Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Soccer Prep Guide

Welcome, soccer fans and "abby wambach girlfriend" and "abby wambach boyfriend" googlers. The World Cup starts on Saturday, and you still have a few things you need to do in preparation.

1. The absolute number one requirement is to zip over to The Equalizer and buy the WWC preview they put together with All White Kit. At 82 lovely searchable PDF pages, it's a bargain at 5.95. Both sites are daily must-reads even when the Cup isn't just around the corner, particularly if a big portion of your regular entertainment intake comes from following the trainwreck that is magicJack.

2. Next, march down to your local purveyor of fermented beverages and plead for some Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA. This might be easier if you live in Arizona. Yes, Arizona. Hop Knot is one of the things that makes life in the state of John "Illegals are Pyros" McCain not only tolerable, but downright magical at times. Lay in a stock; it only comes in 12-packs of cans.

3. Got a spare couple of minutes? Go read about brilliant England manager Hope Powell.

4. Lay in the bacon, eggs, and potatoes. Live games in Germany mean breakfast start times here in the Pacific Time Zone. Suggested opening game breakfast bakey thing:

Rinse three or four leeks and thinly slice the white and pale green parts. Caramelize these in a pan with a healthy pinch of salt, deglazing the pan from time to time with broth. While the leeks are cooking, simmer a cup of broth with a bit of garlic and rosemary. Thinly slice some potatoes into rounds. Layer the potatoes in a baking pan with the leeks and some sliced cheese (gruyere is lovely), topping each layer with a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add sliced ham to each layer if you're a meat person. Strain the broth and pour enough over to make it a bit soupy on the bottom. Beat a couple of eggs with a touch of milk, salt, and pepper, and pour over. Top with one more layer of potatoes and cheese. Cover and bake at 375 for 45 minutes or so, then uncover and bake long enough to brown up the cheese. Remove from oven and let rest a bit, then shovel it out onto plates and NOM.

5. Ali Krieger. 'Nuff said.

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