Friday, March 21, 2008

Moonlight March Madness

A beautiful moonlit night -- but inside the house it's Carolina Basketball at 7. March Madness. . . The Big Dance. . . and Carolina is top seed. My younger son's a Chapel Hill graduate, as are many of his friends who are here for the weekend; my husband's a long time fan; and this gathering is an inevitability.

The sofas get rearranged for easier viewing; the cedar chest/coffee table gets put to use as additional seating; and I make a vat of Picadillo to feed ten. My younger son and his girlfriend bring wine and ciabatta and make a salad; I cook rice and we're ready to eat while the Tar Heels trounce the opposing team.


A Cuban favorite that freezes well (and I quadrupled this recipe so we'd be sure to have some to freeze)

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork (I use hot pork sausage)
2 large onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil
6 tomatoes, chopped (I use a large can of diced tomatoes)
2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. brown sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. stuffed green olives (add in last 15 minutes)
1 tbs. capers
1/2 c. raisins (optional -- I don't usually add them)
1/2 c. red wine

Sauté onions, peppers and garlic in olive oil. When cooked, remove and saute meat. Drain off excess fat. Return cooked vegetables to pan and add remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat for about an hour. Add hot sauce to taste. Traditionally served over white rice.

I've never been a sports fan -- the nearest I ever came was when my younger son played soccer, I found myself beginning to enjoy the games and my foot twitching as I tried to guide the ball long distance. But for the most part I just enjoy watching the real fans carry on.

This game wasn't even close -- Carolina was a foregone conclusion almost from the beginning -- but there was still a fair amount of shouting. And I expect there'll be more on Sunday when the Heels play again.
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