I'm reminded of a story of my mémère. Apparently when my father was a child she told him, "If you eat bananas before bed you will die." This struck me as hilarious for two reasons. Firstly, my father thought this was true until he got married. It was one of those childhood "facts" ingrained so deeply that you just know it in your heart. That is until you actually think about it and realize that it is insane. Secondly, it's such an amazingly bold lie. It's so absolute in its intent. My mémère, for whatever reason, didn't want to pussyfoot around this subject. She wanted it out there that bananas before bed were a no-no. It was the 1950s parenting equivalent of posting the severed heads of your enemies on stakes outside your castle.
Now, more than sixty years later, the wisdom of Mémère is all too clear. She was a genius. If my father reacted to bananas anywhere near as dramatically as the babies then it seems the obvious move.
I'm pretty sure, once the boys are old enough, I'm going to carry on the proud family tradition of lies and tell them that they will die a slow, painful death if they ever dare to eat bananas before bed.
"But when is before bed?" Martin may ask. "It's always before bed, isn't it?"
"Is there a cutoff?" Elliott may say. "Like, say, 9:00 PM?"
"Just don't eat bananas before bed," I will say.
"You need to define the rules of your universe," Elliott may respond.
"Yeah," Martin may say. "It's like the movie Gremlins. It's always after midnight!"
"Well then," I will explain. "I know if I were you I wouldn't take any chances."
"Good point," they may answer in unison. "Good night, Daddy!"
"Good night, my sons. Don't let the bananas bite!"
Today is Super Bowl Sunday. That's the one time a year when we watch football. Well, it's the one time of year we have football on in the background while we eat dinner. The Wombats, actually, were more interested in the game than we were.
The Super Bowl's a bit of a bummer because it means that we can't watch hockey. They don't even schedule any games past 3:00 PM because they know they can't compete with the Super Bowl. Hockey can barely steal fans from Pro Bowling so they opt to just give up on Super Bowl Sunday. This is partly because of ratings and partly because the players probably want to get home to see the game too. They'll play on Christmas Eve but, hey, this is the Super Bowl we're talking about.
We sure are! We were so excited we even did the research to see who the two playing tonight were. The San Francisco Gold Rushers and Baltimore Chicken Hawks.
To start off I made this dip which I saw linked to on the Dogfish Head website. It uses these hopped pickles which were a collaboration between Brooklyn Brine Co. and Dogfish Head. I've had them in the cupboard for quite some time so it was about time I got cracking and used them. The dip is made with chopped pickles, cream cheese, some pickle brine, dill, onion, and salt.
To celebrate the Super Bowl (an event that I don't actually care about) I decided to do a side-by-side tasting of representative beers from the respective cities playing in the game. I wanted to compare beers of the same style, price, and roughly the same alcohol, content as possible to make it a fair fight.
To represent Baltimore I chose this Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA from Heavy Seas Beer (7.25% ABV). It's hopped three ways with three pounds in each barrel which has earned it the "hop cubed" name.
From San Francisco I went with the Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers (6.5% ABV). This beer has won several awards and, while I could have gone with a more traditional Anchor Steam Beer or the like, I wanted to make the beers as similar as possible.
There are a bunch of other beers I could have tried but I went with these because I hadn't tried either before. Ideally I would have liked to do a blind taste test but, you know, that's complicated and I still need to squeeze in a few hours a night of taking care of babies so there you have it.
To represent San Francisco tonight I took some San Francisco sourdough bread (actually made in Connecticut) and made these crostini with goat cheese and roasted tomatoes.
From Baltimore I made this chicken box that I remember seeing on an episode of No Reservations. I quickly battered and fried these chicken wings and served them on top of some krinkle cut French fries with ketchup and hot sauce. Apparently this is a Baltimore staple food. I've never actually had it in Baltimore but I have had it at my kitchen table. I think it probably loses a little something not being eaten at a sticky table with a napkin dispenser and one of those red ketchup squeeze bottles but it was still pretty tasty.
In all fairness, our table is often sticky too. How's that for authenticity?
Just because it didn't seem like a complete meal eating only bread and fried items I decided to serve an additional item: lobster rolls. Why? Because I like lobster rolls, was in the mood for them, and decided we hadn't had them in a while. Besides, it's our way of protesting the fact that they won't approve our petition to add a Maine team to the NFL. The Bangor Ruffians would be an awesome team.
For dessert I had heard about this cookie called the It's It cookie from San Francisco. I had thought we would pick a dessert from the winning team's city and just have that but I didn't think I'd have the time to also make Berger cookies from Baltimore. So I put all my cards on the table and gambled that San Francisco would take this game.
The It's It is an oatmeal cookie sandwich with vanilla ice cream in the center that is dunked in chocolate. As you can imagine it is pretty much a winner. The Berger cookies sounded good too. Better luck next time, Baltimore! If that's your city's real name!
Oops. Is that game still going on? I wonder who got the most points. It's so hard to follow. Won't somebody please post the score or some details on Facebook or Twitter? Please? Anyone? Who will be brave enough to do this so that we may know how it turned out? What brave soul will save us from this land of sporting ignorance?
I, for one, am ready for some football.