My Beloved and I are fair-weather fans, I have to admit. We enjoy a day out at the ballpark, as much for the experience as for the game, but we don't follow baseball closely until the Giants are in the playoffs. The season always seems too long and the Giants are famous for struggling to win until they pull off a minor miracle to get themselves into the playoffs late in the season. They do this rather consistently, three times in the past five years, but it's agonizing for the true black-and-orange fans who follow them with enthusiasm.
Last week, My Beloved drove five hours down to Bakersfield, CA to attend a sporting event that he really does care about, a nostalgia drag racing meet in that fair city. He has a whole coterie of friends that he meets down there, people he has gained over a lifetime at the track, and they have a fine time talking about all things racing. My Beloved comes home exhausted from hours walking around the race track, hoarse from chatting with all those pals, and stiff as a post from ten hours in the car - but ecstatic and full of stories about his heroes and his buddies.
Sadly, I'm a lukewarm fan of drag racing, too. I gave it a good try early on in our love affair, wanting badly to share his passions. I went with him to the tracks, read drag racing magazines, and became knowledgeable about the various teams, but it just didn't "take" with me. I guess it's something you have to fall in love with when you are young. So, reluctantly, I decided not to be his anchor at these events, trailing around after him and wishing I was home, and instead I wave a fond goodbye in the driveway once or twice a year and resolve to enjoy a few days of quiet time with only Cora for company.
There is an up side to his trips to Bakersfield, too. He drives past Harris Ranch on Interstate 5, about halfway up from the track. It's a good stopping place for him to get some dinner, fill his car with fuel, and shop at their on-site gift shop. Because they raise beef at Harris Ranch, the best of the offerings in their gift shop are in a refrigerator.
Like this "baseball" steak that he brought home last time he drove down to the races. The cut really is about the size and shape of a baseball, hence the name. Steak this good doesn't need fancy preparation - a simple salting and peppering before searing is perfect. It weighed about 8 ounces, enough for both of us for dinner and, being about two inches thick, the outside caramelizes beautifully in a sizzling pan while the center stays nicely pink.
Here, at last, something of which we are both true fans.