Pass the ketchup?

Maybe it’s because the Bears have been out of contention, but I haven’t been paying that much attention to the football playoffs this year. So when I realized that the Super Bowl is in a couple of days, I knew I needed to get it together and head to the grocery store.

We usually have a themed menu for the big game. Last year we had “Soup-er Bowl Sundae” — either chicken noodle soup or chili in a bread bowl with a make-your-own-sundae bar as dessert. It was a little silly — but then again, so is most of the 14-hour Super Bowl pre-game show.

This year, we’re taking a break from the themes, although a New Orleans food-fest would be pretty simple to arrange. My oldest has requested that we have an ongoing Nosh-O-Rama. Because any time you add “o-rama” to a word, it has to be fun. Try it: “Laundry-O-Rama!” sounds much jazzier than saying “Laundry. Oh, Man!”

He asked for all the usual appetizers — veg and dip, fruit and dip, crackers and dip. Pretty much anything that’s not nailed down works for him with the addition of dip. But he also wondered if we might be able to have a “your hot dog, your way” buffet.


For some people like my Chicago-born-and-bred husband, the ingredients for a real Chicago Dog are sacrosanct. There are rules, you understand, such as no ketchup if you’re older than 18. Until I moved here, I always thought ketchup and mustard were the two cornerstones for building a good frankfurter. I quickly learned otherwise. As a college student, I went to a local hot dog joint in the heart of the city with friends who set me up told me to ask for extra ketchup on my order. I can still hear the guy behind the counter scoffing at me.

Without wading further into that great debate (and honestly, I don’t think most Chicagoland suburbanites are quite so cut-and-dried about the ketchup taboo), I plan to include the following toppings for our buffet:

  • poppy-seed covered buns
  • hot dogs (grilled)
  • mustard
  • dill pickle spears
  • tomato slices
  • relish
  • chili
  • cheese

I’m going to leave the ketchup bottle in the fridge. I’m not saying it’s not going to be used — we do have children, after all.

But they’re going to have to get it themselves.

What are your go-to party recipes for watching a big event on TV? After all, the Academy Awards are right around the corner. I’m clicking through your blogs to look up good dip recipes now….


About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
This entry was posted in Chicago, Cooking, Family, Football and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Pass the ketchup?

  1. Pat Kovach says:

    Don’t forget the chopped onions and sport peppers for a classic Chicago hot dog for S.

  2. Lynne says:

    I LOVE the “Souper-Bowl Sundae” idea! I think I will be a copy cat!!!!

    • It was a pretty fun theme — and it doesn’t matter what teams are playing. Bonus: the kids will eat anything in a bread bowl (at least, mine will). Will you let me know if you try it and what kind of soup you made?

  3. I can’t get into the game this year either. My team stunk this year.
    Anyway, enjoy whatever food you settle on. Also, hopefully, the commercials will be good.

  4. Northern Narratives says:

    Wow, I didn’t know about the ketchup thing, that’s really funny.

    • Weird, right? I always thought ketchup was perfectly fine, but then again I’d never had a hot dog with so many fixings on it either.

      It’s such a point of contention for my husband that he’s already informed my oldest that the window for ketchup on his hot dogs is closing. Too funny.

  5. Hot Dog restaurants are popping up all over the place up here! It strikes me so funny that you can base a whole restaurant off of hotdogs…but it’s really a brilliant idea because it looks like they are busy! I too have not given a second thought to the Super Bowl…I need to start planning! Thanks for the reminder!

    • Chicago has tons of little hot dog joints serving Vienna Beef franks. They’re everywhere. And so addictive too.

      The worst part is timing the grocery store run. Too early and the kids will eat it all waaaay before Sunday. Too late and I’ll be trapped in the crowds and getting rammed in the ankles by shopping carts. Tricky.

  6. timewiththea says:

    Although we are Canadian we still watch the Super Bowl because some of our friends are American and it is great to watch a great football game. It is a potluck so everybody brings something different. Apparently chicken wings are a shortage this year. SO love the idea of having a theme. ~Thea

    • I had no idea that we were in a chicken wing crisis! That’s terrible!

      Given the teams playing this year, I bet there’s lots of themed food-fests. I saw a friend post her Super Bowl menu to FB: crab cakes (for Baltimore), jambalaya (for New Orleans, the host city) and Ghiradelli chocolate cake (for San Fran). Thought that was pretty clever.

      Have a lovely party on Sunday. I’d love to know what dishes your guests bring for your potluck (love a good potluck!) and which commercials they thought were the best.

  7. Katie B says:

    We (and by we I mean I) am all about the quacamole. That’s on the list for this year’s Super Bowl noshing. I like the Souper Bowl idea. I think E would like that. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Love the guac and it’s practically a staple around here. I think we might have a Souper bowl on the menu sometime this winter. There’s a certain panache to eating plain old soup out of a bread bowl that appeals to me.

  8. Cul de Sac says:

    I like hot dogs with coleslaw too!

  9. amyp22 says:

    And the bacon, you might need that too. My middle guy’s favorite thing about living here are the hot dog establishments

    Hope you all have lots of fun! I’ll be doing laundry o-rama.

    • BACON! That reminds me of being a kid. When we’d go camping, my dad would wrap bacon around hot dogs and grill them out. Best. Food. Ever.

      I’m thinking about putting a Laundry-O-Rama bunting over my washer and dryer in my sad-looking utility room. Surely that will keep me from losing it as I contemplate how 5 people can wear so many clothes.

      • amyp22 says:

        I wonder the same thing every day. Where do all these clothes come from? Let me know how the bunting changes the atmosphere of your laundry area. I’ve learned the bigger the space, the bigger the mountain of dirty laundry.

      • My laundry room is the most dismal place in the house — which is weird because I spend a LOT of my time in there. It’s truly awful, a bit depressing and I fear no amount of adorable bunting and cheerful paint is going to take away from the cramped quarters, weird lighting, and random coils and tubing in there (the washer/dryer space is shared with the water heater, furnace, AC blower). Sigh.

        Wonder if there’s an “Ugliest Laundry Room” challenge? I’d totally win. Where’s Nate Berkus when you need him? 🙂

  10. elskenewman says:

    I would have to go with mustard AND ketchup on a hot dog myself, oh and cheese of course 🙂

  11. Miriam says:

    We’ve never really been to Chicago (just drove through once) but my husband loves Chicago dogs. It’s definitely “a thing” in other places. And I often tell my kids that it’s not cool to put ketchup on their hot dogs. They can… but I don’t really approve.
    I don’t care about the Superbowl, but my favorite party dish is seven-layer dip. And hot wings.

    • Yeah, I think I’d read somewhere that no ketchup on hot dogs is also the custom in other cities (I think Detroit was one). You sound like my husband — he’ll watch them put on ketchup and shake his head ever do slightly. Cracks me up.

      I like the Super Bowl but I like it better when my team is playing. Otherwise, it’s all about the food and commercials. Seven layer dip? Hot wings? Yes, please! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s