Thursday, July 10, 2014

International Cricket + Picnic Food


Anyone who has met me before would probably be aware that I like cricket. The truth is however, that I just don't like it. I love it. 

My love affair with the gentle(wo)man's game began in the summer of 2003-04, when India was touring Australia. Dad sat me down in front of the TV one day that summer and told me to watch with him. To quote Hazel Grace from John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once." By the Ashes tour of England in 2005, I was a full-blown cricket tragic and even kept a journal just to document my emotions about the match in progress. I dug it out again towards the end of last year and couldn't help but giggle at the passion with which I filled though pages. Entries from the 2005 Ashes series was mainly full of despair, but there were also joy in those pages. Nowadays I keep an electronic record of cricket matches by way of a Tumblr blog (mentioned in this post) but I find it a shame that society as a whole has moved towards electronic documentation - there is something raw and exposed about the written hand, something that is missed when words are typed up into a blog post.    

My first experience watching a match live was in 2010, at a KFC T20 Big Bash match between the Queensland Bulls and Tassie Tigers. Since then I've been to quite a few T20, ODI, and of course Test matches at the Gabba. But the recent Australia A Quadrangular Series provided an opportunity to watch international cricket of a sort at the Allan Border Field. More intimate and far more aesthetically pleasing than the Gabba or the MCG, and even surpassing the picturesque Bellerive Oval in Hobart or the Adelaide Oval, the AB Field  would have to be my favourite cricket ground in Australia. I may be a bit biased as it's the official home of the Queensland Bulls, but you can't denying that the atmosphere created by its quaint grandstands and grass hill is anything but spectacular. It also comes with endless opportunities to meet the players themselves...at one point we were sitting right behind the great man Ryan Harris himself! 

Usually, days at the cricket are filled with soft drink, beer, meat pies, hot chips, and ice cream. But there would be little point in attending a cricket match at a venue such as the AB Field if a picnic lunch was packed so as to be eaten while lolling around on the grass, or lounging in a deck chair in the sun. Being my usual disorganised self, I forgot to go shopping beforehand so I decided to see what I could do with what was in the fridge and pantry. The result was quite an impressive spread (if I do say so myself): sweet carrot slice, cottage cheese bacon and egg muffins, and two varieties of Betty Crocker muffins (ok, so I got a bit lazy). Mum also made a wild rice salad and a carrot salad, neither of them pictured, so it turned out to be quite a feast.

I've included some photos I took with my fancy pancy camera - which I am slowly learning how to use properly - down the bottom of this post so feel free to ignore them if you're not interested in cricket in the slightest. Recipes for the carrot slice and cottage cheese bacon and egg muffins are also below. 



Carrot slice (adapted from Taste)
Serves 12

Ingredients:

½ cup raw sugar
175ml sunflower oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 large carrot (~140g), grated
100g raisins
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 28cm x 18cm slice pan.

2. Use a wooden spoon to mix the sugar, oil and egg in a large bowl, then stir in the carrot and raisins. Sift in flour, soda and spices. Stir to just combine.

3. Pour the mixture into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Pond approves :) 

Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins with Ham and Cheddar (adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)
Makes 8

Ingredients:

2/3 cup cottage cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan
¼ cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp water
1/3 cup finely diced ham
½ cup sharp cheddar
3 Tbsp sliced green onions

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Combine cottage cheese, parmesan, flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, eggs, and water in a large bowl. Mix until well combined, then gently stir in ham, sharp cheddar, and green onions.

3. Spray silicone muffin cups with non-stick spray or olive oil, or line with muffin cups. Divide the batter evenly between eight muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on top and set.

4.  Eat straightaway, or pop them in the fridge after they have cooled. If heating them in the microwave, be careful not to leave them in too long as they become hard. Or take them to the cricket and enjoy in the sun!



Jimmy Faulkner has a bowl. 


#asstograss


Mozzie in the field.


Just one sec. 


White picket fence. 


Tea break naps. 

India A boys having a D&M during the tea break. 


Lyon has a chat to the groundsmen. 
Another of the gazillion panorama shots I attempted with my phone that day, looking out towards the grandstands. 


- Matilda

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