I started playing tennis when I was in the seventh grade on the asphalt courts behind my junior high school. I played with my friends using my father’s wooden racquet. It was rudimentary tennis, but tennis nevertheless.
Sadly, my tennis hasn’t improved much since those days, but my enthusiasm for the game has.
I love it!
I’ve tried other sports, but they’re just not for me. I tried running and biking in the 1970s, but the combination of heat, rain and dogs chasing me ended those endeavors. Swimming laps was boring, and the treadmill was monotonous. However, if you put a racquet in my hand and ask me to chase a little yellow ball around a tennis court, I can do it all day.
Tennis has been a great way to meet people over the years wherever we’ve lived. I’ve made lots of good friends this way. After all, we share a love for the game and enjoy time spent on the court together, whether it’s team play or just for fun.
When women play socially, more than tennis takes place on the court. They learn a lot more about each other than just their tennis skills. Stories are shared, jokes are told and recipes are exchanged. I think these games are actually group therapy with a few hours of tennis thrown in for good measure.
I met one of my best friends, Chris Rigney, on the tennis court. We took lessons together sometime in the 1980s and have been friends ever since. Chris is one of those people who is a natural athlete. It didn’t take long to figure out she was a lot better tennis player than I am.
She may be the better player, but I’m a better cook. We all have our strong points – mine just happen to be in the kitchen. One of my favorite recipes comes from her kitchen, however. It’s her mother’s recipe for peppered ribeye roast, and it’s great.
This dish is perfect for company. It has a peppery crust on the outside, and the gravy that accompanies it is an extremely flavorful combination of pan drippings and marinade.
Any way you serve it, it’s an ace.
Peppered Ribeye Roast
5-6 lb. boneless ribeye roast, fat trimmed off
1/4 cup coarsely cracked pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup vinegar
Combine pepper and cardamom, and press into all sides of the roast. Place in a baking dish.
Make a sauce from the last five ingredients, and pour into the baking dish with the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, spooning sauce over the meat several times.
Remove roast from refrigerator and allow to sit for 1 hour until it reaches room temperature. Strain and reserve marinade. Wrap roast in foil and bake in shallow pan for 2 hours at 300 degrees. The meat will be medium rare.
Open foil and reserve pan drippings. Put the roast back into the oven, uncovered, and turn the temperature up to 350 degrees. Let it brown while you’re making the gravy.
For the gravy, combine 1 cup pan drippings with
Remove roast from oven. Let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with gravy.
Joy Smith of Fort Mill has many recipes – and the stories behind them – to share.