Like everyone else in Augusta, I become the biggest golf fan one week out of the year. If you've never heard of a little tournament called The Masters, it's one of the premiere golf events in the world and it's held in my little hometown of Augusta, Georgia!
Alex was lucky enough to get tickets to go on Masters Monday. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate and they ended up suspending play and closing the course shortly after lunch. I was just excited that he finally got to see the tournament for the first time! Being the doll that he is, I was welcomed home with a pimento cheese sandwich and a few goodies from the pro shop. The next day we had the cutest hole in one doughnuts from Dunkin' Donuts for dessert. Alex got in on the fun a little by decorating his sign at work to welcome all the tourists to town!
Masters tournament week is also a great excuse to indulge in everyone's favorite local recipes preserved in the Junior League of Augusta's Tea Time at the Masters Cookbook. We've given this cookbook as a gift a few times. I can't think of anything more quintessentially southern than cooking recipes and sharing dishes together that literally belong to your friends' grandmothers.
I read an article last week about a couple who has been attending the Masters tournament for over sixty years. In it, this sweet lady describes the Augusta National golf course as the closest to God you can get on earth. It really is a slice of heaven. The lawn is absolutely immaculate (even if the azaleas aren't blooming) and during play it's so quiet you can hear every bird in town chirping in anticipation of the impending roar of the crowd.
The first full week of May is also the only time you'll see big celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Niall Horan in town. It's also the only time of year you'll get performances by bands like the Flaming Lips. So we all gather together as a community and savor every second of it. The Masters are totally worth the frustration of planning alternate commutes.
There was something so powerful this year after the passing of Arnold Palmer. Sports don't usually make me very emotional but I found myself in tears more than once watching the patrons adorn their Arnie's Army badges and his wife standing beside the Chairman and an empty chair that had been draped with his Green Jacket.
Sunday night we watched the last hour or so of the tournament and enjoyed baked salmon with Green Jacket Salad, a recipe I borrowed from my mom who worked at the Green Jacket restaurant in Augusta back in the day. This salad is so simple to make. If you're not in the mood to prepare it, you can still order it at a few restaurants in town. (I would spill the beans on my favorite place to eat it but it's too well hidden to share...)
I adjusted this Green Jacket Salad recipe to make a few more servings.
Green Jacket Salad Ingredients:
2 or 3 Roma Tomatoes
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Seasoned Salt
2 tbsp Oregano
1/3 cup fresh parsley
3-4 Green Onions chopped (just the greens)
1/2 bag of crumbled Pita Chips (I cheated and used storebought)
1 large head of Romaine Lettuce, torn
I start by mixing the spices, oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs to create a marinade for the tomatoes. Just before you're ready to serve your supper, cut up the lettuce and mix thoroughly. Top with as many pita chips you like! I like to top with a little extra green onion as well.
What are your favorite Masters traditions?