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Kilts or no kilts ... we like curling!

February 1, 2011 - Taste Buds
Curling.

The Taste Buds aren't talking hair here.

What we are talking about is the 16th century game which was invented by Scotsmen who for some strange reason thought they needed to slide a big old stone down a frozen section of water.

Think about it. Who would want to stand out in the cold and watch men in kilts grunt and snarl as a stone gracefully glides down the ice to its final resting place? Well, after much consideration, The Buds are thinking it could prove to be fun and entertaining.

The first thing we learned is curling isn't a sport for sissies. A person is required to slide the stone, which is actually a piece of polished granite weighing anywhere from 38 - 44 pounds, down that stretch of ice to the center of a bull's-eye. Someone with muscles, or a really big truck, has to get the stone to the ice.

When the initial player decides to send the stone gliding over the ice, two additional players slide down in front of it, vigorously sweeping the surface of the ice to control the path and final resting place of the stone. It appears that you have to make funny sounds when doing the sweeping. We don't know why but we find it strangely amusing!

And, from everything we've read, curling can be enjoyed in your own backyard if you have a place to make an ice pond!

All you need is a frozen patch of water (or long sidewalk covered in ice), one large stainless steel bowl, a brick, one rectangular trowel with a handle, masking tape, two push brooks and red or blue food coloring.

The first step to take is creating your stone. To do so, attach the trowel to the brick with masking tape. Set the brick into the bowl and with trowel handle on top. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the flat metal portion of the trowel but make sure you leave plenty of room for grasping the handle. Once that is satisfactory, set the "stone" outside to freeze for several hours.

Next, you will need to make your target on the ice. To do so, add a few drops of the food coloring of your choice to about one cup of water. Paint three circles in a bull's-eye fashion on the ice about 2, 4, and 6 feet in diameter.

Now the fun part begins. Start the game by being about 25-feet away from the center of the ring. (Real curlers are over 100 feet away from their target!) Gently launch the stone with a sliding motion towards the bull's-eye and have two team mates sweep in front of the stone as it slides to the target.

Score one point for each line the stones passes. You will snag three points is you hit the bull's-eye!

And The Taste Buds aren't the only ones thinking curling is cool!

The Taste Buds may be reached at tastebuds@timesleaderonline.com

The popularity of curling has increased since it became eligible for Olympic competition in 1998. According to the Web site usacurl.org there are approximately 150 curling clubs in this country. The group can also be found on Facebook and Twitter and has thousands of followers.

And, as an added tidbit, if you are a die-hard fan of the sport or just interested in watching a few rounds of curling action, the USA Curling Nationals begin Feb. 12 in Fargo, N.D.

We aren't sure if those original Scotsmen who invented this bull's-eye busting game wore kilts or not to participate in the sport, but we're going to say they did. Makes it seem like a more macho sport ... don't you think?

 
 

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