Growing up, Jim listened to the Indy 500 on the radio every year. But he never made it to Indianapolis for the race; until 2009.
That year I went all out for Jim’s birthday (it was a big one with an 0 at the end) and gave him an insider’s trip to the Indy 500. We went to every event from Carb Day through the race, were driven around the track by two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk in “hot laps”, watched the pit competition from the track, walked the track, kissed the bricks, and watched the race from the Hulman Terrace. We even managed to get an intro to two of Jim’s childhood TV icons, Florence Henderson and Ruth Buzzi, and snapped a picture of him with Florence on one side and Ruth on the other . . . twisting his nipples (through his shirt). (Those ladies are wildly funny, down-to-earth and sassy. But it was the nipple-twisting that pretty much made them my idols.)
The only thing we didn’t do was see Jim’s current favorite driver – Dario Franchitti win. (Jim likes Franchitti because “he has a hot wife” (Ashley Judd) and he’s Scottish, as is Jim, although a generation or two removed from the homeland.)
So we went back last year. And Franchitti won.
This year our work demands precluded a third Indy 500 trip, but we did manage to slip away to Westport for an overnight and decided to recreate race day there.
On race day, two things are required, Foster’s Lager or Miller or Bud Light and biscuits. We settled for Bisquick over Clabber Girl. And gussied our biscuits up with ham and cheese.
Franchitti didn’t win this year – although it looked like he would through much of the race – but the race had its exciting moments and the biscuits were pure comfort food with none of the trackside grease.
Ham and Cheese Biscuits
- 2 1/4 c. Bisquick
- 2/3 c. Milk
- 3-4 oz. Medium cheddar cheese
- 5-6 slices Deli Ham
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add 2/3 c. of milk to 2 1/4 c. Bisquick. Stir until combined. Dice 5-6 slices of ham and 3-4 oz cheese. Add ham and cheese to biscuit mixture (if you want more ham and cheese at this point go for it and add some more in). Knead it altogether with your hands.
Form into 4-6 balls and place each one on an ungreased cookie sheet. Once on the sheet, flatten the balls so they are no more than 2 inches high.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes. When there is a bit of browning and the outside texture feels dry and slightly crisp, the biscuits are ready to be taken out of the oven. Let cool 5 minutes.
Grab your beer, turn on the race and enjoy the greatest spectacle in motor racing.