I am not athletic. And I’m not being humble when I say that. I do not mean that I’m not athletic, like, Cheryl Swoops could totally beat me at one-on-one. I mean, I’m not athletic like I have never dribbled a basketball and walked at the same time. I played soccer for one season and my little sister’s team beat mine. By a lot. Sports just aren’t really my thing. Which is unfortunate, because I live with a huge sports fan.
Update: I know, I know, “Sheryl” is not “Cheryl” but I decided to leave it because HELLO I can’t even spell my sports references’ names.
For me, March Madness is a cute nickname for the month when food bloggers go bonkers for asparagus. (Ah! Springtime! We’re freaking out! Ehm, not that I would ever stoop so low.) For The Boyfriend, it’s like Christmas every day for a month. He loves basketball, but his true love is Michigan basketball. If you’re interested in exceedingly boring sports tweets, you should follow him. (“Some nice analysis from Steve Kerr on a play that didn’t happen”) (“Spike Cassell”) (“When’s the last time Stauskas even took a shot?”) (snooooooooze). Anyway, when Michigan plays, which they did on Sunday, I get very nervous. When they win, he is so happy. When they lose, he is so sad. When they play, he yells and hits the furniture. No matter what, I am stressed out.
On Sunday, I needed a cocktail to calm my nerves. In honor of March Madness (ehm, my spring veggie-centric March Madness, not the lesser, college basketball March Madness), I made myself a cucumber mint lemonade and topped it off with a little gin. OK fine, it was a lot of gin. But it was super necessary because Michigan wasn’t able to pull off a win because UGH this one-and-done tournament style really skews the outcomes and Kentucky hit every three in the last few minutes and … don’t I sounds like a real sports fan? Like someone who didn’t compete in jumprope tournaments as a child? Anyway, except for some boring tweets (“That Caris Levert block tho”) The Boyfriend really kept it together after the loss. He made a concerted effort to have a good attitude, which I appreciated. Michigan played really well, Nick Stauskas is a lovely Canadian man-child with a bright future, and we are looking forward to next year’s team. Already. I think I need another cucumber mint lemonade…
- 1 part cucumber-mint slurry, recipe below
- 1 part ginger simple syrup, recipe below
- 1 part fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 parts cold water
- 1-2 ozs. gin, optional
- Muddle a couple mint leaves in the bottom of a glass. Add 2-3 cubes of ice. Combine the lemonade ingredients in a carafe of large bottle, mixing well, and pour over ice.
- *Cucumber-Mint Slurry* Peel 1 cucumber, give it a rough chop, and throw it in a blender with a handful of mint leaves. (I used 20 or so.) Add a tablespoon or two of water, or a little more if your cucumber doesn't look too juicy. Blend until smooth.
- *Ginger Simple Syrup* Adapted from David Lebovitz's Fresh Ginger Syrup Thinly slice 1 large piece of ginger (3-4 oz., or about the size of an iPod mini). You can peel the ginger or not - - I didn't, and it just made for a darker syrup. Combine the ginger with 2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar in a large pot. Bring the mixture up to a boil, and the reduce to a simmer. Let the mix simmer for 45 minutes or an hour. Strain out the ginger. You should be left with about 1 cup of syrup.