Today is the Super Bowl. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in some remote corner of the globe, and even if you couldn’t give a rat’s fanny about football and the fuss surrounding, you know this. I’ve never been a big follower of football, but I always look forward to watching the Superbowl. Why? My reason is the same as most non-footballers — the commercials. At least that was my reason until five years ago, which was when I started to pay attention to what was going on between the commercial breaks. What was the catalyst for this sudden gridiron interest after decades of not giving a crap? A man. Specifically, one who followed his hometown teams with rabid fervor, and vehemently despised every team in mine. How could I possibly be attracted to such a fellow? Well, he was actually a very sweet guy when none of his teams happened to be playing. Problem was one of his hometown teams was always playing. Bigger problem was that hometown was Boston. And as most everyone knows, there’s never been any love lost between the fans of New York and Boston.
My loyalties run blue when it comes to competitions. Blue pinstripes, big blue jerseys, blue states. And as far as sports teams go, my passions tend to be confined to my beloved Yankees. Football? Sure I’ll watch the Super Bowl annually, and if forced to choose during the season, I'll go Giants over Jets, though rarely pay any particular attention to the action on the field. Now just imagine being in a relationship with someone downright psychotic about it. Certainly that could pose a few challenges right off the bat. Factor in the geographic undesirability of not liviing in the same region, and it’s fair to say this pairing was likely going to be an uphill climb. Yet we were both clearly smitten when we met and both willing to leap. He even took pride in the fact that he had never ever dated a Yankee fan, the last two words said with an inflection of loathing befitting someone who bleeds Red Sox red. But me, well apparently I was worth it to him.
It was fun for a while, but after a few months the end looked inevitable. Oddly enough, the downhill course of the relationship seemed in lockstep with that year’s football season. Whether our teams contributed at all to our relationship's demise is doubtful, but on that particular Superbowl Sunday, well, maybe. I know for sure the result of the game lessened my sorrow regarding our ending. You see, that year was the first time the Giants (my team) met the Patriots (his) in the Superbowl. Luckily for both of us, we were watching the game in our separate cities. Luckily for me, the Giants won. My guys were the underdogs, winning from a wild card spot and facing a team that seemed destined to pummel them flat. Which served to escalate the trash talk from my future non-boyfriend. It definitely helps lessen the blow when the impending ex acts like a colossal ass shortly before the breakup. I highly recommend it for one’s heartbreak resilience. So as my Big Blue moved closer and closer to victory, my mood brightened, my smile grew, I knew I was going to be just fine, and this would be a Superbowl to remember. And ever since then, I like watching the game, too.
While I love all the wonderful food associated with most Super game-watching activities, I thought I’d like to go in a little less caloric direction with my snacks this year. While certainly not “diet food” (a stupid term in my book), my Crispy Rosemary Crackersand Garlicky Cannellini Bean Dip are a little healthier than the average calorie-laden fare, and make a nice balanced alternative between bites of spicy wings and nachos.
Crispy Rosemary Crackers
(Inspired by a recipe from Gourmet magazine)
These are a terrific addition to any Super Bowl feast, a great “carrier” for my Garlicky Cannellini Bean Dip(recipe follows after crackers), and pretty darn good any other time too. The recipe makes three 10” flatbreads, which can be broken up into various sized shards, or scored before baking (like I did) to get somewhat more uniform-sized pieces.
1 ¾ cups flour
1 TBSP finely chopped rosemary
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 TBSP grated lemon zest
½ cup water