Welcome to the first Virtual Tailgate of the 2014 football season. Appropriately enough, it comes well before the actual season and celebrates what is fast becoming a new tradition for the Big Blue Nation — college football. Of course, it's not really new, its just that we've had so little to cheer in recent seasons that some of us have largely forgotten about it until the advent of Mark Stoops & Co.
So to get us started off right, let's get right into the pre-game drink. As the Kentucky Derby is only one week away, it seems to me that the only appropriate drink for this afternoon would be the Green Classic from Kentucky, the mint julep:
A proper mint julep should be served as you see here, in a silver glass with a lot of cracked ice. I don't drink mine this way, because I really prefer to drink mine out of glass, but technically, this is the "correct" way.
Juleps are a simple concoction:
- Simple syrup (just sugar dissolved in hot water and cooled),
- Mint "extract," which can be created by soaking some mint in water for 15 or 20 minutes. Myself, I like to muddle the mint, then remove the large pieces while letting the tiny ones remain.
- Bourbon. I prefer not to use Four Roses Single Barrel for this. Rather, I like Maker's Mark or, if I'm fancy, Elijah Craig or Woodford reserve.
- Crushed ice. Must. Be. Crushed.
Fill the glass with ice until it's just overfull like a snow cone. Add a bunch of bourbon, I usually like 2.5-3 oz or even more, depending on the glass size and how strong you like your drink. Add some simple syrup to taste. Usually about half an ounce or less is enough for me. Fill the remaining area (maybe one ounce or so) with muddled mint extract, and garnish with fresh mint sprig (don't skip this step). Done. Delicious.
Moving on to our appetizer. Deep fried pickles are always wonderful:
Now, for our main course, which today will be:
If you've never had these, you are missing out. They are absolutely one of the best things ever.
Our beer for today will be:
Leinenkugel's Summer Wheat
I love this stuff for a warm day. Nothing better.
Finally, dessert will be served, and for today it's:
Of course, this isn't the official Derby Pie™ from Kerns kitchen, but rather a home made version.
Okay, now that we're fed, let's get on to the spring game. It should be fun. Here's what I'm looking for:
- How the quarterbacks play
- The defensive secondary
- Running backs, especially Braylon Heard
- The linebacking corps
- The offensive line
There are lots of things to wonder about, but some of our best wide receivers are going to be out for this game due to injury. Ryan Timmons will be back, as will Thadeus Snodgrass. Hopefully, there will be enough guys for the Wildcats to throw to.
Honestly, this is just for fun, and I hope you all enjoy. This will serve as both the tailgate and the open game thread. Sorry it is up so late, but I am always really lazy on Saturdays, it's kind of my respite day from both working and blogging as much as can be.