The March to a basketball championship for the Buckeyes
This is the last day of March. Obviously, what my mother used to say — “The older you get, the faster time flies!” — is true.
March 2012 has been an interesting month. We in central Ohio have experienced a full-blown, week-long mini-summer, complete with record-breaking daytime high temperatures, some of which were well into the 80s.
Days later, we stepped out into the pre-dawn twilight and temperatures were below freezing — 29 degrees, anyone? At least there wasn’t any snow.
Besides its unpredictable weather, this month is memorable for the phenomenon known as March Madness, the culmination of a season’s worth of basketball fever. There’s been a lot to watch this year — the Sweet Sixteen included eight teams from three states — four from Ohio, two each from North Carolina and Kentucky.
It was fun to imagine a contest between Ohio State and the University of North Carolina Tarheels or an Ohio State — North Carolina State Wolfpack match-up. That was not to be, which is probably a good thing — my loyalties would have been sorely tested. At this point, we still could see an all-Kentucky final game.
The Buckeyes have reached the Final Four 11 times. They won all the marbles in 1960 — we might see an end to the drought by Monday. However it plays out, I know I’ll have plenty of company watching tonight, starting at 6:09 until the end of both of the Final Four games to be played in New Orleans. Then again for the Championship game on Monday night.
Dinner tonight at our house will be carryout or a simple homecooked meal. The only requirement: it has to be something we can eat in front of a television while we cheer Ohio State on. I’m betting on fajitas. This recipe appeared in the Time–Life cookbook Fast, Fresh and Delicious — it’s a keeper.
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup lemon juice
6 tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 flour tortillas
1 cup mild red or green salsa
8 large Romaine lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Cut chicken breasts crosswise into 1/4 inch thick strips. Place the chicken in a small bowl.
Add 6 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons cilantro, cumin, cornstarch, salt and pepper and mix gently until chicken is well coated. Set aside.
Stack the tortillas and wrap them in foil. Place them in the oven to warm for 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the salsa and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 4 tablespoons cilantro. Shred the lettuce.
In a medium skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute until white and firm, about 5 minutes.
Place tortillas, chicken, lettuce, sauce and sour cream or yogurt in serving dishes. Everyone can assemble their own fajitas by topping a tortilla with some of their favorite ingredients, ending with sour cream.
Roll it up — and go enjoy the game.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.