Tag Archives: Opening Day

2016 Game 1: Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles – Opening Day Edition

DAY GAME ALERT!

From hell's heart, we stab at winter: Baseball is back! The Twins open the year in Balmore, or at least they'll try to. Rain is threatening throughout the afternoon, so we'll see when/if the game starts. We've been waiting so long though that a little more waiting shouldn't hurt, right? Yeah, me neither...

Here are two teams on the bubble, with both expecting big things this year.  And judging by the poll in today's CoC, everyone is full of optimism!!!!11 Let's start things off on the right foot, eh?  Here's hoping the first the inevitable 162 game win streak is an entertaining one!

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2015 Game 1: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers

I'd love to type something thoughtful and full of optimism here, but I'm short on time and actual belief in that. We'll start the year off for a team that's full of youthful potential, but bogged down with the aged veterans for some reason. But, let's let the 25-man roster speak for itself:
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Opening Day Soup

Opening Day Soup

It's been a rough winter here at Chez Hayes. Mrs. Hayes had another stay in the hospital last week, and another surgery. She's home now, recovering, and hopefully won't have any more follow-up procedures related to this last episode. I love winter (it's my favorite season), but yesterday evening, as I wandered through the grocery store, I knew it was time to move on. It was time for spring flavors, to slowly introduce them to a palate grown fuzzy over the grey months. I instantly thought of leeks, and a light, creamy soup. Here's what you'll need:

6 leeks, halved, thinly chopped, & washed 2 carrots, rondelle'd (cut into 1/4 coins) 6--7 medium, thin-skinned potatoes
1/3 cup white wine 4 cups chicken stock 1 cup water
2 egg yolks 2 cups heavy cream butter, olive oil
bay leaf parsley kosher S&P

Cut your carrots first, setting them aside in a prep bowl. Taking a leek, peel the outside layer from the root, then rinse any sand from the first layer beneath. Lop off the dark green top. Repeat with the remaining leeks. Taking a leek, slice off the bottom, then half the root lengthwise. Chop it thinly, in 1/8" strips, including just the beginning of the light green portion of the root. Collect the strips in a colander. After you've processed the remaining leeks in the same manner, place the colander inside a larger bowl, and fill it with water. Agitate the leek strips in the water, then pull the colander from the water. Dump out the water and repeat, shake the excess water from the leeks in the colander, and you've got clean leeks. Now cut your potatoes with a clean knife on a clean board. No need to peel them - they'll cook up quite nicely. Prep's done!

ODSoup02SBG

In a heavy pot, melt some butter and drizzle in some olive oil. Once it's hot, toss the carrots in. Sprinkle with kosher salt and grind some pepper over them. I like to build my seasoning as I cook, avoiding huge seasoning adjustments at the end. Cook them until they begin to soften, but be careful to not let them caramelize. We're trying to release flavors without making things too heavy on the back end. Now, before you toss in the leeks, add a little more butter and a little more olive oil. I probably used 4 Tbsp of butter, total, but I wasn't really counting. You'll definitely need to add some, though, because you'll want to get a good coating on the leeks. Add the leeks, a good sprinkle of salt, and a few more grinds of pepper. Watch your temperature, though - you want the leeks to turn translucent, but not golden. Done? Deglaze the pan with that white wine, letting it cook off just a bit. Now add the chicken stock, water, bay leaf, and potatoes. A couple more sprinkles of salt and a several healthy grinds of pepper. Cover, and let it cook until the potatoes are soft enough to break against the pot with a wooden spoon. How long? About as long as it takes to drink a leisurely glass of beer. You are drinking a beer, right? Good.

Patience.

Now we're hitting the home stretch. Once the potatoes are soft enough, drop your heat down from a boil, pulling the pot off the burner if it holds heat well. Pull out a few ladlefuls of soup, including a fair amount of potatoes, carrots, and leeks, about a bowl's worth in all. You'll need some broth, too, but make sure you don't get the bay leaf in there. Using an immersion blender (or a bar blender - be careful not to blow the top, scalding yourself and making a mess), thoroughly blend the bowl of soup until it's smooth, then add it back to the pot of soup and stir it in. Separate out your egg yolks and put them in the bowl you used to blend the soup. Whisk the eggs together, then add the heavy cream slowly until thoroughly combined. Season with a few sprinkles of salt and a few grinds of pepper, then add the mixture to the soup, stirring, and let it cook for a few minutes. Grab a tasting spoon, check your seasoning, and admire the nap of the soup on the spoon. If you're satisfied with the seasoning, finely chop a little parsley. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle some parsley on top, and you're set. Open another beer, it's time to eat.

Time to eat.
Time to eat.

You could add some croutons if you like, or some crostini. I just wanted straight spring flavor, so I didn't mess around with those, but maybe I could have used a little crusty bread to clean that bowl when I was done. Your call.

2013 Game 1: Defending AL Champs at Offending AL Basement Dwellers

First Pitch—3:10 p.m. Central
Probable Starters—Justin "Cy" Verlander vs. Vance "Can't Dance" Worley
Probable Outcome—Try not to think about it too much

“Awright, ladies!” Ron Gardenhire bellowed as he stuck his head inside the clubhouse door. “Stick your cups in your pants and hit the field, batting practice starts in five minutes!”

Inside, the entire Twins’ 25-man roster stood in a somber circle at the center of the room. Gardenhire walked over and nudged his way inside the group, only to see a battered old steamer trunk sitting on the floor.

“So it finally got here,” the manager muttered as he rubbed his whiskered chin. “About damn time, too.”

Continue reading 2013 Game 1: Defending AL Champs at Offending AL Basement Dwellers