Let Them Eat Football Cake
What to make for a Super Bowl party that's really just an excuse to eat bad food and break in a new larger than life plasma TV? Of course, I had to at least skim my favorite messed-up standby, the Kraft site (I also enjoyed how Food TV had Steelers themed food that was all pierogies, kielbasa and sauerkraut while Seahawk fare consisted of wok seared Dungeness crab, oysters, smoked salmon and taro chips. Is that like blue state/red state cuisine demarcation?) because they know how to celebrate (using as many Kraft products per recipe, of course). I was a little wowed by the Cheesy Football, and amused by the sixth (at this moment in time) comment:
This cheese ball was so great! it was such a big hit at our super bowl party we will be having thanks to this website…i have so many great ideas to share w/ u and my friends of all ages including newborns! thank you see u there !
So, I skipped the Cheesy Football, and went pretty bar food basic: guacamole, hot jalapeno crab dip, and saucy little smokies. I'll admit I went with the cocktail wieners simply because we had half of a two-pound Costco bag in the freezer (same with jalapeno poppers, which I also cracked open).
Oh, and it was hard to resist the bizarre simplicity of the half jelly, half chili sauce smokies recipe (a variation floating around the internet is half jelly, half mustard). Grape jelly isn't something I keep around the house (poppers and smokies, sure, but grape jelly? You've got to be kidding) and I had the good fortune of having recently opened and nearly orphaned a jar of pineapple jam in the fridge that I'd only needed one tablespoon of. I conceded and bought a jar of that ketchupy Heinz chili sauce and shook in an additional blob of sambal oelek. Pu-pu platter perfection.
James manned the deep-fryer because it gives him purpose. He went to town with Buffalo wings and Jane showed up later with cornmeal breaded okra, which also got the hot oil treatment. We had intended to deep-fry a few candy bars, but reason got the better of us.
The past couple of years Rich has brought over his specialty, and my nemesis, Cincinnati Chili. I like to believe that I'm not a fussy eater. Really, the only thing I hate is melon, but there are items that are low on my list, just not in full loathsome territory. Those things include spaghetti, chili and wieners, all components of this regional treat.
I'm still not quite clear on the eating procedure. There's the pasta, which gets topped with the chili and grated cheese, but then there are those whole wieners floating in the chili to contend with, not to mention the hot dog buns and oyster crackers. It's all very confusing. Three-way, four-way, five-way?! I will say that I like the cinnamon as a chili component, it's not a spicy style, but weirdly mole-ish.
And while the Cheesy Football got a pass, the theme lived on in Patrick's Staten Island supermarket football cake. Score!