex-Lax to your dip and not share it with any of your Auburn friends.


Anyway... that's MY plan for the day. I've finished just about everything on my to-do list except for taking a shower and watching the game, which comes on in a couple more hours.
Hopefully I return with victorious news. Mostly because otherwise I will be moping all day. And suffering the usual post-game day gas and bloating.

Until I return from my football induced coma...

Happy Moose Trails!

1 comment:

ixoyetattoo said...

Can't wait to make "your" dip! Sounds so yummy. It was the best to talk to you too. I miss ya and the family. Bring on Fall and Football! yahooo!!!