If the end of January is approaching then I know I can expect a variety of things: emails from sites I subscribe to sharing the perfect Super Bowl snacks, bloggers swapping their tried and true party dish faves, and people talking about whether they’re planning on a game day get together or not. None of it has been discussed in our house yet, because we’ve been busy, busy, busy with life enjoying a long weekend making like tourists in West Hollywood, soaking up the last bits of our youngest’s company before he returns to San Francisco for the spring semester, celebrating family birthdays and anniversaries, and in the past couple of days, nursing one of our cats back to health after a run in with a neighbor’s kitty. Goodness! And it’s not over yet. Any time now, my husband will ask about what’s on our Super Bowl agenda. It always seems to be a last minute sort of thing most years, and that’s just fine with me because it doesn’t take too much thought to decide which snacks football fans will expect to have at their fingertips whether they’re for our small family, or a larger group.
I doubt there has ever been a time we haven’t had fresh salsa or pico de gallo with guacamole and tortilla chips. A pot of chili with all the fixin’s and a salad for halftime eats are also the norm even though the chili recipe varies from one year to the next. But I’m also known for sneaking in something that may raise eyebrows, causing certain guests to cast one another a nervous glance before pointing and asking, “What is that?” then politely suppressing the urge to continue with, “Do I have to eat it?” as they reel their fingers back in. Actually, they now ask, “How do I eat it?” because it seems my food often has rules that accompany it — or must seem like it does. Is it supposed to be dipped, or layered? Which of the ingredients on the plate create the best bite? Is it finger food, or do I need a plate and fork? To their credit, they seem much more enthusiastic than they did years ago, so I know my risks to encourage people to try something new haven’t failed, and that makes me happy.