For the past four years (not including the semester I studied abroad in London), I have cooked some great food for my Super Bowl Parties. Freshman year in college, I took it upon myself to orchestrate a spread feeding about 15 of my closest friends. I made two lasagnas, completely from scratch (no canned sauce for me, I had to make my own!) in my dormitory kitchen, along with about 5 or 6 other side dishes. We crammed all the food and people into a room only slightly bigger than my office cubicle and watched Janet Jackson’s nipple while eating.

So I really had no excuse this year not to cook. I’m in my own apartment, I have a decently well-stocked kitchen, and I should have kept with tradition. Instead, we ordered pizzas, bought chips and already-prepared dip, frozen buffalo wings, some 2 liters of soda…

…And I felt really guilty. Sometime around noon on Sunday, I realized that I was making nothing from scratch and a legitimate wave of guilt washed over me. I blame three things: Saturday’s Soulard Mardi Gras, my Catholic faith and my mom–who wouldn’t even buy pre-made french onion dip, preferring to mix her own.

But I forged ahead, the Tostitos-queso-buying rebel that I am, the party was a success, and all bellies were satisfied. At least my friend Angie made some of her amazing (from scratch!) spinach artichoke dip and chocolate cake, and Susan brought veggies, so not everyone was damned to culinary hell. But anyways, who cares? I can’t think of anything better than Ruffles and French Onion Dip on a rainy Sunday Superbowl Afternoon.

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