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Saturday, February 1, 2014


Hoping no one from Chaine des Rotisseurs reads this, for I could get kicked out of that 766-year old gourmet society if they find out that I like junk food.

I love Zippy's and Rainbow Drive Inn cuisine, and am looking forward to my ultimate junk food weekend (JFW).  Here is a typical Chaine gathering, although the next one will be at Lucky Belly in Chinatown, where  the specialty is pork belly and the corkage charge for wines older than 5 years is FREE.

Second to Thanksgiving, the biggest food day is Super Bowl Sunday.  More than a billion bottles/can of beer will be drunk.  The average American will spend $68.27 on NFL apparel and food.  And, of all the things, it appears that Velveeta is now in short supply.  This is a kind of cheese that actually gets smooth when heated, for this product is manufactured from milk, water, cheese culture, salt, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid, sodium alginate, sodium citrate, enzymes, apocarotenal (for color), annatto (also for color).  Do refrigerate after opening.  Amazingly enough, Velveeta became the first cheese product to gain the American Medical Association's seal of approval.  And the fact that this hasn't been rescinded must be through powerful lobbying by Kraft.

According to the web site The Daily Meal, here are the top 10 unhealthiest (which probably also means most consumed) Super Bowl snacks:

• Queso (Guess what goes into this dish?)
• Pigs in a Blanket
• French Fries
• Pizza
• Potato Chips
• Buffalo Wings
• 7-Layer Dip
• Beef Sliders
• Pretzels
• Nachos

As some like to match wines with meals, here is one list for JFW:
  • Chips/pretzel:  ale
  • Chicken wings:  frozen margherita
  • Pork rinds:  michelada (light Mexican beer with lime, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce)
  • Pizza:  red wine
  • Hamburger:  IPA (what is this?)
  • Nachos:  mead (honey wine)
  • Beef jerky:  bourbon
  • Hotdogs:  light beer
  • Brownies:  scotch
All joking aside, this engorging is unhealthy and dangerous.  Americans will devour 30 million pounds of snacks, with MORE than one third being potato chips.  POTATO CHIPS!!!  11.2 million pounds of them.  I purchased 0.43 pound of garlic potato chips from Foodland, and this bag is really large.  It also cost $1.77 (right), so the value is outstanding.  This photo shows a bag already half eaten.  My JFW started Friday night.

What else am I getting ready?  Steak, hot dog, chile, foie gras, lau lau, poke, six kinds of beer, a couple hundred bottles of wine and 25 types of scotch.  Of course, I'm also overloaded with vegetables and some fruit:  corn, endive, lettuce, onions, cucumber, asparagus, orange, papaya, avocado, apple and mango.  If this sounds like a big party, actually, all the above is just for me.  I'm currently enjoying a hermit mode, as in a few weeks I move next door where I will have 250 others sharing three meal/day.

How to maximize survival and minimize death?
  • Hit the veggie tray first, and fill up.  I can't, though, go so far as to recommend healthy snacks.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Keep in mind that too much alcohol leads to elevated blood pressure (maybe more so than the two buck bet you lose), anemia, drowsiness, impaired judgement and inability to drive.
  • High fat and sodium can lead to:
    •  an increase in blood pressure, 
    • jump in blood lipids, 
    • high serum phosphate
    • bad effects on:
      • body inflammation
      • obesity
      • diabetes
      • kidney
Now that I've ruined JFW for many, there is, too, the game itself:
  • It will not snow over the MetLife Stadium, which will sit 83,000. 
  • The Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks will win the Vince Lombardi Trophy (right) and players $92,000 each (losers get half of the $s).
  • Game will be broadcast into 180 countries (but probably still not yet India), but it is possible that the World Cup final is watched by ten times more people than the Super Bowl:  1 billion versus 110 million.  However, that billion could well be exaggerated, or might be more than one game.
  • Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem and Bruno Mars will headline the halftime show.
  • The first super bowl tickets were sold for $6, but the cheapest this year is said to be $1500, with the unusual prospects for supply availability crashing the value down to $500 by game time.
  • Fox will use 52 cameras, including 8 robotic types.
  • Super Bowl TV watching begins at Noon (EST), but kickoff will not be until it gets dark, at 6:30PM.
On other related matters, the NFL is smart enough to show heart, and is hosting armless high school freshman kicker, Issac Lufkin, and his mother to the Super Bowl.  His secret weapon is the onside kick.  

The day will also need to be shared with Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby (yes, he has a last name) for the first time ever.  20,000 are expected to watch if he sees his shadow or not in Punxsutawney, Philadelphia at sunrise, about 7:32 AM EST.  The record shows 100 times yes and 17 times no.  A yes means it will be a longer winter.  It will probably be ten to twenty degrees colder for the Groundhog Day ceremonies than Super Bowl 48.

As this is an energy blog site, the least I can do is show something related to solar photovoltaics:

Who will win?  Frankly, I don't care.  However, I will watch the commercials, which this year could well again place Budweiser at the top with their Clydesdale horse remembering his/her past.  This time, though, it will be Puppy Love.


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