American football was not something that I imagined myself forming an addiction to. For starters, it’s not food and my addictions tend to be purely taste focused. More than that though- it’s a game that takes over three hours to complete(and I’m not one for sitting still), a game that has more commercials than play-time, and a game where the boys wear helmets so you can’t pick out the cute ones! But, my imaginations tend not to dictate my life and thus I have found myself donning an Eagles shirt each weekend and spending each working week looking forward to the next game day. And, yes, I should perhaps be supporting the New York Giants- but that’s a story for another day and another kind of blog.
So, what is it about American football which has drawn me in with remarkably very little kicking and screaming? I think it all comes down to the food- which happens to be just as important as the game and that it’s a sociable affair. Ah, so that’s why it fits into my addiction criteria! The only time a sport brings people together in the UK is football during the World Cup- and as we know that only happens every four years! Americans’ know better than anyone how to make a sporting event into an occasion and I can’t recommend it enough.
Yesterday, I sat in a room filled with ten fabulous people, surrounded by mountains of food (to begin with there was mountains anyway)and we cheered, ooed and ahhhed and held our full-bellies- and it was brilliant! Soon enough- the commercials don’t seem so bad because it provides time for some chat and munching and it doesn’t matter that you can’t see the players faces because you can be less biased about who you like (plus you can always use your imagination!).
Chocolate hobnobs (my version of the English biscuits)
Nutty, crunchy, and chocolaty- biscuits don’t get much better than this
85g/3 oz porridge oats
85g/3 oz mixture of dessicated and finely shredded coconut(or just one type)
50g/2 oz caster sugar
100g/4 oz flour
100g/4 oz butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling water
100g/4 oz good quality dark or milk chocolate
1 Heat oven to 180C/gas 4/350F Mix together the oats, coconut, sugar and flour in a medium-sized bowl.Melt the butter in a saucepan, then turn off the heat and stir through the golden syrup. (I find that the best way to measure the syrup accurately is to lightly oil the measuring spoon first.)
2 In a small bowl mix together the bicarbonate of soda and the boiling water and add to the butter mixture. Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and add all of the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
3 Form into small balls between the palms of your hands- about the size of ping pong ball and place onto non-stick (or lined) baking trays, leaving 2.5 cm in between each one so that there is room for them to spread. Press them down lightly- they will spread a bit on their own during cooking. Bake in the oven in batches for about 10 minutes, or until golden all over.
4 Allow to cool on a wire rack. Break the chocolate up in a bowl and melt in the mircrowave for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave, stir and allow all of it to melt. If there are still large chunks, place in the microwave for a further 30 seconds. Use a pastry brush to generously paint the undersides of the biscuits and allow to dry. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week- or take to a game and forget the airtight container all together.