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NASCAR…the Post.

May 9, 2009

Well, I’ve had about a week to recover, so I guess it’s Time To Blog About NASCAR.

Crowds at NASCAR

Crowds at NASCAR

Our day started out early, leaving Arlington at 9AM, and kicking off with tailgating after our 10:30AM arrival. The NASCAR race we attended was at the Richmond International Raceway, located outside Richmond, Virginia.

We brought 2 vehicles for 9 people, 1 of which was packed to the gills with the following:
1 Weber Grill
3 Coolers full of beer and ice (and a few Coke Zeros and a bit of Gatorade)
3 flats of bottled water
9 people’s overnight bags (because it’s just not safe to drive home after NASCAR – you have to get a hotel room in Richmond)
Assorted packages of steak, meat, eggs, cheese, buns, chips, salsa, plates, paper towels, and a roll of superduty trashbags.

The other car held foldup chairs and a tent. The boys took a while assembling the tent:

Tent skeleton

Tent skeleton

But the result was awesome.

Tent, with people.

Tent, with people.

We set up the grill as soon as we landed, around 11AM, and were soon crankin’ out steak and eggs.

These yummy steaks:

Steak!

Steak!

were made via the Weber grill, in a cast iron frying pan. Lauren marinated them in Sticky Fingers bbq sauce overnight, and we tossed them in the pan to save their juices. Once the steaks were cooked and their juices left, we then used the pan and juices to make the best cheesy eggs in the history of cheesy eggs.

Steak pan and Eggs

Steak pan and Eggs

Eggs and Wicked Awesome Homefries

Eggs and Wicked Awesome Homefries

The accompaniment to the steak and eggs were “Wicked Awesome Homefries,” found here. All the food was delicious, but it did start raining on us, forcing us to consolidate.

Legs and coolers

Legs and coolers

One cool aspect of our trip was this four-wheel-drive cooler that John brought:

All Terrain Cooler

All Terrain Cooler

It went well with the Tahoe we rented, and the grassy theme of our chosen parking lot (a field). After about 8 hours of tailgating, it was finally time to experience the joy that is the NASCAR race.  We trooped all together to the Crown Royal tent (which was, in case you’re wondering, on the complete opposite side of the track from the entrance and our seats), took advantage of John’s hookup to the free beverages, and then tried to find our seats. After walking for about 18 miles, we finally find our seats in time to watch them finish drying off the track, and watch the pace car go by.

The Pace Car, a new Camaro

The Pace Car, a new Camaro

One handy part of the trip was that we were allowed to bring in beverages in a 12 in by 6 in by 6 in bag. I brought my trusty (and adorable) lunch tote!

Tote!

Tote!

My little bag was stuffed to the gills with Coors Light but she bore up well and came back in 1 piece.

In terms of the race itself, let me just say this: I am a very impatient person. I tend to get bored after watching cars drive in a circle for 15 laps, much less for 400 laps (which is what we had to sit through). Technically I was supporting Dale Earnhardt, Jr.:

The finest in Walmart fashion...

The finest in Walmart fashion...

because his is the shirt I found at Walmart, and I even managed to snag a picture of him on the track:

Vroom.

Vroom.

Unfortunately, he did not win. He did not even come close. At no point in time was he EVER close to winning, which made the race fairly boring. Kelli and I abandoned ship around lap 120 in search of french fries, which we located and consumed while watching a chick fight go down culminating in one girl hurling herself onto a post, screaming and crying at the top of her lungs, while clutching the wrought iron base of the grandstand (seriously. I can’t make this stuff up.).

The race FINALLY finsished at 11:15PM, after which we hauled to the Tahoe, promptly got lost getting to our hotel, FINALLY made it to the hotel, and to bed.

After a ridiculously long trip, we ended up at home, smelling faintly of grillsmoke and burnt rubber, with bizarre sunburn patterns and many a full bladder (race to the bathroom!). All in all I’d say the NASCAR experience was…interesting, but not one I’m likely to repeat any time soon. To be fair, our day at NASCAR involved rainshowers ALL day long, overflowing port-a-potties, and way-too-drunk-NASCAR-fans, none of which is directly the fault of NASCAR. However, I think perhaps NASCAR is something that is best when it happens to…other people.

Tip of the Day: Rice Krispies Treats!

These relics from elementary school really are quite fantastic, and when you take the time to make them from scratch, they absolutely knock everyone’s socks of. I made a batch for the tailgate, and they were gone practically instantaneously.

The Recipe:

This is basically the recipe from the Rice Krispies treats website, with only a minor addition of salt (I find that they’re too bland without it). I’ve made these three times in the past 2 weeks, so I’m pretty comfortable with teh instructions at this point. You will need:

a. A bag of regular sized marshmallows (or 3 cups of the mini ones)

b. 6 cups of Rice Krispies Treats

c. 1/2 a stick of butter.

d. A pinch of salt (not in the original recipe)

The easiest (and fastest) way to do this is to use the microwave. You can also use a double boiler, but if you use a regular pan you run the risk of burning the marshmallow.

Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl big enough to hold all the marshmallows, and nuke the butter until it’s liquid. Then add the marshmallows and scoop through with a spoonula (like a spatula, but shaped like a spoon) so the butter is distributed through the marshmallows. Then put the bowl back in the microwave, and heat in half-minute increments, taking the bowl out to stir periodically.

While you’re microwaving (or before you start the other steps), get a nice big nonstick bowl (I like this one, in the largest size, both for its nonskid base and its nonstick bowl) and put the 6 cups of Rice Krispies in it. Once the marshmallow mixture is smooth and completely melted, pour this on top of the Rice Krispies, scooping with the spoonula from the bottom to the top, in an a semi-swooping motion. In my experience, you need to have the Rice Krispies in the bowl first, or you’ll risk more Rice Krispie treat sticking to the bowl than coming loose.

Once you’ve distributed the marshmallow mixture evenly, I like to put the resulting Rice Krispies treat into a brownie pan lined with wax paper. Foil works well too. Then, you have to let it sit to cool and harden. If I’m in a rush, I’ll stick the pan in the freezer, pull it out after around 15-30 minutes, and then slice with a sharp knife.

One of the coolest things you can do with Rice Krispies treats is that you can shape them to practically any design. In this case, I cut out a “T” for Lauren’s birthday treat (T is her nickname). In a repeat performance, I made one giant T followed by tons of small Ts. Rice Krispies treats, due to their pliable nature, are incredibly versatile, and I encourage you to play around with it the next time you decide to make them – food is nothing if not fun!

Enjoy!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    May 9, 2009 8:58 pm

    “One of the coolest things you can do with Rice Krispies treats is that you can shape them to practically any design.”…… I’ve employed this trick a time or two (or twelve).

    I’m interested to know what makes you add another tbsp. of butter to the original recipe. If I’m making a straight pan (as opposed to a figure) of RKT, my ratio is 3 tbsp. butter/5 c. RK/10 oz. marshmallows. Add in a pinch of salt (or just use salted butter) and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla.

    Also, have you noticed any difference between stovetop and microwave? I’ve never dared approach the microwave with my recipe.

    • lisam permalink
      May 10, 2009 10:14 am

      Hey Rob!

      Well, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t catch the difference – maybe this is why the most recent batch were so much easier to work with. I called up the recipe online and the actual Rice Krispies website was taking too long, so I googled “Original Rice Krispies” recipe and this is what I got, minus the salt. I did notice that doing them this way (with the extra butter) made them stick less to the wax paper/pan, but it’s probably not necessary (if you’re trying to be health conscious). Also, I was using 6 cubs Rice Krispies, to your 5 cups – so a little bit more would have been necessary anyway.

      And between stovetop and microwave – I strongly prefer microwave. The only difference between our recipes, I suppose, is the vanilla, so for yours, I still would avoid putting the vanilla in until the marshmallows and the butter are melted. The reason I like the microwave is just that it’ll go faster, and you run less risk of burning the marshmallows while they’re melting. I know some people shy away from microwaves in general, so please – if you prefer the stovetop method, stick with it, but for me, anything to make the process go faster is a good thing. The microwave has definitely never ruined a batch, while I’ve had a batch ruined on the stove. If you’re just watchful with the microwave (and stir them before they pour out of the bowl from the melting-expanding thing), there’s no reason it wouldn’t work…

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