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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Football and Food

I don’t live and die for football.

I said the unthinkable.

Being from the South and a University of Alabama Alumni to utter such a statement is akin to blasphemy. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to watch the Alabama games, but if I have to miss one to do work or take the kids to some function, I’m not going to shed any tears.

My husband is probably slapping his forehead right now. He’s a die hard, don’t talk to me during the game, Alabama fan. He prefers, when he watches his beloved team play, not to be disturbed, unless you want—during commercials only—to talk strategy or analyze some previous play. My house could be burning down, and I swear my husband would not move to put out the fire if Alabama was playing. Well, okay, maybe it’s not quite that bad. He’d spray a hose on the flames if I handed the hose to him.

All jesting aside, Alabama started their season last Saturday, and I just could not get into it. It didn’t feel like football season to me. It was 98 outside, and I had a ton of editing that needed to be done on my current book. So, instead of watching the game, I parked myself in front of the computer and worked for about six hours while my kids played and my husband and our dear friend watched football. Did I mention, hubbie-dear prefers to watch Bama without too many people around because too many folks, as he’s told me with an incredulous look, distracts from being able to really see all the plays.

On Sunday, a storm blew through our neck of the woods and cooled the air just enough that the new crispness outside gives my skin a slight chill and makes me feel young, refreshed and excited for football. When I do watch football, I love it because it brings you together with friends for a time of fellowship and fun. I do settle into the game and find my blood pumping with the plays and my arms pumping in the air. There is nothing better than fall football to make memories that will last you a lifetime.

One of the things that makes the memories so great is the delicious food. I’m not a wing or barbecue lover, again another oddity being from the South, but I do love a piping hot soup and warm, fresh out of the oven, bread to accompany my game watching. Since the weather has cooled, the all-knowing weather forecasters swear it will stay cool at least through the weekend, and I’m going to make some soup.

One of the best soup recipes I have ever found is from a cookbook called Food For Thought put out by the Junior League of Alabama. If you want a delicious, yet easy to make, soup this recipe is for you. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

Sante Fe Soup by Marion Hunt Newton

Makes 4 Quarts
2 pounds ground turkey or beef
1 onion, chopped
2 (.5-ounce) packages Ranch-style dressing mix
2 (1 ¼-ounce) packages taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chilies, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can tomato wedges, undrained
1 (16-ounce) cans white corn, undrained
2 cups water
Garnish: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions

Cook meat and onion together until meat is browned. Stir Ranch-style dressing mix and taco seasoning mix into meat. Add remaining ingredients with juices from all. Add water. Simmer for 2 hours. (If mixture is too thick, add additional water.) Garnish each serving with sour cream, shredded Cheddar Cheese, and sliced green onion if desired. Serve with whole wheat tortilla chips.

I hope you enjoy the soup! If you have a good soup or game day recipe, please feel free to share it.

Roll Tide!

Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem


  1. As a former band geek, football has a special place in my heart. I still feel unusual not being on a football field for practices in August.

    Besides, there is something special about watching men bash each other into the ground. :)

    Now if this were March and we were discussing how normally calm people go into fits over ACC Basketball, I'd be right there with you.

  2. Going to football games in high school was just an excuse for me to flirt with boys, or possibly cuddle up with my crush if it was a cold night. Otherwise, football has no place in my heart or my mind - no matter how many people try to explain it to me (and please, don't try) I just don't get it. Thankfully, hubby doesn't either, so we totally align on the subject. I will, however, often host a Superbowl party as an excuse to get our friends together and eat :) Speaking of which…that soup sounds amazing! I may just have to try it!

  3. Football! It was like Friday Night Lights in my small New England town, growing up. Friday nights were for football. Period. And the day before Thanksgiving was spent huddled, freezing on metal bleachers, watching the our high school beat the pants off of whoever they were playing. We had a right to be proud, though- 6 years in a row as State Champs, and my senior year was all wins, no losses.
    Still- I am apathetic now about football season. We do root for UNC, and my household is evenly divided between the Fins and the Pats, BUT, if we miss a game it's there is no crying or yelling. (From me either, heehee!)
    We just go with the classics for Game Day usually: beer, chips, wings, ribs, crackers and cheese or dip, etc. It's all about the snacks in our house,and we do it all day long... :D