As the stepmother of four boys, I know all too well the challenges of feeding a house full of men and growing boys! And my new friend Lucinda Scala Quinn has even written a book on the subject, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men And Boys. So, with the Super Bowl approaching, I asked Lucinda to put together some great tips for those of you who may be hosting a big boy bash this Sunday. They are perfect!
When we first met on Mondays With Marlo, we really clicked. It was clear that we had a lot in common. We are both married to men who love football, we have sons - I'm a stepmother to four boys and Lucinda is a mother of three boys - and we are both feminists. The glaring difference between us: Lucinda is an accomplished chef and I'm proud of myself when I sautee vegetables. But despite being on opposite ends of the culinary spectrum, we face the Super Bowl with millions of other American women with one question:
How are we going to keep our men full between touchdowns?
Even though neither of us have the patience to actually sit down and watch the game anymore, we do love all the game-day food--the kind that isn't time sensitive. As Lucinda says, "Really, in what other sporting event does three game minutes turn into thirty real-life ones?"
For both of us, the kitchen is the perfect place to be during the game--and not because the guys in our homes can't cook (they can, and they do). We just prefer being there. Invariably, Lucinda's menu plan starts with a chili discussion, and the rest spins out from there. Chicken wings, nachos -- all logical follow-up ideas are the inevitable next step. But why do we always want the same thing? Lucinda thinks that it's mostly the guy-driven palate running this show, for one thing. Big flavors -- savory, salty, spicy -- at risk of sounding 'sexist' -- are what excite the guys who watch the guys who play the other guys while the announcing guys tell us what is happening with the guys. Like it or lump it -- it's a guy thing.
Now, before you female football fans write us any heated letters, please know that we do understand. If football is your thing -- more power to you. If cooking for football players or fans is your thing -- good for you. It's a great day to celebrate and it's all about having fun. So, whoever's doing the cooking, just make sure you've got Lucinda's following five football food rules figured out. (Trust us - we've been married to football fanatics for a while now.)
1. Can it be handheld?
2. Is it easily made ahead of time?
3. Does it get better with time ('game minutes' time)?
4. Are you planning to make enough (guys tend to bring other guys)
And perhaps most important:
5. Does it taste better with beer?
So, here are some recipes for game grub sure to please the football viewers, innocent bystanders or anyone else who -- like us -- may well be found in the kitchen relishing a good ole 'bowl of red.'