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How to Enjoy Super Bowl LVIII Geezer-Style

Super Bowl LVIII recipes for ’Niners or Chiefs fans

Like most festive occasions, Super Bowl Sunday can be a melancholy event for us geezers, because it triggers the “1972 Ford Pinto Principle.”

Alameda Post - a 1972 ford pinto
The unloved Ford Pinto. Photo Joe Wolf / FIickr.

This principle is best explained by imagining that you are a nice-looking, garrulous 25-year-old who lives on the Isle of Style and has been invited to a big Super Bowl party in Santa Cruz. You are eager to go because you are in the market for a new romance.

Unfortunately, your enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that your only wheels are a 1972 Ford Pinto. The car runs, but only because the engine, cooling system, carburetor, manifolds, suspension, brakes and tires are being kept alive by lots of chemical additives, and a mechanic that cautions you not to stress the vehicle by driving it out of town. So, like many old geezers with worn-out bods, you’d like to go, but the old hoopty/body just can’t hang at a Super Bowl party.

Alameda Post - a bowl of cajun soup
Photo A Disappearing Act / Flickr.

The last Super Bowl party that I attended was in 2013, when the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31. The party was bibulous and gluttonous, and I was inadvertently involved in an impromptu cooking contest with an egotistical young chef named Mark. He had prepared a delicious Cajun soup that he called “Gallimatia” because it was a whacky mix of seafood broth, chicken, sausage, shrimp, crab legs, and whitefish served over jasmine rice.

I had made my Nonna Kate’s cannelloni with paper-thin crepes, filled with ground beef, mortadella, prosciutto, dry ricotta, Parmesan, and bread crumbs, all covered with a rich Italian Sunday gravy.

Alameda Post - Cannelloni

Both dishes were well-received, but Mark asked the throng, “Which dish is better, mine or his?”

When no one voted, I reinflated his ego by telling him that I thought his was better.

That started a one-sided, bizarre  conversation. He told me that he and his wife, Elena, were going to open a restaurant on Park street featuring the recipes of Elena’s Oaxacan grandmother.

“Elena needed to pay homage to her grandmother’s wonderful cooking,” he said.

Alameda Post - tamales

“I pay homage to my grandmother’s cooking every time I visit my cardiologist,” I answered. “He calls me Mr. Stent—three heart attacks, six stents.”

Mark frowned, and then mentioned that the restaurant’s specialty would be a giant tamale, stuffed with two pork loins.

“Wow, what a coincidence!” I clamored. “I have a restaurant concept called Gil’s House of Giant Meatballs. It’s patterned after the House Of Prime Rib in San Francisco, but instead of carving thick slices of prime rib, the tableside chefs will carve hunks of giant meatballs, made from my secret recipe.”

Alameda Post - San Francisco 49ers on the field.

Mark looked at me curiously, tilted his head, then walked over to the beer kegs. We didn’t speak again.

This year, for my private Super Bowl LVIII party, I’m celebrating by preparing two dishes from the teams’ hometowns. For the 49ers, I’m making Celery Victor, a classic San Francisco dish from the same chef who created Crab Louie. For the Kansas City Chiefs, I’m making oven-roasted burnt ends, which are typically eaten in a brioche sandwich.

Try these two wonderful dishes for Super Bowl LVIII, and leave the Pinto in the garage.

Alameda Post - celery in a strainer

Celery Victor – Meatless Version


3 celery hearts (1 1/2 lb total), leaves reserved and ribs cut into 3-inch-long pieces
3 cups vegetable broth
1 clove garlic- chopped
1 pinch kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh celery leaves

  • Arrange celery ribs in one layer in a 12-inch skillet and add just enough vegetable broth to cover.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the celery is tender.
  • Remove celery from skillet, place in a bowl, and chill in refrigerator for two hours.
  • Make a vinaigrette in a bowl by whisking together the garlic, salt, black pepper, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and celery leaves. Keep vinaigrette chilled until ready to serve.
  • Place celery on plates, sprinkle with vinaigrette and celery leaves.
  • Serves six.
Alameda Post - burnt ends
Photo Hungry Dudes / Flickr.

Oven-Roasted Burnt Ends


4-pound chuck roast (choice grade recommended)
3 tablespoons Cajun spice rub (Emeril’s or Sylvia’s recommended)
3 cups barbecue sauce (Link’s Screamin’ Q Sauce recommended)
1 stick salted butter (cut into 1 tablespoon pats)

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  • Place chuck roast in a roasting pan and rub all over with spice rub.
  • Place pan in oven and cook for 4 hours.
  • Remove roast from the oven and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • Place cubes on a baking sheet.
  • Place the pats of butter over the meat cubes.
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place the sheet into the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the meat is seared.
  • Toss the meat with barbecue sauce if desired.

Gil Michaels burns for you at [email protected]. His writing is collected at

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