The Glutton's Superbowl Party Planning Guide

beer

You have until February 4th to get ready.  Start planning now.

I don't care for any sports at all.  I like Superbowl parties, though.  Superbowl parties aren't about the game: they're about getting together, socializing, eating excessive amounts of snacks, and lots of drinking.  The TV set is usually just a background distraction.  One or two people in the room are actually watching the game.  The rest are cuing in, and making comments on what the game watchers said.  Hint: if you're not actually watching the game, it is best to yell "Defense!  Defense!" at random intervals.  Don't over do it, though: there's no need to shout that during commercials.

Superbowl parties are different from science fiction convention parties.  The main difference is that at science fiction convention parties, music is played or films are shown on the TV.  With Superbowl parties, it's generally agreed to have the Superbowl playing.  If the party is started early enough, it is permissible to have the Puppy Bowl or the Kitten Bowl on TV.

That's the great thing about the Superbowl: they start broadcasting "game coverage" long, long before the actual game starts.  If you want to start your Superbowl party at 9AM, you can do it.  If you just want news programs about the Superbowl, you can start the party the evening before the game.

Superbowl parties require a degree of preparation.  Sure you need snacks.  Sure, you need stuff that almost falls into the category of food.  It's all about binge____, whether it's binge eating or binge drinking.

I remember one article on watching the Superbowl: it seems that a lot of people just sit at their couches, munch on snacks, and essentially don't move.  The article suggested that people move around a bit to keep their muscles from getting stiff.  I say: let the Health Nazis have control the rest of the year.  Get snacks arranged by your couch, and just move your arms enough to grab another hand full of chips or bottle of beer.

The ideal is that you and your guests don't have to get up for anything.  Have tables by your couch.  One table can have dips and crackers or chips.  Another can have crock pots full of hot sort-of food.    Sure, you need a main beer supply, but you also need a secondary beer supply in a cooler by your couch.    You can have things arranged so that someone stuck in the middle seat can just ask someone to their left or right to grab something for them, and it can be passed, baseball game style to them.

Sooner or later someone is going to have to go to the bathroom.  It can't be avoided.  I can't suggest keeping buckets by the couch, for instance.  There are limits here.  I'd recommend placing your couch as close to the bathroom as possible, to cut down on unnecessary movement.

By "couch," I am assuming that you have a small guest list, and just one couch.  Remember this rule: the average couch holds three people.  For every three people that will be there, you will need one couch.  If you will have 12 people, simple math dictates that you need four couches, as well as tables, crock pots, coolers and so on to serve each couch.  I'd recommend starting small with a couple of good friends, and then expanding the guest list as your budget dictates.

You have the general idea.  But what about specifics?  Here are some ideas for you.

Minimum supplies:

Beer.  Oh god yes, lots of beer.  Cold beer.  In cans.  Cheap beer.  Fill your bathtub with ice and  pile it up with canned beer until you can't fit any more in.

cheese ball

Lots of chunks of cheese, and at least one large cheese ball. 

Summer sausage (sliced), and any other sliced fatty sausage, such as dry salami or pepperoni.

Or do what everyone else does and get a cheese and sausage platter.

Be sure to have lots of paper plates, bowls, toothpicks, plastic flatware and napkins handy.

Four crock pots. 

Crock pot #1: filled with chili

Crock pot #2: filled with barbecue sauce and those little cocktail sausages.

Crock pot #3: filled with a mix of catsup and honey (50/50) and meatballs

Crock pot #4: filled with canned cheese sauce mixed with sliced jalapeno peppers

Have a bottle of whiskey or two handy.  Get  the cheapest, nastiest stuff you can find.  Make up a drinking game, to the effect that everyone has to have a swig if (unspecified action in the game) happens.  Make sure it is something that happens a lot.

Get one of those huge loaves of French or Italian bread from Walmart.  Get a package of every kind of sliced lunch meat you can find,as well as a jar of mayo, a bottle of mustard, a bottle of catsup, a bottle of honey, a jar of relish, and a bottle of hot sauce.   Get a big bowl and empty the mayo, honey, catsup, mustard, relish and hot sauce into it, and mix together.  This is your sandwich sauce.  Arrange the sliced lunch meats on the bread.  Put your sauce on top, and if desired, add some Americanized Kim Chee or tapenade.  Or both (recipes below).   


You need at least one weird item, one that no one has thought of having at a Superbowl party.  I have three suggestions here:  Both are loaded with salt, so hey should meet with the approval of your fellow couch potatoes.

tapenade

Tapenade


Sure, some call this gourmet food.  But it's also loaded with salt, which makes it a proper snack.   Yes, it has no sour cream, however we do have a sour cream version below.

1 pound olives
4 anchovy fillets
1 tsp. chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/4 cup capers
1 tsp dried basil
2 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

Pop all of this in a blender or food processor, and process to a coarse paste.

kim chee


Americanized Kim Chee

Authentic Korean Kimchi is just too coarse in my opinion.  The following recipe is more like sauerkraut in texture, and it's great on burgers or sub sandwiches. 

use slicer attachment on your food processor

2 pounds cabbage
1/2 cup salt
3 quarts or so water
1/2 pound radishes, shredded
1 onion, run through the slicer (or 2 TBS dried minced onion)
1/4 cup crushed red pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 TBS ginger powder
1 TBS chopped garlic (or 3/4 tsp garlic powder)
2 tsp sugar

Run cabbage through the food processor's slicer.  It should look like sauerkraut.  Mix with the salt, and cover with water, making sure the cabbage is submerged.  Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

Place cabbage in a colander.  Rinse with cold water.  Squeeze out any excess liquid.  Set aside.

Mix all the other ingredients in with the cabbage.  Pack into 2 quart jar.  Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.  Refrigerate for at least 48 hours.  Best when let age for a week.

haggis

Haggis
The stuff is sheep innards  mixed with oatmeal, stuffed into a sheep's stomach and boiled.  Every good party has something that no will even try to taste.  This stuff makes a good candidate for that, and at $10 a can is a real bargain.


peanuts          pistachios

Peanuts and pistachios are both good choices.  Get a couple of pounds of each of them.  Make sure they're shelled.  Your guests aren't going to want to get up to throw away the shells, so you might as well tell them to just toss them on the floor.


Dips is Dips

For proper snacking, you need dip.  Lots of it.  More than your group  can possibly eat in one sitting.  Dips should be sour cream or sour cream mixed with mayonnaise.  All dips should be served cold.

Instructions?  You don't need no steenking instructions.  Jut take the ingredients, mix them together, and serve.
 
You will need something to put into all of that dip.  Sure, chips and crackers are a good start, but what kind of chips and crackers?  This is where we, the irresponsible eating experts, come in.

Go to your local Dollar Tree or warehouse store.  Look for whatever is chip like or cracker like.  If it's salty, it qualifies.  Don't make this too complicated.  Just eat.

Chex party mix, or its generic equivalent, is also a must.  I recommend getting at least 5 gallons of the stuff.

Avoid anything that even hints at being healthy.  Low salt or low fat snacks can stay on the shelves for the henpecked husbands and the Food Nazis.

As a general rule, if there's something you like, try mixing 1/4 to 1/2 cup of it with 2 cups of sour cream mix. 


dip mix
6 cups (two 3 cup containers) sour cream
1 quart real mayonnaise
(use in place of sour cream in recipes)

(this cuts down on the expense of using all sour cream)


tapenade dip
1/2 cup tapenade
2 cups sour cream

sour cream and onion dip
2 cups sour cream
1/4 dried onion flakes
2 TBS beef bouillon

jalapeno dip
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup chopped  jalapeno peppers

bacon horseradish dip
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup bacon bits
1/4 cup horseradish

salsa dip
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup salsa

guacamole dip
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup guacamole

honey mustard dip
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard

buffalo dip
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 TBS French dressing
1 TBS honey

dill dip

dill dip
2 cups sour cream
2 TBS dill

pickle dip
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup chopped pickles

olive dip
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup chopped olives

garlic dip
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

ranch dip
4 tsp parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups sour cream

blue cheese ndip

blue cheese dip
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled

fry sauce
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup catsup

And of course, there's always...

vegemite

Don't tell your guests about it.  Just have it by some crackers.  Watch as they pile it on thick and then take their first bite.  Sure, it's not cheap, and it tastes like someone had poured a pound of salt into a bottle of blackstrap molasses.  It's just so much fun watching the disgusted look on peoples' faces when they try it for the first time.

sweet stuff

Sweet Stuff

This is a fairly simple part of it.  Go to your local store.  Go to the bread section, particularly where they have the Hostess brand stuff.  The rule is simple: buy big boxes of the the generic versions of everything Hostess puts out.  Do not buy anything with the Hostess brand on it: you want the stuff labeled Great Value, Little Debbie, and so on.  You'll have a good selection of hand-holdable sweet stuff, ready to consume.

And that's it.  After the game is over, your friends will of course scatter to the wind, leaving you to clean up the mess.  This is a time-honored tradition that goes back thousands of years.  You will, of course,wonder why you ever went through all of that effort.  Just get a good sized snow shovel out and start cleaning.

It will take you exactly one year to forget the aftermath and again want to hold another Superbowl party.  It's the circle of life.