Little-know fact about me: I love to cook and bake. I find myself watching the Rays while baking quite often, keeping myself busy on the weekends, and I find that certain players call to mind particular ingredients. Is that odd? Undoubtedly, but I long ago gave up worrying about it.
And so, without further ado - and for no real reason besides the fact that I find it amusing - I present you with the 2010 Rays and their food/ingredient counterparts. Bon appetit!
Evan Longoria - Fresh, garden-picked basil
There is nothing else that hits your olfactory glands with as much pizzazz as basil. It's my favorite smell, my favorite flavor, and it's good no matter how you serve it. Blend it into pesto, throw it on a panini with mozzarella and tomato, use it as a spice - it enhances every dish ever. I recently dried some out to store it, and I plan to use it for a looong time.
Carl Crawford - Bread flour
I recently made a loaf of French bread using bread flour, and it was one of the smoothest, softest doughs I've ever kneaded. It took a long time to make - almost all day between the multiple risings and shapings - but the bread was the best I've made so far. I liked it so much, I'm almost done with the loaf already.
Brad Hawpe - Leeks
What are these things? I'm not even sure.
B.J. Upton - Pumpkin
They'll cover the entire garden if you let them and they taste quite good, but instead people like to carve them and let them rot.
Carlos Pena - Yeast
Sometimes I kill it with water that's too hot and my dough sits there like a brick. But other times, it makes things get big fast.
Sean Rodriguez - Juicy, fresh tomato
The most exciting vegetable in the garden.
Ben Zobrist - Strawberries
I love these, but it hasn't been a good year for them at all. The weather made their growing season early and short, so we had about two weeks of good bounty before they closed up shop for the year.
Reid Brignac - Dill
This is a spice I really like, but I never get around to using it much.
Jason Bartlett - Heavy cream
I bought some once and whipped it up into whipped cream - it was amazing, even though I knew it was bad for me. And then it melted the next day and turned into a pile of goo.
Rocco Baldelli - Paprika
I don't know what this spice tastes like and it never seems to do much to my dishes, but I can't help but like it because it has a cool name.
Pat Burrell - Old moldy thing in the back of the fridge
I threw this out a couple months ago, but the residue won't come off.
Hank Blalock - Kale and polenta cassarole
In retrospect, this sounds like such a horrible idea. Why did I try it? Simple answer: I got a great deal on kale at a local farm stand and had nothing else to do with it. Never again.
Matt Joyce - Milk
Got milk? It's just what the doctor ordered.
David Price - Crackers and sharp cheddar cheese
I could eat this every day, all day.
James Shields - Honey
It tastes so good, but sometimes I make a big mess when I use it.
Matt Garza - Hot chili pepper
I was making chili the other night and wasn't sure how much hot pepper to add, so I decided to taste the chili and see how spicy it was. Baaaaad idea.
Jeremy Hellickson - Toblerone chocolate
I had this a few times while traveling abroad in Europe and it's some of the best chocolate I ever had, but I can only find it in the States intermittently.
Lance Cormier - Cornmeal
I hate it and I want it off my bagels, NOW!
Rafael Soriano - Zucchini
Friggin' badass - this vegetable means business.
Joe Maddon - Red Wine
But of course. A good glass of wine brings a meal together and completes the experience, blending the flavors and enhancing each in turn. Age, class, sophistication - wine speaks to me about the finer things in life.