Although it’s raining like hell outside right now, I’m super excited because later tonight I’m headed down 75 South to the Atlanta Motor Speedway. I thought I’d not be able to get there until tomorrow morning, but as it turns out I have no after-hours deployments in the wee hours tonight, so I’ll go after traffic subsides. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
The boy and Ken are already there. The boy called this morning to ask me to bring more blankets and maybe a knit hat or two, as last night was a wee bit cold. They set Ken’s camper up last night, and they’re right next to turn 4.... so if you tune in this weekend and happen to catch any of the NASCAR races, look for the drunky people shouting “HOOTY HOO!” standing on a camper right at turn 4, and that will be us.
I’ve kind of neglected to mention to my mother where I’ll be spending the weekend, because she deems events like these rather “low class” and "full of low lifes” (her words), and scoffs at the idea of camping for the sole sake of seeing cars floor it and hang lefts. Her mind would be changed if I told her that a lot of the drivers date models who don’t dare show up at the track without their big ass Chanel sunglasses and 4+ carat diamonds. But frankly, I don’t feel like getting into this conversation with her, because she just won’t understand the draw and appeal of going to such an event, even if i make up a lie and say that Carla Bruni would be there.
I’ve got some serious grocery shopping to do after work. So far, on my menu, we’ll be making
Bobby Flay’s Cuban burgers
The boy’s chicken wings
Cornbread and apple stuffed pork tenderloin
I know MA has a bunch of food she’s bringing as well, so I think that between the both of us we’ll have enough to feed us all. There will be 6 of us camping there, but I’m sure we’ll be making friends and sharing food with the neighbors. Besides, I think we’re supposed to hook up with some friends of ours while out there. The brother of a friend of ours works for Brian Vickers, so I’m sure we’ll run into our friend and her boy while out there (hi Stephanie!).
Tonight, though, when I get out there, the minute I unload the car, I’m making some mulled wine. It’s definitely the weather for it. You don’t need to follow an exact recipe for this, but I’ll give you a list of what I put in mine:
One bottle of red wine – make sure you use a good drinkeable wine, but I wouldn’t spend over 10 bucks on it.
3-4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
A dash or two of ground ginger, or a scraping of fresh ginger
small pinch of grated nutmeg
1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons of honey
the peel from one citrus fruit (tangerine works well - it's what i have on hand)
A squeeze of juice from said citrus fruit
A small amount (about half a shot) of brandy or cognac (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Taste it; I personally prefer it to not be too sweet, but you can always add more sugar or honey if you like (the dryer the red wine you use, the more sweetness you’ll need). Serve in heatproof mugs.
This drink totally screams fall and winter to me. One of my favorite memories of mulled wine (or a variation of it) is skiing down the slopes in the French alps with my mom, and stopping every now and then at one of those chalet restaurants to grab a hot wine, chug it, then get back on the slopes. Except we didn’t call it hot wine, we called it grog, and I’m pretty sure there was more than just a small amount of brandy or rum added to each of our cups. Hot wine makes skiing much more enjoyable, and I’ m sure it’ll make me feel as though tonight's rainy evening is not that big of a deal.