If my cooking blog hasn’t made it apparent, you should know that I really like food. I’m not much into truly fine-dining, and I don’t think I have any in-depth knowledge of particular cuisines or cooking techniques, but thanks to 2 sisters and a mom, I really enjoy being in the kitchen and watching The Food Network.
On truly American holidays, though, one must return to truly American cuisine. This past weekend was the Super Bowl, and I had the privilege of determining the menu to serve ~25 people. Here’s what I came up with:
- 10 2-liters of assorted beverage
- 6 bags of chips
- 1 jar salsa, 1 jar queso
- 6 Pizzas
- 40 Pizza rolls
- 60 Chicken wings
- 2 bags of cookies
- 1 Veggie Platter
When I was initially creating the list, I considered trying to find classier stuff to eat, but I quickly realized that a Super Bowl party with cauliflower quiche and sparkling apple cider simply would be as good as a bag of Doritos and a can of diet soda. When we left the grocery store with our cart-full, I realized that it was difficult to believe that anything we had bought could actually be called food. Anyways, for the most part, it went pretty well, I think, though there are some lessons in this. Let’s take an item-by-item breakdown:
This I was particularly worried about. I found 2 answers about portions, which said about 2 2-liters per 5 people. I discovered that 1 2-liter is apparently equal to about 5.6 cans of soda, which was taken into account in buying. The breakdown went 2 bottles of coke, 2 bottles of sprite, 2 bottles of diet coke, 2 bottles of lemonade, 1 bottle of fanta, and 1 bottle of mountain dew. The coke ran out, but we had leftovers of the sprite, diet coke, and lemonade, meaning that we probably roughly had enough to drink.
6 was definitely low-balling. 2 bags of tortilla chips and 2 jars of dip was definitely the wrong ratio, but moreover, the chips went quick. The ratio I found was I think around 1 bag per 4 people. Instead, I’m going to vote that 1 bag per 3 people is the correct way to go. Besides, that gives more variety.
As far as dinner plans go, people only seemed interested in either a) burritos or b) pizza. Because we didn’t put in our pizza order a week before, it seemed better to not worry about delivery issues and breaking the bank, so we got frozen pizzas instead, which were extra-cheap for the Super Bowl sales. I found a few recommendations for how much to get, but ended up buying a little less since I figured that people would be full of other snacks. In retrospect, I probably should have stayed at the recommendation, being roughly 1 pizza for every 3 people.
The bigger difficulty I had, however, was that our dorm oven isn’t particularly big. It also only has 1 rack. A little overlap on the corner allowed 2 pizzas onto the 1 rack, but that’s still pretty slow. So if you’re not well-equipped, I think delivery pizza might be a better option in any case.
Pizza Rolls and Chicken Wings
I was trying to think of good, somewhat substantive junk food to eat, and that’s what I came up with. Both are very easy to pop in the oven frozen to cook, and they both went fairly quickly. The wings I got were actually of the boneless variety, but were still fine. As far as pizza rolls go, I don’t think you can get much further from real food than pizza bites. Let’s go down the ladder of foods that it evolved from:
- Real food. Real food has a recipe.
- Pizza. This might be an urban legend, but I believe that pizza was originally just something made at the end of the day to use up extra ingredients, which is believable.
- American Pizza. In the land of convenience, we took the art out of it and reduced it to the key ingredients: dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings (mostly meat). A friend once mentioned seeing someone use ketchup instead of tomato sauce. That doesn’t sound tasty.
- Frozen Pizza. It’s too difficult to make real pizza, so we have them package up all the bits, and we just throw it in the oven.
- Chicken tenders. Too difficult to prepare the chicken. Just bread it and deep fry.
- Chicken nuggets. Mix the chicken in with something starchy and bread it, and freeze it. Comes in nice bite-size chunks that can be eaten with fingers.
And so frozen pizza + chicken nuggets = pizza rolls. So probably not real food, but it’s okay: they’re still delicious.
2 bags of cookies
I figured we should have something sweet to balance out all of the salty. These ran out fairly early as well, so I think I would double the amount of sweet to bring along.
1 Veggie Platter
This was my token attempt to ensure that not everything we were eating would shorten our lives. I think it failed, because the ranch dip it came with was pretty good as well.
So that was that. It was educational in terms of figuring out how much people eat and will certainly help with future party-planning. I think the #1 lesson, though, is that in these things, don’t lowball. Real food is expensive. Fortunately, nothing we bought was expensive. I don’t think anyone would’ve complained about an extra bag or two of chips to stash away for a later snack, so here’s the rule I’ll be running with from now on:
Determine how much food to get. Get 25% more than that.