Eating occasions– Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day

Two of the biggest food days (excluding Thanksgiving and the December holidays) of the year are coming up– Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day. I’ve read that the big national pizza chains (Papa John’s and Domino’s) do their biggest business on this day (followed by Halloween– interesting!) and I know that La Rosa’s is always super busy, too. This is about the time of year when magazines are covered in chips, dips, “manly” food (who deems a food manly or feminine, really?) and crowd pleasers. I am not having a Super Bowl party this year, but I’ll be attending one. We’re each supposed to bring a snack, and since the hostess always teases me about things like, “Gee, Julie, did you raise the chicken on your fire escape? Churn the butter yourself?” I can’t just buy some salsa and chips and call it a day. Terry suggested chicken wings, but I think that might be a little difficult to transport– I don’t want them to get mushy or greasy or over-sauced in the 20 or so minute drive to the party. This is sad, because I do make decent wings.

Right now, I’m considering a couple of recipes. Googling “super bowl recipes” is sort of frightening: it seems like everything involves Velveeta, Cheez-Whiz, bottled barbecue sauce or a really obnoxious football theme. I’m leaning towards a dip– maybe a Reuben dip (very simple: fresh sauerkraut from Kroeger’s at Findlay, some good corned beef, some cream cheese, shredded Swiss, warmed and served with rye crisps. Very New York (most of us will be rooting for the Giants) and pretty tasty. I was also thinking about doing chicken satay– easy to eat, tasty, and different. Do any of you have any suggestions?

Then, of course, there’s Valentine’s day. I’ve enjoyed working on a friend’s ad campaign for a restaurant that is doing an “anti-Valentine’s”, playing great break-up songs and lots of drink specials. I’m sort of anti-Valentine’s myself: in past relationships, V-day has been forgotten, plus I’ve been stood up with, broken up with, and had a close family member die on Valentine’s. Terry (being a guy) isn’t terribly fond of it either, so we’re boycotting things like chocolate and flowers (why buy them at twice normal retail?) and restaurants that double their prices and… well, we’re not sure what we’re doing. I think I’m going to make sure we both enjoy it and it will probably involve cooking, but I can’t spoil the surprise because Terry reads this (hiya, Sweetie!). I’d definitely appreciate meal suggestions for this one, too!