Our sports-crazy friends have tried to make me a fan of the game, but I just can’t sit still for 2-plus hours and give it my undivided attention. Bil is better at catching a game and watching the whole thing than I am. I have discovered, though, that I like watching college ball better than those over-paid professionals, so that has made me a bit more interested.
I don’t know why football never clicked with me. In high school, I was in the band, so I went to every game. But it wasn’t until the last game of my senior year that I finally asked the guy who sat next to me to explain the rules of football.
I remember rooting for a team way back when. I followed them because I liked the color of their uniforms. Then I got a new TV where the color worked and I discovered their uniforms really weren’t salmon and green. I lost interest then.
Not knowing how the game is going to turn out causes anxiety in me. I like to know ahead of time how things are going to transpire. I won’t go to see a movie until I’ve found out how it ends. I’ve been like this since the late ’60s when the ending to the movie “Easy Rider” was such a shocker and when they killed off John Wayne in “The Cowboys” without any warning.
I don’t like surprises like that.
I’m kind of like that when I read a book, too. Well, I don’t go to the very end, but I do jump ahead 20 pages or more to see if a certain character is still mentioned when I’m reading a particularly suspenseful part. I blame that on Robert Ludlum’s novels.
So if I’m watching a certain college game and the clock is running out and the scores are close, I leave the room until it is over and then ask Bil how it ended. I just can’t take the suspense and disappointment if my team loses.
But what I do like about football season is all the game food. I do love snacking on food that is normally not eaten any other day of the week, like chicken wings and party meatballs. So the next time our sports-crazy friends ask us over to watch a game, this is what I’m taking.
Pigs in a Blanket
(These are so good I could eat the whole pan myself. It is a good thing they go fast to prevent that from happening!)
• 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup canned jalapenos, diced (more if you like heat)
• 1 tsp. garlic powder
• 24 cocktail sausages
• 1 (12-oz.) package Pillsbury Grands Big Flaky refrigerated Crescent roll dough
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
• Spray lightly with Pam.
• In a food processor, blend the cream cheese and jalapenos until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor just dice the jalapenos as fine as you can and stir them into the cream cheese along with the garlic powder.
• Thin with a little jalapeno juice to make it spreading consistency, if needed.
• Unroll the crescent rolls and cut each triangle into three small pieces. I usually chop off the pointy end of the triangle for one section and then split the remaining section into two sections.
• Spread about two teaspoons of cream cheese mixture on the dough.
• Add the cocktail sausage on top of the cream cheese and roll up.
• Place seam side down on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Cook’s notes: If you like cheese in your regular poppers, you can add some finely grated cheese, like Cheddar or Colby Jack, to the cream cheese mixture. If you have any cheese mixture left over, just serve it as a dip.
• 1 2-lb. bag frozen Homestyle meatballs, thawed
• Place defrosted meatballs in a large sauce pan.
• In another sauce pan, mix together your favorite flavor combinations and heat until jelly has melted.
• Pour over meatballs and simmer until meatballs are heated through. You can transfer these to a crock-pot to keep warm while serving.
Possible sauce combinations:
(Sorry there aren’t exact measurements. This is how people usually give me the recipe. Just mix the two together until it tastes good. If the preserves have large chunks of fruit, I sometimes run them through the mini-food processor first. Skip that part if you like to have the bigger pieces of fruit showing.)
• 1 jar current jelly and several heaping tablespoons of brown mustard, to taste
• 1 jar apple jelly and several heaping tablespoons of yellow mustard, to taste
• 1 can cranberry sauce and bottled chili sauce, to taste
• 1 jar orange marmalade or peach preserves and barbecue sauce, to taste along with a splash of Bourbon whiskey (optional)
• 1 jar apricot or pineapple preserves and several heaping tablespoons of Hoisin sauce along with some chopped green onions
Cook’s notes: I haven’t tried all of these flavors. I’ve just collected combinations other people have used. I’ve have put the mustard and jelly combinations on “meatballs” I’ve made from Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, hot and mild combined. Just bake them off before putting them in the sauce.