THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- FEBRUARY 4, 2023
The Super Bowl is February 12 and that means there is barely enough time for important preparations. Sure, the Chiefs and Eagles are already practicing, which is fine and dandy. However, the critical element is deciding on the menu for your Super Bowl party.
The first step is to inventory your larder. Even the items in the far in the back could have value. “A commonly held myth is that you shouldn’t eat food past its expiration date. Actually, most expiration dates don’t tell us anything about food safety. Most of the labels are designed to indicate when food will be freshest, not when it becomes unsafe.”
When evaluating that past due food, it's better to err on the side of caution. For example, those Twinkies left over from the last Super Bowl are a tad past prime. “There’s a widespread notion that Twinkies never go bad. In reality, Twinkies are only fresh for about forty-five days.” (https://www.kiteandkeymedia.com/videos/common-myths-about-food-debunked/)
True, but fresh Twinkies could be tapped for a unique taste treat. How about a crunchy fried Twinkie? “One of the ultimate comfort foods, deep-fried Twinkies, are a fair and carnival favorite. Beware, they are also really easy to eat.”
The key is the batter. A recipe is at: https://www.thespruceeats.com/deep-fried-twinkies-recipe-305040. 'This versatile batter is also good for frying other treats like candy bars and sandwich cookies.'
If you really want to Twinkie-fy your guests, another recipe suggests bacon- wrapped and fried Twinkies. Check it out at: https://www.ohbiteit.com/2016/02/bacon-fried-twinkies.html.
Twinkies may be a stretch, but there is one item that is a staple on every party menu. “The big game is upon us, and while not all of us may speak the language of touchdowns and fumbles and interceptions, we can all agree on one thing (besides the commercials): nachos.”
Anyone can can raid the refrigerator and concoct a slapdash nacho. The Food Network has some advice, though. “What separates a true nacho connoisseur from the rest? We've got eight unabashed ways that prove you know your nachos.”
The recipes include options that are handcrafted from-scratch and taller than the average adult. One recipe even combines nachos with chicken wings for nacho chicken drumsticks. Recipes and more at: https://www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/recipes/2016/02/8-reasons-you-take-nachos-more-seriously-than-probably-anyone.
Now, you may want your Super Bowl fare to rise above the mundane. After all, anyone can open a bag of chips and uncap a can of spray cheese. Taste of Home offers one hundred Super Bowl party food ideas.(https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/super-bowl-party-food-ideas/)
To be sure, the roster includes many versions of the ubiquitous chicken wings, but there are also some outside-the-box delights: Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake, Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza, Loaded Baked Potato Dip, Macaroni Coleslaw, and Italian Joes on Texas Toast. Don't forget the Puppy Chow and Dogs in a Sweater.
As Americans, we are all pretty used to such adventurous fare. But it's fun to learn what others think of our culinary leanings. A recent article deals with this: “The American Culinary Preferences That Are Totally Confusing To Non-Americans.”
For instance, take ranch dressing. “It's so overpowering. Why don't Americans want to actually taste the salad instead of just the dressing?"
Or a standard like boxed macaroni and cheese. One Swiss man observed that he could not believe anyone “...was looking forward to ingesting orange powder mixed with noodles."
Non-Americans even are aghast at a food essential to my own survival on earth. “Not only the unusual combination of peanut butter and jelly, but also the sheer amount of peanut butter that Americans eat."
Be that as it may, perhaps your main talent in the kitchen is using technology to order food delivery. Just be careful with this power. In the wrong hands technological proficiency can produce unintended consequences, like the Michigan six-year-old boy who spent one thousand dollars on Grubhub using his father’s account.
The lad had a great time ordering large amounts of food from numerous restaurants. The chow included: jumbo shrimp, salads, shawarma, chicken pita sandwiches, chili cheese fries, ice cream, grape leaves, and rice.”
The boy was unaware that the deliveries came with a price tag. Said the father: “I didn’t know if I should get mad or laugh. You just don’t think your kid is going to do something like this. He’s definitely smart enough, I just didn’t expect it.”
The good news is that the entire neighborhood benefited from this faux pas. “They invited some neighbors over to eat some of the food.” (https://www.mlive.com/news/2023/01/michigan-boy-6-spends-1k-on-grubhub-doorbell-just-kept-ringing-cars-kept-coming.html)
Finally, as you consume the bill of fare and watch the game, there will probably be some good natured kibitzing in the air. It might be fun to have some unique palaver with which to confuse the herd. Mental Floss has you covered with “Twenty Chucklesome Slang Terms From the 1910s.” (https://www.mentalfloss.com/posts/1910s-slang-terms)
Be aware, however, that somewhere in the flock there will probably be an “againster.” This is someone who loves to be the voice of opposition. Resist the urge to pop them in the “beezer” (nose). This person is probably just “Jake” (a rustic lout or simpleton).
The bottom line is to have a good time while acting in moderation. “Nothing makes a person feel more like a flivver (failure) than getting too peloothered (drunk) and waking up with the woofits (from drinking too much to not sleeping enough).
Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.