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More Recipes: The Joy of October; Sangwich Numero Uno; Snack of the Moment; Dear God, What Have I Stumbled Upon?; Remembering Joey

I THANK GOD FOR BASEBALL

by H.D. Manitoba

There's a depression that sets in with me when the final out of the World Series is made (especially this year!). It's a similar feeling to Sunday nights as a child, with the impending doom of goin' back to school waiting for me at the other end of my night's sleep. The same feeling on a larger scale came at the end of my two months off for summer vacation. The weather would get cooler, the days shorter and the fantasy of never goin' back to school would disappear. Going back to school in September was a GIANT STOMACH ACHE, a major sickness of sorts compared to the minor weekly malaise of Sunday nights.

It is this kind of end of the summer sickness that is most closely related to my end of the baseball season depression. It is grand. A season is ending. The warmth of spring and summer and Indian summer is gone. It's getting cold and dark and most depressingly of all, almost six months of no baseball! Baseball is such a vital part of my experience, such an important element of my daily life that when I met my girlfriend of the last two years, Zoe, I exclaimed to her, "The baseball season is six months long ... for that six months, I will be watching a lot of Yankee games, I will be very emotionially involved with this team. It's been like that since early childhood. It will always be like that. I'm in love with the game of baseball. I love my New York Yankees! It is THE GREAT vicarious thrill of my life. I hope you understand!" ... I later added: "I'll make you a deal" (since I kind of sensed her lack of joy toward my earlier proclamations). "Let me be, let me be during the baseball season, let me 'do my thing,' and I promise you I won't be a 'sports boyfriend' the rest of the year. I won't prioritize any other sport." I hate hockey, could give a fuck about basketball, and while I like football, except for a coupla college games, a pro playoff game or two and the Super Bowl, fuck football too! ... It's baseball that I NEED. She understood. Maybe didn't love the concept, but she understood. That's important in relationships.

Now for the good news! It's February. Pitchers and catchers have reported. Six weeks of spring training will follow. Then on April First ... BASEBALL!!! As sure as the days got shorter and colder ... as sure as the trees lost their foliage, as sure as girls started wrapping up for the winter, depriving us men of our much needed visual stimuli, the antidote is waiting around the corner. Warm, long days with trips to the big ball orchard in the South Bronx await (thank you, Art Rust Jr.). Hot dogs tasting better than a steak at the Ritz ( thank you, Humphrey Bogart). Girls shedding layers of clothes just at the same time men are wanting to fuck anything that moves (thank you, Dick Manitoba). Ahh spring! Lovely spring ... the goddamned paycheck for suffering through another cold, boring, nothing-to-do baseball-less winter! ... This, my great Dictator friends and fans, is my love letter to baseball. My announcement that I am about to be reborn. That a missing piece of my soul is about to be reattached. That I will be whole again! HALLELUJAH! ... A man was once asked what he does during the lonely days of winter, when there is no baseball. Said the man: "I sit, staring out the window, waiting for the spring to come." ... That man was Rogers Hornsby. Manitoba and Hornsby ... what a pair!

Now for a quick winter recipe....

***

Recipe o' the month: MANICHILI

Ingredients: 2 cans canneloni (large white beans) DRAINED
2 cans kidney beans ... DRAINED
2 cans black beans DRAINED
2 large cans crushed tomatoes OR whole tomatoes (crush 'em yureself, sparky)
2 large onions, diced
8 cloves garlic minced
Lots of ground cumin, 6 bay leaves, 2 bunches cilantro, chopped ... fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, chopped fresh jalapeno peppers, Louisianna hot sauce
Fresh hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1&1/2-2 lbs. ground turkey
Extra virgin olive oil

OK now ...... Get a giant pan hot w/ olive oil ... saute onions till soft ... add garlic ... sautee 2 minutes ... add oil ... cook the turkey and sausage ... add the 3 hot things, cumin, bay leaves, salt & pepper ... At this pernt, transfer EVERYTHING so far to a heated, olive oiled GIANT POT, then ... tro in tomatoes ... add the DRAINED beans ... stir everything, gently ... the textural goal is to have a loose consistency, a little watery, loaded with chunks of everything! ... add tomato puree or crushed tomatoes if needed to reach this texture ... keep adding spices & hot shit till it's the way you like it ... then buy a box of cornbread ... add chopped jalapeno peppers & a can of creamed corn ... bake ... serve bowl of chili, with fresh chopped cilantro on top, and a piece of cornbread on the side ... hope you like it! ...Go YANKEES! ... Tired of typin' ... Talk to you soon,


HDM/KING OF MEN!