Monday, January 04, 2010

Miscellany on a cold evening

TCU is playing Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix tonight, and I actually have it on the TV, though I don't know enough about football to follow it except when they flash the score and quarter along the bottom. Jean tells me it's a good game, so I'll believe her. I share the antipathy of many humanities scholars toward athletics--they get all the money and we get our programs cut. But I realize this triumphant football season has brought much national attention to TCU and, as our mayor says, to Fort Worth. So today I wore a lilac sweater--closest I could come to purple. And of course I really really want them to win. But every time some loyal football supporter raves about how much money we make from a bowl game, I want to ask about the trickle-down effect to academics. Really, why do we send kids to college: to cheer for a football team or to learn?  I do keep watching the crowd shots to see if I recognize anyone, but so far none.
It's a cold night in North Texas, and I am happy to be inside. Windy and cold even in mid-day today and predicted to get colder as the week goes on. Jordan was right. There is a difference between everyday cold and vacation cold--in Colorado, vacation cold is drier and doesn't seem to bite your bones like this does.
One of my dilemmas is that I have too much good food in my fridge. Tonight my dinner choice was between hoppin' John, which was so good as a leftover last night, and a tuna cake. I chose the tuna cake because it won't keep as long as the ham/pea dish. When I was a child my mom made salmon croquettes, and I adore them to this day. She used ground up saltines to thicken them--never the mashed potatoes recommended by some. All you do is put the canned fish, egg (1 for a 7 oz. can, 2 for a 14 oz. can)  in a bowl; season with salt, pepper, dry mustard, onion, and Worcestershire. Add enough ground crackers to give it substance, shape into patties and saute. Now I do it with that expensive and good tuna I ordered from a small fishery--I think I mentioned it before, but it's a family operation and the dolphins swim alongside their boats, are never caught in their nets. They pack the tuna and it is only cooked once when it goes through the canning process (most tuna is cooked, canned, and cooked again). Pisces tuna (that's the brand) is albacore in water, though the small mom-and-pop operation also offers salmon and other goodies. Tonight I accompanied my tuna cake, liberally doused with lemon, with a huge batch of stir-fried asparagus, mushrooms, and sugar snap peas. Of course then I broke down and ate two chocolate chip squares left in the freezer--I will soon have them finished and out of the way! Though I'm constantly watching my diet, it will be easier with those chocolate bars gone!

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