Being married to a hockey player has tried my patience more than once. When the girls were little, it was nothing for Ralph to have been on the road for three nights in mid February to come home long enough to change his clothes, give us all a quick kiss then head out to the hockey rink. I had the responsibility of keeping the wood stove stoked, shoveling our driveway due to at least one snow dump, running my flower shop, kennel training our beagle Molly and caring for the girls. It never occurred to him that his hockey game might not be at the top of our priority list!
It has always been amazing to me that his out-of-town business meetings accommodated his hockey schedule so perfectly. Apparently, the other Maritime provinces do very little business on Friday so he was always able to make his Thursday night games.
For twenty-five years, I have watched my 6’4″ – 235 lb husband have the enthusiasm of a child as he heads to the hockey rink at all hours of the night, in all kinds of weather to play hockey with men that he has played with all of his life. I have listened to memories of him learning to skate by balancing with a metal chair on a puddle of ice when he lived in the city. Then moving to the country and being able to play all day outside on the ponds near his family’s home.
Stories of him having to walk five miles to the rink for a practise before school started, carrying his hockey gear in a plastic garbage bag, fascinated the girls.
“Why didn’t Nanny or Papa drive you?” “Why didn’t you have a hockey bag?” The picture that Ralph drew for the girls was of a time and way of raising children that was very different from their reality. He was one of seven children, all of whom had needs just as important as his. His need was to play hockey and he did!
So here we are in the middle of another play-off season. To tell the truth, when we were younger, I secretly believed that he would have hung up his skates long ago. I now understand – it’s not gonna happen. He is an all-Canadian boy. He will play hockey as long as he can
But then again I am an all-Canadian girl. Despite the late games, the vile smell of hockey gear rotting in our basement , my banged up walls and wood work due to an over sized hockey bag being drug through the house and constantly having to arrange holiday dinners around tournament schedules. I get it…
I have made this dish for Ralph, during the pay-offs for years.
Spicy Pasta with Tuna and Grape Tomatoes
2 small tins tuna
250g short cut pasta - penne, fusilli etc
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
chilli flakes, to taste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook pasta according to manufacture’s instructions
While pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat
Warm olive oil and saute garlic with chilli flakes for 2 minutes
Add chopped peppers and saute for 3 minutes
Add tomatoes and continue cooking another 3 minutes
Add tuna, breaking it apart with a fork.
Add cooked pasta and toss well.
Taste for seasonings and add extra olive oil to your taste.
Plate and serve.
Ralph’s team just won the semi finals and are heading into the finals next week – just sayin’.
Thanks for reading.