Day of Three Happiness

I take no pleasure in Chelsea’s slow motion dive into the dismal abyss. Jose Mourinho is indeed the best manager Chelsea have ever had, just like he said in the post-match conference yesterday.

I thought I would type those things just to see how it felt.  It felt like I was a liar with my pants on fire.

Most of the action took place with Arsenal on its feet
Most of the action took place with Arsenal on its feet

Arsenal pulled off an absolutely perfect match against Manchester United today, both winning and producing enough goals to overturn Manchester United’s superior goal differential. Arsenal move into 2nd place in the Premier League on the strength of today’s performance.

Before the match, I barely dared hope for a win, but to win so convincingly was a rare treat. In no way did I feel confident heading into the second half with 3 goals and a win in the bag, for I know it takes an uncommonly big bag to not give some or all back. But we held on.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both came up big in this match, but it was a beautiful team effort. The Gooner Triumphal Feast will feature ribs, the dish of many a country represented by players on the field, but we’ll go with an American-style recipe. Why? Because of the way I personally sweated the game out here in Chicago. You can find the recipe here.

The third happiness: A family trip up to Edwards Apple Orchard for some apple picking and cider donuts while the ribs cook.

More to come.

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Home of apple cider donuts
Home of apple cider donuts

I love Edwards Apple Orchard. It’s been one of our few family traditions to go there each Fall. When the kids were small, I would take them there by myself to give their stay-at-home Dad a kid-free break for a day. Now Dad comes along, shaking his head at the very firm ceremony we’ve formed that we still follow today: 1) go to the barn and buy apple cider donuts and cider, 2) eat the donuts, 3) ring the bell, 4) pick a bushel of apples, 5) visit the goats and pigs and run the maze, 6) buy and eat apple pie a la mode, 7) leave. My daughter was lamenting that it’s her last year going to Edwards since she’ll be in college next year, but today while we were riding the wagon behind the tractor out to the orchard she did some googling and we saw that the college to which she’s been accepted that’s far away has a Fall break. Edwards-free Fall averted for another year.

We returned to pull together the Gooner Triumphal Feast. Now, some in the household have expressed doubt on the veracity of the claim that ribs are the dish of many countries represented by the Arsenal players who participated in the match today. I present the following recipes as evidence:

  • Chilean ribs (Alexis Sanchez) may be found here.
  • Spanish ribs (Santi Cazorla, Hector Bellerin, and Nacho Monreal) may be found here.
  • German ribs (Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker) may be found here.
  • English ribs (Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, and we’ll stretch a bit on Aaron Ramsey, who is actually Welsh) may be found here.

Ok, that’s not everyone, but you get the picture. France (Francis Coquelin and Olivier Giroud), Czech Republic (Petr Cech), and Brazil (Gabriel) also have pork rib dishes.

The human condition requires ribs, obviously. In the Gooner Triumphal Feast, we accompanied ours with fried apples, broccoli, and cornbread.

Nandini, a blogger I follow, had a yummy-looking ribs recipe up last week, which you can see on Nandini’s blog. I didn’t have the right ingredients at home to tackle that rub, but ribs are so delicious that I see the wisdom of making a big batch so that you can use it at a moment’s notice. Will definitely give hers a try next time. Nandini’s pictures are so beautiful. Below, well, I tried my best.

In addition to cornbread and fired apples, we accompanied the Gooner Triumphal feast with excellent memories from one of the most exciting and momentous victories I can recall in recent years.

2 thoughts on “Day of Three Happiness

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