Peripatetic Superbowl Party
Superbowl 39: Patriots vs Eagles
12-Mar-05. As usual, "the gang" assembled in early February for the now-traditional traveling Superbowl party (see sidebar). Once again, this year's party was Chez Paul.
A funny thing happened on the way to posting this article. In a moment of haste I accidentally deleted all the pictures, stored on an external network drive. For an external drive, there's no Wastebasket to retrieve from, and undelete utilities were useless since the drive (attached to Linksys NSLU2) does not use a Windows file system. As my momma used to say, "There's more than one way to skin a cat," and I recovered at least the thumbnails of the pictures from file automatically saved when I printed a contact sheet. Hence, the pictures are small and not the best quality.
Bob and Carolyn were the first to arrive for an early start on the weekend. Alaska Airlines dropped their San Jose-Palm Springs flight early this year, so I had to fetch Bob and Carolyn from the Ontario airport.
When Jim and Angela arrived at the crack of stupid on Saturday morning, we went to More Than a Mouthful for brunch. There was the obligatory photo-op with Marilyn and some lively speculation about the plastic zip-lock bags filled with water hanging all along above the sliding doors to the patio.
The explanation for the bags was that flies think they are hornets' nests and stay away. Your opinion may vary. Of course, Jim had to experiment with the telephoto function of my new camera.
Unfortunately, Ray did not join us this year since he was busy getting un-disabled and ready for his globe-trotting junket with Margaret.
Walk on the wild side
After brunch, we headed to the Indian Canyons for a "hike." Because of all the rains, the river was flowing, and everything was green and lush.
Some people go for a walk and see the forest. Others see the trees. Jim sees the bugs on the bark of the trees. He's also prone to experimentation: What do you think will happen if we pour beer in this ant hill?
The Superbowl is the official excuse for this peripatetic party, but that's all it is. The real agenda is to get together, enjoy each other's company, share some laughs, and indulge in fine food. Everyone takes responsibility for a meal or a dish, so it spreads the work and we get to try more and fancier dishes than we otherwise would.
Citrus mousse. Carolyn took charge of making citrus mousse for dessert after the Superbowl. Grapefruits were hollowed out and frozen to serve as bowls for the mousse, made with fresh lemons. The grapefruits and lemons came, of course, from trees Chez Paul.
Gazpacho. Jim raised the bar on presentation qualities with his specialty gazpacho (recipe). I did take one liberty with Jim's shopping list: I didn't get tomato juice because I had several jars of bloody Mary mix that I wanted him to use up (so I could use the good stuff for bloody Marys!). It gave the gazpacho a special zing! Jim served the soup with grilled cheese sandwiches — made with brie, not Velveeta!
Stuffed omelets. For Friday's breakfast, we made some cheese omelets stuffed with steamed asparagus, purchased at the street fair the night before. Serve with muffins, grapefruit, and strong coffee.
Queer eggs. For Sunday breakfast, Carolyn reprised a recipe she picked up from the Queer Eye show. Line muffin cups with thin slices of Black Forest ham, spoon in a sauce with mushrooms and herbs, break an egg over each, and pop in the oven until the eggs are done. Accompany with grapefruit, muffins, and plenty of strong coffee. Simple and elegant.
Main event. Bob prepared one of his favorite potato salad recipes as a side for the Superbowl main event. Bob makes potato salad like your momma used to make.
The kitchen was a-buzz with activity on Superbowl Sunday. The New England baked beans were simmering in the crockpot. The cabbage slaw with peas and peanuts had to be tossed. And above all, the ribs had to be readied. For previous Superbowl parties Chez Paul, the ribs came from Eli's Deli, but it has closed. Fortunately, Ray sent me a good recipe, and I set out to make them myself. The technique was pretty easy: season with a dry rub, seal in aluminum foil with a bit of braising liquid, cook at low heat in the oven until done, and finally finish on the grill to add nice grill marks. Delish!