WORLD PEACE

It was glorious.

The testosterone. The food. MIA flipping the bird.

Plus I was right and the Giants won.

We had a great Super Bowl party, complete with pounds of meat from a variety of animals, dripping in BBQ sauce. Also: hummus, baba ghanouj (however you spell it), caramelized onion dip, curry dip, chips of all kinds, veggies, apples with caramel-skor dip, Katie’s mystery dip, deadly mini-marshmallow squares, and… beer nuts. Which, I learned, have no beer in them.

Combine in a 12-inch skillet:

  • 2 cups roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

peanut soup.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. When the sugar syrup starts to go granular, this is your chance to add seasonings. I did one batch plain, and to the second batch, I added:

  • cinnamon and cayenne pepper to taste

Crank the heat to medium-high and stir constantly, as the sugar starts to caramelize. If the sugar starts to smoke or burn, you were too enthusiastic. Turn down the heat.

caramelize-y.

Once about 1/2 to 3/4 of the sugar is caramelized (so some of it still looks granular), remove from heat and spread on a greased or parchment paper-ed cookie sheet. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in your kitchen, or two minutes on your balcony in the midst of a Canadian winter.

go sit outside and think about what you did.

Once they’re hardened, you can bash the big clumps apart with a wooden spoon (it’s therapeutic). Store in an airtight container. Give them to your amigos and secure your rightful spot as favourite friend ever.

clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

The Patriots' Rob Gronkowski brings back the old-school touchdown spike. Al Bello/Getty Images

I am “doing” the Superbowl this year. As in, I am actually paying attention for the first time ever. Giants! Patriots! Linebackers and tight-ends! Eli Manning? Tom Brady!

Okay, it mostly means I plan to cook stupid amounts of food based around blocks of cheese and pounds of meat and the glorious sound of a bubbling deep-fryer. (For inspiration, I am turning to one of my besties and her detailed list of game day recipes. You should too, here.)

Right now, everything I know about football I learned from Friday Night Lights, so my actual participation in the watching of the game will probably be limited to making snide comments about the players’ tattoos and facial hair. If I do get roped into a conversation about the actual game, I’ll have to refer to field positions by the names of the characters on the show.

Well hi there Tim Riggins.

To avoid having to refer to the fullback as “that position that the really cute drunk guy plays,” I’ve been doing scattered football research. I have found some amazing things. Here is your one-stop shop for random conversation starters for non-fans, if you get roped into watching the game on Sunday:

  • Tebowing, obviously.
  • Rob Gronkowski’s reinvention of the spike.
  • If you’re not into the game itself, check out this primer on the reasons for the outrageous costs of advertising during the game. (In a nutshell: “…nonfootball mass entertainment has been in a decades-long spiral of decline that was only temporarily halted by an ice-world knee-clubbing.” Brilliant. Except I don’t think the author takes into account the aura that surrounds a buying a spot during the big game. People google “Super Bowl ads” and then settle in for a long evening on YouTube.)
  • And then there’s this fun fact — Americans will devour 1.25 billion wings on Sunday… that’s about 312 million chickens for one day of feasting.

Now, when I say I’m doing the Superbowl for the first time, it’s a bit of a lie because there is one tradition that I have squarely participated in for years: the commercials. One of the few bad things about being Canadian is the fact that we don’t get the Amurrrrricahn commercials… so thank god for YouTube. My favourite from last year:

So anyway. Go…. Giants, I guess? I do love me an underdog. I call it for the Giants by 10, solely because I’m copying the DJ on Montreal’s 94.7 Hits FM.