Cobra Polo Classic benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities

You don’t have to know a chukker from a hole in the ground to enjoy the upcoming Cobra Polo Classic.

The annual fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities draws about 1,200 guests for one of the country’s largest charity polo matches. Guests enjoy the polo match along with a gourmet buffet lunch, parade of hats and hat competition. Local beer and wine, specialty martinis and a champagne divot stomp (to take care of those holes in the ground) are featured.

“It is the first year for us,” said caterer London Harris, of London’s Ultimate Catering. “It is the biggest event we’ve ever done and you have to be a little bit crazy to do it.”

London’s will have to build a temporary kitchen at the polo grounds to make appetizers for the guests. “For us, it is a challenge but we love the Ronald McDonald House. … It is a great cause and it’s really Spokane’s premier event,” Harris said.

Harris, who left her job as a banker five years ago to turn her passion for food into a business, shared her most-requested recipe, which will be served at the polo lunch buffet. London’s Watermelon Salad includes the unusual combination of watermelon and bacon.

“It sounds strange, but it is really great,” she said.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane also worked with bartenders at the MarQuee Lounge to create cocktails featuring spirits from Spokane’s local Dry Fly Distilling which will be served. They shared recipes for the Vodka Chukker, Blackberry “Rein” Drop and Jumpin’ Julep below.

The money raised by the Cobra Polo Classic benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane, which provides temporary lodging, comfort and support for families with children receiving medical treatment in Spokane. More than 700 families stay there each year. Families who stay there have all of the amenities that they would at home, including a kitchen, stocked pantry, laundry facilities, play rooms, TV rooms, an office, and outside play grounds, said Colleen Fox, director of marketing and communications.

Donations from the Cobra Polo Classic help guarantee that families are able to stay at no cost while their children receive treatment. One hundred percent of funding for house comes from local donations and the Cobra Polo Classic is the largest fundraiser of the year.

(Oh, and if you really don’t know a chukker from a hole in the ground, a chukker is a period of play in polo.)

Find more information at www.rmhcspokane.org.

Here are recipes that will be served at this year’s event:

London’s Watermelon Salad

Courtesy of London’s Ultimate Catering, (509) 570-2348.

1 personal-sized watermelon, diced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

12 ounces maple bacon, cooked and chopped

6 leaves fresh basil, chopped

Combine vinegar, olive oil, onion, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Let sit at room temperature for an hour. In the meantime, cook bacon and cut up watermelon.

Add red onion dressing to watermelon right before serving, toss with bacon and basil.

Note: Harris said it is important to use high-quality ingredients for this salad, especially the extra virgin olive oil and maple bacon.

Yield: Varies.

Vodka Chukker

4 kumquats

2 ounces Dry Fly vodka

1 ounce simple syrup

1 pinch grated ginger

Muddle kumquats in a shaker, add ice and rest of ingredients. Shake and pour into an empty glass, garnish with kumquat wedge or sprig of thyme.

Yield: 1 serving

Blackberry “Rein” Drop

2 ounces Dry Fly gin

1 ounce simple syrup

1 pinch freshly grated ginger

6 blackberries

2 ounces soda water

Muddle fresh berries in shaker and add ice and rest of ingredients, omitting the soda. Shake and pour into a ice filled glass. Top off with soda water, garnish with mint sprig.

Yield: 1 serving

Jumpin’ Julep

2 ounces Dry Fly whiskey

1 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce cinnamon simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into an ice filled glass. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon.

Yield: 1 serving

If you go:

Cobra Polo Classic

What: Polo exhibition, gourmet buffet lunch, parade of hats and hats competition. Featuring local beer and wine, specialty martinis and champagne divot stomp. Benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane.

When: Noon-4 p.m., Sept. 9

Where: Spokane Polo Club, 10800 U.S. Highway 2, Airway Heights

Tickets: $200 per person at www.rmhc.spokane.org or call (509) 624-0500.

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