There is only one man’s approval you should seek for your Superbowl munchies. I suppose this man is an abstraction. A piecing together of many men; though in my case he materialized as an acquaintance named Thug. Thug Red.
There’s nothing necessarily thuggy about Thug Red. Thug Red is gigantic, yes. But in the cliched “Teddy Bear” way.
Still, a mountain of a man. Maybe it’s his sheer size which has prompted my boyfriend to self-accolade on previous Superbowl cookery, “Thug ate all the chili I made last year. And Thug really knows food,” I’ve always found this statement a tad dubious. Isn’t it a simple primal savagery which dictates mangut after three hours of competitive sports?
The audacity I had to show up to Thug Red’s man-cave amongst the height of a stint in veganism last year.
But I did.
I walked in with a tray of fried banana dumplings and a little dipper of homemade hazelnut spread mimicking Nutella.
I put my little plate on the outskirts of the table, just barely balancing on the edge of anarena of competing foods so rich with virility they seemed to have attacked each other–the pizza and garlic fingers were torn and slain between indistinguishable boxes, sauces oozed beyond bounds, atop intruding carrot sticks, hamburger buns, bacon-wrapped-anythings, moats of chill from paper bowls which had resisted and soaked through, leaving desolate beans in a tomato-based death.
It was an exhaustion of food.
Thug evidently led this display of masculine eatery; he had organized, laboured, sought out the ingredients and disciplined a crew to cook since earlier in the day. (Without which, my boyfriend might never have found it in himself the pride of a chilli well-cooked and shared).
But toward the end of the night I caught Thug inspecting the corner of the table. He was holding my bratty little fried banana dumplings, index and thumb, as delicate as ladies-who-lunch. I rushed over a bit embarrassed, shrugging them off. He ate one, two, three. “Vegan, eh?” I nodded quickly. He grabbed some more, walked across the room and extended himself on the couch in a guttural release of ease.
Now I got it. Thug Red knows food. But what I really think, is Thug Red knows flavour. Frills or not, meat goes in chilli and banana goes with chocolate. I don’t forget about keeping it classic now. I cook for the idea of a man, the collective masculinity that just wants to relax and deliver a large, sloppy assortment of foods into their bellies with the speed, efficiency and weight of a running quarterback. Below, my picks for a Superbowl menu this year:
4 TBS Ketchup
2 TBS Soy Sauce
2 TBS Honey
-Sesame Seeds for garnish
Cook wings tossed in Chinese Five Spice for 1 hour, then lather in BBQ sauce for another 30 minutes.
Oven Temp: 350
Blue Cheese Dip
1 cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
Blue Cheese to taste
You’ll need: Mini Pizza Rounds
Smores- Mini Marshmellows, Butterscotch Chips, Nutella Spread, Graham Cookies
Healthy Pizza- Honey and Vanilla Yogurt, Coconut, Walnuts, Fruit Salad