Brisket on a roll for post-race celebration. Photo via flickr by rfduck

Summer break is over for Psychlo Mom, and it’s back to juggling real-world work, family life and her home for cyclocross boys. Not only is her racer-son Julz Meier under her roof, but she’s also playing host to Elite Swiss racer Anthony Grand for the season. She’s working to keep their voracious appetites well-fueled, and sharing tips with us along the way. Check out Psychlo Mom’s previous posts on Pre-Season Freak-Out and Naked Banana Bread and The Calm Before the Storm and a Recipe for Kick-Some-Ass Oatmeal Cookies

by Psychlo Mom

It’s just like me to get all pumped up to create something…anything, whatever it may be. Next thing I know, I’m completely overwhelmed and cursing myself for having volunteered. What was I thinking?! I get on these rolls sometimes. So ′cross season starts, and suddenly all the rest has to rest. Here we are, deep in it. It’s fun, right?

It’s also pretty all-consuming, along with the start of the school year and the real world. Getting all writer-y over thinking about ′cross and food was easy to do when I basically just did yoga and swung on the porch and thought about feeding two skinny riders all day. But now I have to invent things for 60 kids to do – sixth graders, specifically. I’ve been teaching eighth grade for about eight years now, but this year is something entirely new. So, while you were getting all bugged out about racing and racers and parts and peeps, I was freaking out about sixth graders. Mmmhmm. So dumb, I know, but I just didn’t know what I was in for. I was the only girl in the whole school who was afraid of sixth graders! But the deal is, they’re cool. I like ′em a lot. Teaching is a lot like riding a bike; you just do it and it makes you smile.  Of course, I only race to the middle school on my trash-picked, refurbished bike with a ukelele-playing hula girl on the handlebars, but it’s generally a joyful experience if I can manage to plan something ahead of time that won’t make kids groan in pain.

So, why haven’t I been documenting this bike-and-back-to-school bubble I’ve been living in? Because I didn’t have my ducks in a row. Before I write, I need to chill on the porch with cicadas and crickets and [local NPR affiliate] XPN. And maybe a little glass of wine. That’s my “writer-y” kit. Then I can get to work. It’s like planning and packing for a race: you gotta get yer ducks in a row, especially if it’s a multi-day away-from-home race.

We’re still figuring out what our Race Day Essentials kit should look like. I’m all about the feng-shui and the buffet. For starters, you can’t mispronounce Nutella. Say it out loud, I dare you. Nutella. Now, pretend you’re a suave Italian moviestar (who also happens to race bicciclettes). Nu-tellllla! That seems to be the essential essential. Then pack enough water (think Sahara Desert); Naked Banana Bread; mmmmaybe some cookies. My Swissie (Anthony Grand riding for Cyfac/Champion Sys p/b Revolution Wheelworks) prefers a big bowl of plain-ol’-any-shape pasta a few hours before he rides. Smoothies would be super sexy, but there’s that little problem of not having a blender on the road. OK, so you make a killer smoothie before you leave the house and you nurse that in a Big Gulp until around noon. If you’re traveling, the blender-cups with the wire mixers work for your protien drinks.

Something a little savory and a little sweet is ideal on your race-day table; something like Cracker Jacks or Honey Grahams cereal. Or my secret lover, Kettle Corn. Last week I found the yummiest smoky Chex mix combo from Weaver’s Meats at our local farmer’s market. Maybe throw in some ginger snaps and crunchy apples. Now we’re talkin’.

After-race Essentials for us includes a big pitcher of ice-cold Tazo Zen green tea with fresh-squeezed lemon and some honey. The rest of the Recovery Kit looks like beer, smells like beer and, oddly enough, tastes exactly like beer. If you really feel like celebrating, maybe a big, leftover brisket sandwich with mustard. On a roll.

Here’s my mom’s brisket recipe. It’s so easy…and it’s guaranteed to put someone on or in front of a podium. You can hook someone for life with this recipe. If you need a husband or are having any relationship problems, you should try this remedy on you-know-who. Eat this the night before you race, then pile the leftovers on a hearty, crusty roll for after your ride. Get your gear in order, find your mojo, and roll with it!


1 5-8 lb. first-cut beef brisket (NOT corned beef; same cut of meat, but not corned)

1 box Lipton’s Onion-Mushroom Soup Mix

2 jars of Heinz Homestyle Rich Mushroom Gravy

Small can of tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes

1 onion, sliced

Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes, some, quartered

Carrots, a few, chunked

Serious rolls, preferably ciabatta or sourdough rolls or rye bread.

On the bottom of a large pan, spread one jar of mushroom gravy, the sliced onion, diced tomatoes, and one package of onion-mushroom soup mix. Spread the tomato paste on the brisket, place in the pan. Cover brisket with remaining can of gravy and second package of onion-mushroom soup mix. Spread potatoes and carrots around the brisket, then fill the mushroom gravy jars with water and pour into the pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 325. Leave for a cyclocross practice ride in Fairmount Park, return, smell the kitchen, invite your neighbors to smell your kitchen. Let it bake for 3-5 hours, uncover and let it cool down. Refrigerate overnight before slicing as thin as you can (remove the fat). Share with someone you love for a big foodgasm and watch ′em grin. Getting ready for a race? Make some celebration sandwiches for after your ride. Put this brisket on a crispy roll or on rye bread with some brown mustard. If you’re still having relationship problems, we should talk.