JEFF TIEDEMAN: Play ball!Or try some recipes from Major Leaguers.
I’m not one of those people who have a favorite time of the year. I love all of the seasons — albeit for different reasons.
Being an avid hunter, fall is a time I look forward to with much fanfare. In the winter, there’s hockey, which I really enjoy viewing — either on television or live. And spring is great because it signals that the days are getting longer.
That brings me to summer. There’s a lot to like about this time of the year. For one thing, there’s baseball. Besides following the Twins, I really enjoy watching and coaching my grandson at my most beloved sport — even when the temperatures reach well into the 90s.
While this recent stretch of hot, humid weather isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I’m not complaining.
Perhaps the best thing about the heat wave is that my garden is growing like gangbusters. It might be my nicest garden ever, and certainly the best I’ve had in many years. We’ve been sampling a number of vegetables and fruit, including green and yellow beans, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, raspberries and strawberries.
Another garden vegetable that I’ve really been savoring is kale, which we’ve had in numerous dinner salads for a month or so. And now, a recipe in a new cookbook by Julie Loria affords me an opportunity to enjoy the member of the brassica family in yet another way.
Loria, the wife of Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, has written “Diamond Dishes — From the Kitchens of Baseball’s Biggest Stars” (Lyons, $24.95), and one of the recipes in the book — from New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez — is for baked kale chips. A-Rod describes them as a healthier alternative to potato chips. (See this recipe and others at www.grandforksherald.com/event/tag/group/ Life/tag/food/.)
The cookbook features recipes from two of the Marlins — shortstop Hanley Ramirez (empanadas) and pitching ace Josh Johnson (strawberry shortcake) — along with ones from 18 other Major League All-Stars, including Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals, Dominican beans and rice), Josh Hamilton (Texas Rangers, pulled pork sandwich) and Chase Utley (Philadelphia Phillies, mud pie).
I’ve sampled empanadas — a south-of-the-border delicacy — only once, and they were from an authentic family recipe, just like all of those featured from these Boys of Summer. They were made by the Rev. Raul Perez-Cobo, a Colombia native and former associate pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in East Grand Forks. (To say Father Raul’s empanadas were delicious would be an understatement.)
After viewing a number of the recipes in the cookbook, I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy to be able to look at all of them.
I’m sure the one for Ukrainian vegetable soup from Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria — as well as others — contains some of my garden’s bounty.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.