The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon holds a special place in the heart of every Oklahoman. Since more than 10,000 runners were going to be passing directly in front of my house at about mile three of the race, our neighborhood (Lincoln Terrace) rallied to cheer them on — and I got busy in the kitchen to ensure the cheering section kept its energy up!
I brought out my iPod and the speakers for it. Noticing that at some point in the past I had created a playlist titled Revved Up, I thought that would make good running music, so I chose it and cranked up the volume. Yes, the tunes were nice and peppy, but I nearly fell over laughing when I disappeared into the kitchen, came back out, and witnessed the bewildered faces of runners as the iPod blasted out The Beatles singing “Help!” Note to self: Next year, create a playlist that is appropriate for motivating marathon participants.
These firemen were from various Oklahoma towns. They walked the entire route in full fireman garb. Degree of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 10? 12. We corraled them off the route to pose in my yard with the Bair boys.
For early morning munchables, I figured variety and bite-sized were both good things to strive for.
The food was set up right outside the front door, so those cheering could easily access it. The small things on the white plates in front are Southwest Breakfast Casserole bites that I baked in a silicone mini-muffin pan. I didn’t have any green chilies on hand, so I left those out, and I used the pepper jack cheese on top so that I could make some without. Not everyone likes their food hot and spicy, ya know.
Overflow food went on a bench adjacent to the table. The red trays I used added color, but they also made it easy to transport things in and out of the house.
Having napkins handy was important, since we were doing several finger foods. The little spoons were easy to use.
I was so excited about the way these turned out! I used a recipe from George Stellas’ Still Livin’ Low Carb that his wife Rachel had devised for Pumpkin Loaf. I made it in small square shapes in a silicone baking thingie, then cut each one in half and filled them with cream cheese that I had sweetened with Splenda, making little “sandwiches.”
Easy granola parfait. Sweeten a little greek yogurt with Splenda or sugar and layer yogurt, granola, yogurt, granola. Don’t make them too much ahead of time — the granola won’t have any crunch left.
I struggled with the issue of what to feed the sugar-eaters. Particularly since I didn’t know in advance how many would show up (we ended up with more than a dozen in the cheering section), I hedged my bets and bought 4 cinnamon rolls. Remember when you were a kid and you would take the crust off your piece of white bread and roll it into a doughy ball? (What do you mean you didn’t do that? You missed an amazing experience!) Anyway, I figured I could do the same thing with cinnamon rolls. I just tore them into pieces and rolled them into balls. Cinnaballs. Cool. And instead of 4 cinnamon rolls that people might have fought over, I had 2 dozen cinnaballs. Plenty to go around.
What’s breakfast without fruit? I squirted some whipped cream into little shot glasses, then threw berries in. A mint leaf dressed them up a bit.
Wish we had gotten every one in the picture, but we waited until the race was over and some of those who got up pre-dawn to cheer had left to go back to sleep. I had kitchen cleanup to do before I could think about snoozing! Well worth it. We had SUCH a great time and the runners appreciated our presence. Many of them called out “Thank you” as they passed. (Do you think it was because I kept hollering “What a good-looking bunch of runners!”?)
In the yard directly north of us, there were more folks cheering and one of them was holding my favorite sign of all time. In big bold letters, it said “RUN TOTAL STRANGER RUN!” Loved it — and so did the runners! And for those of you who aren’t from Oklahoma, yes, that is a real live oil well, and beyond that, in front our state capitol, is an oil derrick. There’s another one to the right, just out of the picture. Wish I could say I owned some of the mineral rights, but I’m sad to say I don’t. Still, it’s a wonderful place to live.