Life on Regal-Hill: July 9, 2008

The 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star game is expected to take place Tuesday, July 15 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Also known as the Midsummer Classic, baseball’s superstars will gather to play as one team from the American League, and the other team is made up of National League players. This will be the fourth and last time this game has been played at Yankee Stadium, since they are getting a new stadium.
Although some of this information may change, it looks like Terry Francona will manage the American League team and Clint Hurdle will manage the National League team. Usually the managers of the All-Star game are the same managers who faced each other during the previous year’s World Series and its manager selects the coaching staff for each team.
As you probably know, the selection of players is currently by fan voting, player voting, manager selection, final vote and replacements. Fan voting is nice since it gives fans a chance to participate, but when there is a large fan base on only one or two teams, a majority of the players could come from only one or two teams. Player voting involves picking pitchers and one backup player for each position. If the fans selected the same player then the second-place finisher is selected. Managers of the 30 MLB teams and the commissioner’s office then fills the roster up to 31 players. Once the lists of 31 players for each league is announced, the fans get to vote for one additional player chosen from a list of five players provided by the manager and the commissioner’s office. The manager and the commissioner’s office pick a replacement for anyone who is injured or declines to play.
Seventy-eight All-Star games have been played. The National League has won 40 games and the American League has won 36 games with two ties. The National League has had the longest winning streak of 11 games from 1972 to 1982. Currently the American League has a league-best 11-game unbeaten winning streak.
The first All-Star game was held as part of the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois. Originally it was to be a one-time event but because of its great success it became an annual event.
The game is usually played on a Tuesday and no regular games are scheduled the day before or the day after the All-Star game. These are the only two calendar days on which no games in the major professional sports leagues of the United States are scheduled as basketball, football and hockey are in their off seasons.
I thought this information that I found on-line was rather interesting, so I hope you did too. May the best league win the 2008 Midsummer Classic.
July is National Ice Cream Month. A great deal of ice cream is consumed in July, even more than in August, according to something I read recently. However, I suppose even that is dependent on the weather. I think that when it is really hot and humid more ice cream would be consumed in an attempt to cool off.
The following recipes are for making homemade ice cream using the Cuisinart ice cream maker. Enjoy and do it often.

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
3 cups fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1-1/4 cups whole milk
2-3/4 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for two hours. Strain the berries, reserving juices. Mash or puree half the berries.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about one to two minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20-25 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved sliced strawberries and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about two hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Makes about 14 1/2 cup servings.
Cuisinart Recipe

Simple Chocolate Ice Cream
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process preferred)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3-1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Place the cocoa and sugars in a medium bowl; stir to combine. Add the whole milk and use a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to combine until the cocoa and sugars are dissolved, about one to two minutes. Stir in heavy cream and vanilla. If not freezing immediately, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Turn machine on; pour mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about two hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Makes about 14 1/2 cup servings
Cuisinart Recipe