Souper Bowl Sunday

GO STEELERS!!

The Super Bowl. Rustles up some good memories for me. Not about the games themselves but around the food served with the game. In my childhood home, my dad and sisters in particular were huge New York Giants fans. So Sundays centered on football a lot. An added bonus if the Giants played.

My mom sort of washed her hands of the whole football Sunday thing but my dad, God bless his soul up in Heaven now, dictated what would be eaten. Now my dad was no chef. He never cooked. Maybe an egg here and there. But cooking – that was my mom’s job. Although he did try his hand at barbecuing. And I say TRY very lightly as pretty much everything was charred beyond recognition.

Mom and Dad... Good Times.

But on football Sundays, the Super Bowl and New Year’s Day specifically, he was in charge. We always knew it would be either Jack’s Chicken Wings or Jack’s Chili. Not just any old Chicken Wings recipe, but the original Anchor Bar in Buffalo where Chicken Wings originated Chicken Wings. He traveled up there for work and I don’t know how he did it, but he came home with the recipe in the early 1980s. Thanks Frank and Teressa.

And they were so good. Finger-licking. Served up with a side of celery and bleu cheese dressing and a whole lot of beer.

If it was chili, the entire house absorbed the aroma from his secret recipe. Whole steak versus ground chuck. Add in a little pork, lots of chile peppers and some other mysterious things including some beer, and voila. Jack’s Chili was awesome. So not the kind I make. Mine is easy complete with LOTS of short cuts a ala Trader Joes cuban style black beans and a marinated kidney/garbanzo bean combo.

The game would be watched, the food would be eaten and all would be good.

So today, even though my dad’s Giants aren’t in the game, I decided to start a tradition around food called, wait for it, Souper Bowl Sunday! I know, so original. I can’t be stopped!

Right now, my house is absorbing the aromas of a homemade Vegetable Beef Soup. And every Sunday from now on, soup will be our main meal. I have a few good recipes up my sleeve and my husband has a killer recipe for a Pumpkin Soup. It is usually reserved for the fall as he uses a fresh pumpkin, but we could try canned and see how it goes.

I think having a tradition is a fundamental part of family. It gets everyone involved, creates memories and you can hand it down through generations, watching how it gets tweaked and changed to fit a family.

Only this year we started a tradition at the beckoning of my son who asked for French Onion Soup on Christmas Eve. I thought it was a nice gesture on his part to actually ask for something I made but even better because both kids will eat it. Something that rarely ever happens.

The French Onion Soup recipe actually came from one of our visits to Gettysburg where we dined at the Springhouse Tavern in Dobbin House, a historic inn, tavern, restaurant and gift shop. I ordered the French Onion Soup. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever had. Thinking it was a very tasty mistake that there appeared a piece of beef in my oniony-soupy-cheese-y concoction, the waitress said Nope, no mistake about it. We are famous for it. I guess my kids think I am, too.

In any case, I’ll troll Taste of Home, allrecipes.com, the Food Channel website and others to try to get some soup suggestions for our new Sunday tradition. Recommendations gladly accepted. I’d also love to hear about your family traditions. Or perhaps I have prompted you to start a new one. If so, let me know that, too.

Off now to stir the pot and check the soup. Happy Souper Bowl Sunday!

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