Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Lamb

Yesterday was of course, Easter Sunday. At the launchpad, we decided on lamb. Especially when I saw this recipe in the Washington Post Food section a few weeks ago.

Bacon-Wrapped Herbed Loin of Lamb With Jus
The Washington Post, April 13, 2011
  • Course: Main Course
  • Features: Holiday (Easter)
Loin of lamb is an elegant choice for a dinner party. It is best to buy a whole loin that includes the tenderloins and have the butcher break it down for you; that way, you can use the bone to make stock and then reduce that stock to a nice jus. The tenderloins in the center of the bacon-wrapped roast give the herb stuffing a criss-cross look. If only boneless loin is available, buy three pieces of equal length and cut the third piece into strips that resemble tenderloins.

MAKE AHEAD: The jus can be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. The roast can be assembled the day before; blot it dry on paper towels before roasting.
4 servings

For the jus
  • Lamb loin bone, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 large carrots, cut lengthwise in half (cleaned, unpeeled)
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 large onion, cut in half (unpeeled)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Low-sodium beef broth or stock (enough to cover)
  • 1/2 small bunch thyme
  • 5 large sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic and herbs, such as rosemary, thyme or oregano, to taste (optional)
For the roast
  • 2 loins and 2 tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin (from one 4-pound lamb loin saddle; to yield about 22 ounces of meat)
  • 2 scallions (trimmed), white and light-green parts, chopped
  • Leaves from 1 large sprig rosemary
  • Leaves from 2 large sprigs mint
  • Leaves from 2 large sprigs oregano
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 to 10 strips raw bacon (about 8 ounces; see VARIATIONS)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Have a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet and a stockpot at hand.

Make the lamb jus: Place the lamb bone on the baking sheet. Place the carrots, celery and onion in a large bowl; drizzle them with the oil and stir to coat them lightly. Spread the vegetables around the loin bone. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until well browned. Transfer the vegetables and bone to a stockpot.

Place the baking sheet over medium-high heat; when it is hot, pour some of the beef broth or stock onto it, using a flat wooden spatula to dislodge all of the browned bits. Transfer the deglazing liquid to the stockpot.

Add just enough of the broth or stock to the stockpot to cover the bone. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium; cook, with the liquid lightly bubbling, for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Discard the bones and vegetables, then strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer. (If you have it, line the strainer with layers of cheesecloth or a layer of flour sack cloth; that will clarify the stock nicely.) Discard any solids. Skim any fat from the stock (or use a fat separator) and then place the stock in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until the stock is deep brown and concentrated. There should be 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid: the jus. Use as is, or stir in the finely chopped garlic and herbs, if desired.

For the roast: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have a medium-size roasting pan at hand.

Lay the 2 loin pieces on a plate.

Combine the scallions, rosemary, mint, oregano, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a mini food processor or blender, and puree to form a paste. Spread the paste down the lengths of the 2 loin pieces. Place the tenderloin pieces on top of one of the loin pieces. Top them with the remaining loin piece, herb side down, as if making a sandwich.

Lay the strips of bacon vertically (side by side) on a cutting board, overlapping them slightly. (There should be enough to wrap the entire loin.) Place the assembled loin on top of the bacon slices, just below the center point. Starting at the bottom, bring the strips of bacon up over the loin, then place your palms on the bacon-enclosed part of the loin and roll the loin over the remaining bacon to encase it completely. Use kitchen twine to tie the roast crosswise at 1-inch intervals, and then once lengthwise.

At this point, the lamb loin can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Sear the roast on all sides, just to brown the bacon, then transfer the wrapped loin to a small roasting pan. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees for medium-rare. Let the roast to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Discard the kitchen twine before cutting it crosswise into thick slices.

Serve with warmed lamb jus.

VARIATIONS: If you'd rather not use bacon in the recipe, here are alternatives:
Substitute lamb bacon for pork bacon. (Lamb bacon can sometimes be found at farmers markets.)

Sear the outsides of the two loin pieces before spreading them with herb mix, then wrap the assembled loins in lamb or beef caul fat; tie the loin, and roast without searing it.

Do not wrap the roast at all. (Some of the herb stuffing might escape, and you should not remove the horizontally tied strings when serving, to keep the slices intact.)

When breaking down the saddle, leave the fat and belly fat attached to the loin, and use the belly fat to wrap the loin roast. Then proceed with the recipe as if the loin were wrapped with bacon.

Recipe Source:
From Sourced columnist David Hagedorn.
670 calories, 54g fat, 17g saturated fat, 150mg cholesterol, 1270mg sodium, 3g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 1g sugar, 43g protein.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Passover

I grew up on Long Island, in a predominantly Jewish area. At Christmas time, our Christmas lights were often in the minority after the familiar glow of lighted menorahs in the windows of our neighbors. One year, my father did our Christmas lights in all blue and white bulbs.

The Jewish holiday of Passover begins tomorrow. For one thing it means this place will be closed for the duration of the holiday. Remember, you can't get bacon and egg on a bagel there. You can't get bacon there at all.

For all of my Jewish friends a very happy Passover to you all. King Kullen, the local Long Island grocery store, which is one of the largest grocery stores with Kosher products, offered several recipes recently. In addition, Epicurious put out an article on preparing the best Seder. Here is one of my favorite recipes. I mean, really with that much garlic, how could it be bad?

Braised Brisket with Thirty-Six Cloves of Garlic
  • About 36 fat unpeeled garlic cloves (1 2/3 to 2 cups) or an equivalent amount of smaller cloves, plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • A first-or second-cut beef brisket (about 5 pounds), trimmed of excess fat, wiped with a damp paper towel, and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade or good-quality low-sodium purchased
  • 3 or 4 fresh thyme sprigs, or 2 teaspoons dried leaves
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon chopped leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Drop the garlic cloves into a small saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain immediately. Peel as soon as the garlic is cool enough to handle. Set aside on paper towels to dry.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed roasting pan or casserole large enough to accommodate the meat in one layer. Use two burners, if necessary. Add the brisket and brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a platter and set aside. (Or brown the meat under the broiler: place the brisket, fat side up, on a foil-lined broiler pan under a preheated broiler. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until browned. Don’t allow it to develop a hard, dark crust, which might make the meat tough or bitter. Move the meat around as necessary, so it sears evenly.)

Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat remaining in the pan and add the garlic cloves. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic edges are tinged with gold. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the stock, thyme, and rosemary sprigs, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Salt and pepper the brisket to taste on all sides, and add it to the pan, fat side up. Spoon the garlic cloves over the meat.

Place the brisket in the oven, cover (if you have no lid, use heavy-duty foil), and cook, basting every half-hour, until the meat is fork tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours or longer. (As the meat cooks, periodically check that the liquid is bubbling gently. If it is boiling rapidly, turn the oven down to 300°F.)

The brisket tastes best if it is allowed to rest, reabsorbing the juices lost during braising, and it's easiest to defat the gravy if you prepare the meat ahead and refrigerate it until the fat solidifies. That is the method I use, given here, but the gravy can be prepared by skimming the fat in the traditional way, if you prefer. If you go that route though, do let the meat rest in the pan sauce for at least an hour.

Cool the brisket in the pan sauce, cover well with foil, and refrigerate until the fat congeals. Scrape off all solid fat. Remove the brisket from the pan and slice thinly across the grain.

Prepare the gravy: Bring the braising mixture to room temperature, then strain it, reserving the garlic and discarding the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Skim and discard as much fat as possible from the liquid. Puree about one half of the cooked garlic with 1 cup of the defatted braising liquid in a food processor or a blender. (If you want a smooth gravy, puree all of the cooked garlic cloves.) Transfer the pureed mixture, the remaining braising liquid, and the rest of the cooked garlic to a skillet. Add the chopped rosemary, minced garlic, and lemon zest. Boil down the gravy over high heat, uncovered, to the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Rewarm the brisket in the gravy until heated through.

Arrange the sliced brisket on a serving platter. Spoon some of the hot gravy all over the meat and pass the rest in a separate sauce boat.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday's List - the 50 Most Important Children's Books

I was a pretty voracious reader growing up. I was always in the summer reading program at the library and was reading books that were "above" me earlier than some. LBA is getting better every day at reading for himself and I think he will be as good a reader as Mrs. BA and I. I would love to read more - but I am a victim of my own time management.

I spotted this list the other day (from the Independent). Perhaps it is the British bent, but I haven't read a lot of these. The ones I have read are in italics. Your thoughts and comments welcome.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Indispensable. The great classic beginning of English children's literature.
  • Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. What effortless invention looks like.
  • Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner. A great political story: democracy in action.
  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. As clear and pure as Mozart.
  • Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken. If Ransome was Mozart, Aiken was Rossini. Unforced effervescence.
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner. Showed how children's literature could sound dark and troubling chords.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Superb wit and vigorous invention.
  • Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson. Any of the Moomin books would supply the same strange light Nordic magic.
  • A Hundred Million Francs by Paul Berna. A particular favourite of mine, as much for Richard Kennedy's delicate illustrations (in the English edition) as for the story.
  • The Castafiore Emerald by HergĂ©. Three generations of this family have loved Tintin. Perfect timing, perfect narrative tact and command, blissfully funny.
  • The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson. The heroine is blessed with such wonderful friends who help her through the twists and turns of this incredible journey.
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The first few pages were so engaging, Marley's ghostly face on the knocker of Scrooge's door still gives me the shivers.
  • Just William books by Richmal Crompton. These are a must for every child.
  • The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde. This was the first story, I think, that ever made me cry and it still has the power to make me cry.
  • The Elephant's Child From The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. The story my mother used to read me most often, because I asked for it again and again. I loved the sheer fun of it, the music and the rhythm of the words. It was subversive too. Still my favourite story.
  • Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson This was the first real book I read for myself. I lived this book as I read it.
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. A classic tale of man versus nature. I wish I'd written this.
  • The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono. A book for children from 8 to 80. I love the humanity of this story and how one man's efforts can change the future for so many.
  • The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy The story of two children who go to find their father who has been listed missing in the trenches of the First World War.
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson-Burnett. I love this story of a girl's life being changed by nature.
  • Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah. Story of a young Ethiopian boy, whose parents abandon him in London to save his life.
  • Finn Family Moomintroll (and the other Moomin books) by Tove Jansson. A fantasy series for small children that introduces bigger ones to ideas of adventure, dealing with fear, understanding character and tolerating difference.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. It's rude, it's funny and it will chime with every 11-year-old who's ever started a new school.
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Written for a teenage audience but fun at any age.
  • The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein. Be warned, these tales of hobbits, elves and Middle Earth are dangerously addictive.
  • The Tygrine Cat (and The Tygrine Cat on the Run) by Inbali Iserles. If your parents keep going on at you to read Tarka the Otter, The Sheep-Pig and other animal fantasies, do – they're great books – also try Iserles' stories about a cat seeking his destiny.
  • Carry On, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse. A grown-up book – but not that grown-up.
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr. Judith Kerr's semi-autobiographical story of a family fleeing the Nazis in 1933.
  • Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett. Elaborate mythological imagery and a background based in real science. If you like this, the Discworld series offers plenty more.
  • The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson. The pinnacle of the wonderful Jacqueline Wilson's brilliant and enormous output.
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Irresistible puzzle-solving tales of the chilly Victorian master-sleuth and his dim medical sidekick.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Age-transcending tale, both funny and sad.
  • Mistress Masham's Repose by TH White. Magical story of 10-year-old Maria, living in a derelict stately home, shy, lonely and under threat from both her governess and her rascally guardian.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Inexplicably evergreen, trend and taste-defying 1868 classic.
  • How to be Topp by Geoffrey Willams and Ronald Searle. Side-splitting satire on skool, oiks, teechers, fules, bulies, swots.
  • Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. First of the action-packed adventures with 14-year-old Alex Rider.
  • Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo. "Dulce et Decorum Est" for pre-teens.
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Lively, amoral, wildly imaginative debut (six more followed) about the money-grabbing master-criminal Artemis, 12. The author called it "Die Hard with fairies".
  • The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier. Inspiring wartime story of the Balicki family in Warsaw.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell. Smart 11-year-olds won't need any pre-knowledge of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and 1917 to appreciate this brilliantly-told fable.
  • Skellig by David Almond. Brings magical realism to working-class North-east England.
  • Red Cherry Red by Jackie Kay. A book of poems that reaches deep into our hidden thoughts but also talks in a joyous voice exploring the everyday.
  • Talkin Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah. A book of poems that demands to be read aloud, performed and thought about.
  • Greek myths by Geraldine McCaughrean. Superheroes battle with demons, gods intervene in our pleasures and fears – a bit like the spectres in our minds going through daily life, really – beautifully retold here.
  • People Might Hear You by Robin Klein. A profound, suspenseful story about sects, freedom and the rights of all young people – especially girls.
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. A book that dared to go where no one thought you could with young audiences because it raises tough stuff to do with race.
  • Einstein's Underpants and How They Saved the World by Anthony McGowan. A crazy adventure set amongst the kids you don't want to know but who this book makes you really, really care about.
  • After the First Death by Robert Cormier. Cormier is never afraid of handling how the personal meets the political all within the framework of a thriller.
  • The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd. A book that allows difference to be part of the plot and not a point in itself.
  • Beano Annual. A cornucopia of nutty, bad, silly ideas, tricks, situations and plots.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Butterless Apple Crumble

We were very honored to have a celebrity at the launchpad last evening. Upon arriving for dinner, she and her husband had stopped to secure pie for dinner. So, it was Chicken Delicious for dinner and [keep your fork, there's] pie for dessert. It's possible that SoBA had four pieces of pie. (I shudder at the thought of my grocery bill when he hits the teenage years). On a related note, we will have dinner guests tomorrow night - wonderful friends who are here visiting DC from the retirement locale of New Mexico. I think slow cooker roast beef is on the menu for then.

I came across this recipe a while back and thought, really? no butter in the crumble? what's the point. But the fine folk over at Chocolate and Zucchini seem to know what they are talking about. I don't know if Kim [or his wife Maggie, for that matter, who makes a fabulous crumble - one I have only read about - but it reads as very delicious] would agree. Enjoy this variation!

Butterless Apple Crumble
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces, about 3/4 cup) flour (I use spelt flour)
  • 100 grams (1 cup) rolled grains of your choice (oat, spelt, wheat, rye, quinoa, rice, barley... or a mix thereof)
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) rapadura sugar
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) unrefined blond cane sugar (you can use the combination of unrefined sugars that you prefer, or just one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mango powder (at Indian markets ; substitute the spice of your choice)
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) oil (I use a bottled blend of four organic oils)
  • 1.5 kilos organic apples (3 1/3 pounds, about 8 medium), preferably a mix of varieties, some that keep their shape when cooked, some that don't
Serves 8.

Make the crumble topping up to a day in advance: in a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients from flour to oil, and stir well with a fork to combine, making sure all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the oil. If making in advance, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge.

On the day of serving, preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Peel the apples in alternating vertical stripes so that you retain some, but not all of the peel. Quarter and core the apples, then cut into smallish chunks.

Arrange the apple chunks over the bottom of a baking dish (the one I generally use is a 25-cm or 10" square) and sprinkle evenly with the topping.

Insert in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until the apples are tender and the topping golden brown, checking regularly to make sure it doesn't darken too much (if it does, cover loosely with a piece of parchment paper).

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. You can bake the crumble a few hours in advance, and reheat slightly before serving: if the oven was in use for the main course, I'll just put the crumble in the cooling oven while we eat. The leftovers are fantastic straight out of the fridge the next day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Creme Brulee

Tonight was, as always, breakfast for dinner at the launchpad. Although tonight we did have French Toast instead of the usual pancakes. There was a time, BK (before kids), when Mrs. BA would go out for dinner or perhaps even have a dinner party. To that end, I own my own torch for caramelizing sugar for creme brulee. I might need to make some. Maybe for Easter.

This recipe (from Le Cirque) comes from the Essential New York Times Cookbook via Cheverly's greatest chef, Scott, who blogs over at Eat with Me.

Creme Brulee
Serves 6-8
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, sees scraped out and reserved
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 TB granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Place eight 6-ounce ramekins in a roasting pan. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and seeds and salt in a saucepan set over low heat and warm for 5 minutes.

2. Gently whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Gradually pour in the hot cream and stir gently to combine. Strain the custard into a pitcher; discard the vanilla bean and use a spoon to skim off any bubbles on the surface of the custard.

3. Pour the custard into the ramekins, filling them almost to the rim. Place the roasting pan in the oven and carefully pour warm water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until set, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool.

4. Cover the ramekins individually and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days.

5. When ready to serve, heat the broiler. Uncover the ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Top each with 1 TB of brown sugar, and using a metal spatula or your gingers, spread the sugar evenly over the custards. Broil the custards about 4 inches from the heating element until the sugar browns and caramelizes, 30 seconds to 1 minute. *Use a blowtorch, if you have one, to caramelize the sugar on top.

NOTES: I had 6 matching ramekins. I tested how much custard they could hold, by filling them with water, then measuring that amount. Each of my ramekins held 3/4 of a cup of the custard. That was exactly how much this recipe made. Six ramekins of 3/4 cup of custard.

As noted above, I used a blend of three sugars, granulated white sugar, brown sugar and turbinado sugar. Not necessary, but interesting.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baseball Quiz Answers

I told you it was hard.

1. Question: Which two players hold the record for the most seasons (23) played for the same team?
Answer: Brooks Robinson (Orioles) and Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox).

2. Question: Who hit 48 home runs beginning June 1, but only 51 in the season?
Answer: Ralph Kiner.

3. Question: Which two managers had six 100-win seasons?
Answer: Bobby Cox and Joe McCarthy. (I had half of this answer)

4. Question: Who played the most regular-season games without ever playing a postseason game?
Answer: Ernie Banks (2,528).

5. Question: Who has the best winning percentage among 300-win pitchers? Answer: Lefty Grove.

(6) Question: Who had a 79-15 record over three years? Answer: Lefty Grove.

(7) Question: Who was the player -- and in what year -- who led his league in home runs and RBIs, started every game of the World Series, and never crossed the Mississippi?
Answer: Larry Doby in 1954, the year after the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and the year before the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City.

8. Question: Since Tris Speaker did it in 1912, who is the only player with 50 doubles and 50 stolen bases in a season?
Answer: Craig Biggio.

9. Question: Which 10 Hall of Famers never played in the minor leagues?
Answer: Al Kaline, Sandy Koufax, Dave Winfield, Mel Ott, Bob Feller, Catfish Hunter, Eppa Rixey, Eddie Plank, Frankie Frisch, Ted Lyons.

10. Question: Who is the only catcher to lead a league in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in the same season?
Answer: Joe Mauer (2009). (I might have gotten here eventually)

11. Question: When the strike stopped the 1994 season on Aug. 11, what team had the best record?
And what was Tony Gwynn’s batting average? Answer: The Montreal Expos, 74-40. Gwynn’s average was .394. (I knew Gwynn was close to Ted Williams' record)

12. Question: In 1955, the year they won their only championship in Brooklyn, what was the Dodgers’ average regular-season attendance?
Answer: 13,423.

13. Question: What two players share the record for most hits in a month?
Answer: Ty Cobb (July 1922) and Tris Speaker (July 1923), 67.

14. Question: From 2000 through 2009, Roy Halladay pitched the most shutouts, 14. Who led the 1970s with 44?
Answer: Jim Palmer. (Jim Palmer - really? The Underwear Pitcher? - sorry, a little Yankees sarcasm there)

15. Question: What pitcher won World Series games in three decades?
Answer: Jim Palmer (1966, 1970, 1971, 1983).

16. Question: Who won a batting title during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s?
Answer: George Brett (1976, 1980, 1990). (the Gordie Howe of Baseball?)

17. Question: Who was the youngest pitcher to win a Cy Young award?
Answer: Dwight Gooden was 20 years and 324 days old when the 1985 season ended. (I knew this one)

18. Question: What two-time MVP and Hall of Famer won league fielding titles as a shortstop and center fielder?
Answer: Robin Yount.

19. Question: Since 1900, what two pitchers won at least 20 games in 13 seasons?
Answer: Christy Mathewson and Warren Spahn.

20. Question: Who is the only pitcher to have 20-win seasons with both the Yankees and the Mets?
Answer: David Cone. (knew this one, too)

21. Question: Who is the only pitcher to have 2,000 strikeouts with two different teams? Answer: Randy Johnson (Mariners and Diamondbacks). (I expected this to be Nolan Ryan)

22. Question: Who had at least 200 hits and 100 walks in four consecutive seasons?
Answer: Wade Boggs, 1986-1989.

23. Question: Whom did the Reds intentionally walk five times in a 1990 game?
Answer: The Cubs’ Andre Dawson in a 16-inning game.

24. Question: Who is the only pitcher to twice pitch a complete game in a World Series seventh game?
Answer: Bob Gibson (1964 and 1967).

25. Question: Who twice got 10 or more hits in a World Series, with different teams?
Answer: Paul Molitor with the Brewers in 1982 and the Blue Jays in 1993.

26. Question: What Hall of Famer got his 3,000th hit off a Hall of Famer?
Answer: Dave Winfield off Dennis Eckersley.

27. Question: The Yankees’ Bobby Richardson set a World Series record with 12 RBIs in the 1960 World Series. How many RBIs did he have during the regular season?
Answer: 26.

28. Question: What player, whose number 44 is retired by two teams, hit 44 home runs in four different seasons?
Answer: Henry Aaron. (the answer is not Reggie Jackson)

29. Question: What six pitchers had 3,000 strikeouts before (or without ever) allowing 1,000 walks?
Answer: Ferguson Jenkins, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, Roger Clemens.

30. Question: What team has won its last nine World Series games?
Answer: The Reds.

31. Question: Why was Roger Maris never intentionally walked in 1961 en route to 61 home runs?
Answer: Mickey Mantle batted behind him. (C'mon this was a pitch right over the heart of the plate. I crushed this one out of the park)

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Draft Day

As you read this, I am likely putting the finishing touches on my fantasy baseball team. For the past few years, I have been the "owner" of a fantasy baseball team. I have done OK, primarily from my pitching. It could be said I am still in a "rebuilding" phase, having inherited the team from another individual. I would really like some speed (base stealers) and a little more home run production. Hopefully I will score some of that tonight.

In draft news, I spotted this article in the Washington Post a few weeks back. I would so be up for the idea of a Meat Draft. I could even "stomach" the high price (the meat is standard priced at $9.50/lb.) with the idea that one would get a wide range of meat cuts. The guys who run the meat draft find really good cows. If you are interested, talk to them.