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Random Fri Jan 21 2011
If you've ever read, like, anything I've written, you may have picked up on my Wisconsin roots. So, no surprise, I'll be wearing my Packers scarf and howling obscenities over Troy Aikman's disembodied voice come Sunday -- except when he's heaping praise on Aaron Rodgers. That wisdom should be heard. But flushed-face, rabid, irrational game day behavior aside, this Sunday also presents a lovely opportunity to throw a perfectly inviting viewing party for friends, complete with a broad range of social snacks. Green and gold themed snacks. So far my menu includes saag paneer dip (green spinach, gold cheese), cheesy artichoke dip (green artichokes, turned golden and crispy around the edges), quesadillas with corn (gold) and cilantro (green), and cheese curds. The weird thing is, I swear to God, I didn't even realize the color coordination or heavy preponderance of dairy in all of this until I was writing out my grocery list. It's ingrained, people. There's nothing I can do.
And of course, no Wisconsin-themed party would be complete without a batch of brandy old-fashioneds. I hear that there are several bars in the city that make these fine beverages, which basically tastes like a spiked shirley temple. Leave it to Wisconsin to turn a kids' non-alcoholic version of an alcoholic drink into...an alcoholic drink. The only one I've ever had in Chicago was at Longman and Eagle which, while lovely, tasted more like whiskey and lemons and stuff. Incorrect! The old-fashioned consists of the following: a spoonful of sugar (or sugar cube), a muddled orange wheel, 3 dashes of bitters, a splash of soda (or 7-Up or Squirt if things are getting too classy for you), a slug of brandy (i.e. 1.5 to 3 oz. -- your call) -- pack with ice, garnish with a maraschino cherry, and add another splash of soda or cherry juice (genius) if your class isn't yet filled to the rim. Bear down on that, my friends.