I spent nine years in Minnesota and two words have permanently been altered in my vocabulary: hotdish and bars. If you are not a mid-westerner, you may not fully appreciate the nuances of the Minnesotan “hotdish and bars” kind of dietary restrictions, so let me explain.
Hotdish describes any casserole-type concoction you can bind together with a can of condensed soup, cream of mushroom being the favorite. And bars would be cookies. Not bar cookies per se, cookies. These are the classic hallmarks of life in Minnesota. Oh sure, there’s the lefsa and lukefisk, but most transplants from the lovely land of ten thousand lakes are going to forego the “fish packed in lye” for other yummy items.
So if a group of transplanted Minnesotans were to get together for a Super Bowl party that didn’t include the Minnesota Vikings, they just might be inspired to celebrate the Super Bowl and what might have been with a festive Tater Tot Hotdish and yummy Toffee Bars. Throw in some pickled herring and jello salad, and you’ve got some happy folks regardless of the lack of purple showing at the Sun Life Stadium.
There are many things I have tried to suppress about myself, but one little peccadillo remains regardless of how hard I try to pretend it is not there. I wish I could play football. Like real football. I watch Rudy and I get choked up, wishing it were me flying down that field. I loved going to the football games in high school and not just to “walk the track” and try to flirt with all the non-football players. I just loved that energy. And I’m not even from Texas. In P.E. when we’d play flag football, I could almost always get to the quarterback’s flags before he threw the ball, and if I got the pass, I’d be off to the end zone. Like all the little guys, I dreamt of being “x” enough that I’d get to have my moment under the bright lights, and not just to pass out the water bottles. Too bad I was born a girl. But that didn’t stop me from dreaming.
So when I married a football-loving non-football playing guy, it was like two folks coming out of some athletic closet…a match made in heaven. As you might expect, we watch the Super Bowls – and not even just in hopes of catching a wardrobe malfunction. We watch it for all the same reasons that so many people sit on the edge of the couch and shout instructions at the television. Because we wish we were on that field as well.
And, it helps that Super Bowl parties always have such great food.