Dan’s big game food rules:
I love reasons to make small bites, and big games are the best reason to make small bites. With a group of people gathered around the big screen for four hours, you gotta feed them, and small bites are perfect. Let’s start with the premise that game time is a balancing act when you have a room full of spectators, some in folding chairs, some with a drink on the floor and a plate resting precariously on a leg. The right food can prevent cleanups in aisle 5. Here are my tips to prevent distracting disasters.
- Variety is required; you don’t want someone to have nothing to eat at a big game party. My rule of thumb is two proteins for every vegetarian dish. Wings and meatballs with a veggie tray. Sliders and pigs-in-a-blanket with spinach and artichoke dip. You get it.
- Portable and easy to eat with one hand is the rule. Wings, nachos, chips, egg rolls, fried ravioli, and veggie trays are one — handed foods. If you have to use two hands, how do you hold your drink?
- Only three plugged-in dishes. What is a plugged-in? Nacho cheese, meatball with sauce, and chili. All use crock pots or other devices. Too many plugged-in dishes can trip a circut breaker knocking the cable box out which means missing some of the game. (I’m an alarmist.)
- Two-or-three bite desserts are best. Brownies, cookies, and donuts are the best. Pie and cake require forks, and you most likely will run out of forks in the first quarter. Pudding and ice cream require spoons. Ice cream bars and sandwiches are ok, but expect mocking. Bad ideas.
- Feed people in waves. Two-quarter-old food is not a hit. Cold bacon is ok, but cold queso is for frat parties. Save something new for your second half guest – you know the one whose kid had a game or was at a couples shower.
Big game don’t’s:
- Knives and forks are not welcome, except at the serving table. You can’ cut with one hand. This is not an afternoon tea. The only exception is meatballs.
- No overpowering smells. Sauerkraut, while tasty, will make your space smell. My dad loved kielbasa and sauerkraut, but it was best for outdoor parties.
- Nothing a guest has to cook. Fondue is for dinner parties, not a big game. It might be just a way for you not to cook something. Fondue requires a sterno fire, and those people on alcohol never make a good story.
- Tofu has a place, just not at the big game. Know your audience; don’t put people in an awkward situation by serving beetles, tofu, grasshoppers, or any other unique food unless you know there’s that certain vegan you have to feeding .
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