27 January 2003
Some people at the party were there for the Super Bowl, some were acknowledging
Australia Day, some where just there for the camaraderie and the ambience (I suspect most
fell into the latter category, since most of us didn't care who won the game, and very few
knew that there was an Australia Day, much less that the date this year coincided
with the Super Bowl).
I, however, was aware of Australia day, which commemorates the date in 1788 when
"formal possession was taken of the Colony of New South Wales" by Captain Arthur
Phillip, who became Governor of the Colony. It's their equivalent to our 4th of July.
Since I'm thinking a lot about Australia these days, I decided that I wanted to make
something appropriate to take to the Super Bowl party, so I checked with my
"connections" in Australia and found a great web site where I got a couple of
simple recipes and I spent most of yesterday cooking.
I made mini meat pies (hamburger in pie crust rounds, essentially), and
"lamingtons," which are squares of cake diped in chocolate glaze, and then
rolled in dessicated coconut until they are covered. I actually made faux
lamingtons (I've been told. Twice.) because I didn't use the dried coconut and my cakes
only had coconut on the top, but what the heck. One makes do with what one has on hand.
And since nobody knew it was Australia Day or had heard of a lamington, I figured I could
get away with it. And, in truth, nobody recoiled in horror and pointed an accusatory
finger telling me that I'd botched it, so I figure it was a success.
I had gone with my friends Shelly and Ellen and we arrived at the party early to help
get ready and to test the mimosas. Shelly immediately got into the spirit of the afternoon
by putting on her Raiders colors.
Our hostesses had just acquited a new dog, which they'd picked up from a Laborador
rescue organization. She was just the most adorable thing--Bailey, part Lab and part
cocker and though she looks like a puppy with a lot of growing left to do, she's reallly
two years old, and a little confused at the moment since she's only been in her new home
for 3 days. She was actually quite good when 35 women descended on the place and started
yelling at the television set.
We had some quiet time before the others arrived to have a nice visit with Bailey out
in the back yard and found her to be sweet, loving, and very soft to the touch (she also
loves to have her belly rubbed.)
There was a mountain of food and everyone who came brought more. There was a lot of
hilarity and eating and drinking for what seemed like hours and the game still
hadn't started. But I met some lovely people, some of whom I had met New Year's Eve,
others of whom not even Shelly and Ellen knew. But they were all very friendly and I
thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I'm not in this because I took it--but someone out there
has a similar photo that I'm in
The room was pretty evenly divided when the game finally started. There were the game
watchers, and the eaters. Those of us in the latter group were vaguely aware of a game
going on somewhere in the background, but didn't much pay attention to it, until someone
would shout out a number--whenever there was a touchdown or an interception or one of a
host of other situations, at which point the hostesses would draw a number and whoever had
that number got to choose a gift.
I had a bit of difficulty with the game itself. Not being a sports buff, but feeling I
had to pick a team to cheer for, went with the Raiders--home town boys and all that. But
the last time I sat and watched a Super Bowl the 49ers were playing (and won), and
I have having a hard time reminding myself NOT to cheer when the guys in red
started doing well!
We missed the half time show because there was a quasi football game going on in the
street in front of the house, complete with cheering section led by Ellen and a couple of
nerf footballs being tossed around to the rest of the crowd while one of the hostesses and
I stood with our cameras and tried to record it on film.
By the time the second half started, the serious eaters/not-serious-sports fans, packed
up their dishes and left. That left more chairs for the rest of us to watch the rest of
the game, such as it was. I think I dozed off at one point. There was that one beautiful
catch made by Jerry Rice, but other than that, the Raiders should have stayed home. If the
fans trashed Oakland following their play-off win, I don't even want to think about
what happened to the town after their defeat.
We stayed till almost the bitter end. At least until the bitter end of the game, and
then packed up our coolers, leftover food, prizes for the day, cameras, coats, and
anything else we could get our hands on.
They say that more people get killed on the highways after the Super Bowl than are
killed during most holiday weekends, so it didn't thrill me having a 40 minute drive home
on I-80, but we made it back without incident.
I hadn't done anything "sporting" in years--not since the kids were home and
were so crazy about the 49ers--but I really had a good time this afternoon.
I just don't want to have to think about weighing in on Tuesday.