Thursday, November 24, 2016

Treats For Game Players

As a kid I often served the folks who came to our home game parties.  My parents were avid card game players who enjoyed games like contract bridge and bid whist.  They would often invite friends to play at our house from early evening until the following morning.  And whenever these card game parties took place my mother would make certain the guests had plenty to drink and snack on while shuffling cards, making bids and growling at one another for misplays or erroneous scoring.  As the waiter, I was charged with the task of filling and refilling bowls of snacks at each table.  This was a plum job since it meant I got to savor each snack.  I also was occasionally rewarded by the guests with a coin or two that went into my savings.  

Now when I have my own guests visit to play a car race or to play PS4 basketball or football games I maintain the family tradition by seeing that they have a selection of snacks and drinks to enjoy.  I have at least four different categories of snacks.  Like my parents always did I will have at least one tray that has a hot snack – either chicken wings or something else hot and spicy – sometimes West Indian meat patties or some tiny spring rolls with duck sauce.  For those with milder preferences I will put out some classic pot stickers that I usually stuff with crab meat and green onion.  And my final two trays usually contain brownies for those who love chocolate, and shrimp toasts that I keep warm in a slow oven until serving.

Often I have two or three different versions of trail mix – seasoned with garlic and onion powder, spiced with cayenne, and tossed in a blend of Worcestershire sauces with wine and a dash of tobacco before baking until golden brown.  All these combinations are made using bowls and containers that I obtain during my Groupon shopping sprees, where I get most of my large containers as well as baking pans and mixing bowls for great discounts.

Once prepared I put out the mixes in serving bowls for the game players to have nearby so they can easily grab a handful to munch on while enjoying a football or basketball match they play using PS4 video games obtained from Groupon’s latest listing of available games.  Since my children see that the guest bowls are constantly refilled and that drinks and supplies are handily available I am also assuring that a tradition my parents passed on to me is being maintained through the next generation of my family.  

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