Begging to stay up late, scouring the JC Penney catalog for replica athlete wear, and dreaming of witnessing sport history in the making. Two weeks every two years were completely preoccupied with Olympic obsession when I was a kid.
And I did rock that pink, purple, and white track suit from the ’96 Atlanta games proudly.
Not much has changed as an adult. I’ve traded in my loud-and-proud track suit for more subtle USA mittens but the obsession is the same.
I made a huge check on my bucket two years ago when I was lucky enough to attend the London 2012 games and while the summer games will always be my favorite, there really is something to be said for the winter games as well.
The artistry of figure skating and hoping this year I’ll learn what a triple salchow is; the knee-gripping excitement of moguls, and the anxiety over the heights reached in ski jumping. I eat it up.
While most parts of the country are exhausted over the snow and cold we’ve experienced for the last few months, seeing the white capped mountains makes me want to escape to a chalet or cabin in the Rockies. I couldn’t think of a better view out the window while curled up to the nightly coverage.
I also couldn’t think of a better dish in my lap than a spice rubbed, seared elk steak with creamy grits.
Nothing says winter comfort to me like this dish. The spice rub on the elk is smoky and bitter–the perfect counterpart to creamy, slightly sweet grits.
Elk has such a rich taste that isn’t gamey at all. Cooking it rare to medium rare is essential–any longer and you risk tough, chewy meat. Of course you can always substitute beef if you can’t source elk. I was able to get these beautiful steaks from the elk stand at our local winter farmer’s market.
If it were a sport, I’m certain this dish would take the gold.
Go Team USA!
Photography note: I’m well aware the amount of grits in the bowl is obscene. I said that very thing as I was writing this post. I cannot explain why this did not occur to me as I was photographing the bowl. Call it what you like, my eyes have always been bigger than my stomach. Unless you’ve been training for an Olympic sport, one scoop of grits with the steak should be more than enough!