Playbook for Playtime

The holidays are over, and I suspect everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. While it is a wonderful time of year, this season is undoubtedly exhausting. We look forward to the January respite when the social pace is more relaxed, when we can be a little more judicious about our diets and regain control of our lives. 


But despite the cries for a “time-out,” the Valley loves nothing more than a good party. What could be better than getting a crowd of friends together to watch the Super Bowl? After all, by Super Bowl time, Christmas and New Year’s Eve were more than a month ago, and this get-together is the antithesis of holiday festivities. A Super Bowl party calls for casual attire, fun, unhealthy food, and wine and beer. It is television sets (the larger the better), betting and noise.


What's a game without cheerleaders? Have them greet your guests.


While a Super Bowl party can be as simple as a tub filled with ice, wine and beer, bowls of popcorn and chips, and a pot of chili with all the trimmings, it can also be as exciting as the game itself.


Game plan

The adventurous should set a theme. My husband and I have hosted many Super Bowl parties, and we always choose one aspect of the game – locker rooms, tailgating in the parking lot or the field itself and follow that theme from invitations to décor. The theme rings loud and clear from the moment you step out of your car, through the last bite of food. Use your imagination.


For a locker-room theme, why not use toilets as flower bowls?


Invitations can provide a tip-off: For a food-court concept, the details can be printed on a paper hot-dog boat, and sent with a mini bottle of Heinz ketchup, mustard and relish. For us, a play on the locker room and showers theme was a mini toilet plunger with the invitation tied to the handle. A press pass requiring a personal photo (essential for admission) was used for the press-box theme.



As much as everyone enjoys the game, guests love food – lots and lots of food that we would never dream of eating during the rest of the year: Parmesan fries, served in paper cups; baby back ribs, cut into bite-size pieces; and pizza squares and sliders passed by servers dressed in striped referee shirts. Baked salami, artichoke and Parmesan crostini and bruschetta can be set on trays. Antipasti, such as chunks of Parmesan, crudites and assorted meats are another option.


An antipasti spread is perfect for nibbling.


The locker-room theme takes a "tub of drinks" to a new level.


But that’s only the beginning. Halftime is really the time to get down to business with crispy fried chicken, hot pastrami sandwiches, carved to order on warm rye bread, and Chicago style hot dogs with authentic accompaniments – onion, relish, yellow mustard, sliced cucumber and tomatoes, and, of course, celery salt. Creamy coleslaw, potato salad, sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, and Boston baked beans complete the entrée.


What better vessel for serving food than a sink? Or two or three.


And, as the game enters the fourth quarter, bring out desserts to remember: Freshly made hot donuts, rolled in cinnamon and sugar or dipped in chocolate sauce; ice cream sandwiches – rich ice cream of your choice between two warm chocolate chip cookies – and a tall devil’s food cake, just like mom prepared. 


A Super Bowl party is the perfect opportunity to cast caution aside and indulge in decadent treats.


It’s a party for everyone. The men will love the game, the food and cashing in on their winning bets. The women will love the time to chat, to watch the game if so inclined, and, of course, to indulge in fabulous food just one last time before returning to the discipline needed to fit into the next gala dress.  Give it a try. Your friends will be talking about it for months!


– Story by Ina Manaster, an active participant in the Valley’s community and philanthropic scene and a hostess par excellence. Photos are from a Super Bowl party she and her husband, Murray, hosted.


About admin

More in: Arts & Culture

From Frontdoors Magazine

Back to Top