Sports provide us a reason for gathering, for placing bets, for eating and drinking, for cheering or swearing, but most importantly to me, for community. And no other sporting event in America better illustrates this notion than the Super Bowl. Friends and family congregate on Super Bowl Sunday, throwing parties that often have little to do with the actual game, and more to do with the commercials. A time to enjoy cuisine and camaraderie.
As a child in rural Eudora, Kansas (“Population 3300 and growing!” read the enthusiastic welcome sign as you drove into town), I savored any opportunity for assembly. The Eudora United Methodist Church, where we attended, organized a monthly potluck on the first Sunday of each month and I’d eagerly anticipate the start of a new month for this very reason.
Sitting through the entire service on those Sundays felt excruciating. But as soon as the pastor (my mother) gave the benediction, my brother and I charged out of the sanctuary, racing other released children down the creaking stairs to the musty church basement so we could eye the tables of homemade delicacies and be at the front of the forming line. It was senseless for my brother and I to rush; the people always insisted that the reverend’s family went first.
Most families toted their own plasticware sets on potluck Sunday and we were no different. I would load my Tupperware plate with ambrosia salad dotted with citrus-colored marshmallows, creamy potato salad, crispy fried chicken, and of course, my absolute favorite, the deviled eggs. I’d greedily place two on my plate, make a stop at the desserts for a slice of Eva Belle’s lemon pie topped with her lightly singed six-inch high meringue topping, and hurry off to the children’s table to sit with my friends. We kids would play games after our meals while the adults gabbed, until we were carted off to our homes.
I cannot eat a deviled egg, which I still love in adulthood, without remembering those church potlucks — the anticipation, the plethora of food, the togetherness.
Perhaps it’s with nostalgic yearning that I, and others, place importance on sporting events like the Super Bowl. It’s not just about the actual game itself, but about gathering for the game. In our increasingly isolated and chaotic lives, we ache for connection and cherish the opportunity for community, for a potluck.
This week’s recipe, for Super Bowl Sunday:
Bacon Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs
By: Rachel Ingersol
Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook Time: 5 minutes, Yields: 24 servings
12 large eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons blue cheese dressing
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
1) Arrange eggs in a single layer on the bottom of a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover eggs. Over high heat, bring to a rolling boil, cover pot and remove from burner. Let stand for ten minutes. Drain water and cover eggs with ice water, until cooled.
2) Peel eggs and halve lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a medium bowl, while reserving eggs whites. Mash mayonnaise, mustard, and blue cheese dressing with yolks until creamy. Mix in blue cheese crumbles and bacon crumbles. Season with black pepper.
3) Spoon mixture into reserved eggs whites. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.