Last weekend WH and I headed up to Blacksburg to see our beloved Hokies (barely) win against Duke. It’s the first game I have been to this season (and probably last) and of course it had to be frigid. Absolutely frigid. When I was a student I loved being in the stadium cheering and shouting and cursing and feeling like I was part of the team, down on the field blocking kicks and scoring points. In fact, there is only one game I can remember really not enjoying and unfortunately, it has served to decrease my interest in attending all other games. Including Saturday’s game.
Last season we were beating Boston College (and I hate Boston College) — it was pouring down rain but we didn’t care because we were winning! A shut out even! The score was 10 to zip and In the last 3 minutes, Boston College scored 2 touch downs. Two touchdowns. TWO. Final score: 14 – 10. BC wins. It was awful and demoralizing and did I mention it was pouring rain? It was also pretty cold that night too. Horrible experience. Just awful.
Ever since then I have been none too excited about games that feature weather that is “too” anything… too cold, too hot, too rainy, too windy, you get the idea. So when I heard it had been snowing for the week leading up to the game I pouted to WH for a while. It didn’t work. We piled on the layers and headed up the road. Like I said, it was frigid. And a 5:30pm kick off equals no sunlight. Awesome.
Let’s pretend for a second that the VT/Duke game was actually carried by a viewable network. I have no desire to stand in the freezing cold, sweltering heat, pouring rain, or gale-force winds watching a game that I could enjoy from the comfort of my own temperature controlled apartment. I have a couch and food and drinks and I can sit or stand or even lay down. If I get bored with the half-time report I can change the channel. Event Security does not give me a hard time for enjoying an alcoholic beverage. It’s fabulous.
Now, I know nothing beats the experience of being in the stadium when your team beats a huge rival, pulls an upset, or just plain out wins. But sometimes, I just want to be comfortable while I watch the game. That being said, I was pretty miserable at Saturday’s game. WH did his best to keep me warm and he did a fairly good job, but it’s hard to keep the Blacksburg cold out of your bones. I will say that we got incredibly lucky when someone gave us passes to get into some of the tower club seats. I mean, that was baller and WARM. But we were only there for the 3rd quarter and then back down to the frigid cold student section because WH complained that watching from the cushy, heated club box just “wasn’t the same”.
Enduring the cold that night made me really want some of the delicious (and warm) pulled BBQ chicken I made the other night. I’ve been afraid to try barbecue because it seems so difficult. I finally faced my fears and tried slow-cooker barbecue chicken. I actually put a lot of this dish together the night before and dumped it all in the next morning before work. Super easy. WH, who is incredibly picky BBQ mostly because he is from North Carolina, said (I quote) the BBQ is “spot on”. Go me!
Slow-Cooked Pulled Barbecue Chicken
Stuff you need:
- small white or yellow onion, chopped
- small clove of garlic, minced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 c. ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- hamburger buns
What to do with that stuff:
- Sprinkle onion and garlic over bottom of the crock and arrange the chicken thighs on top.
- In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, oil, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and salt.
- Pour over chicken thighs.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours, until chicken is fork-tender and pulls apart easily.
- Remove chicken from slow cooker.
- With two forks, pull apart the meat into shredded chunks, return to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cover and leave on the KEEP WARM setting until ready to serve.
- Spoon onto warm hamburger buns.