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The Cave Man Super Bowl (History According to Roscoe

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Cave Men Played Football

Well, kinda. They certainly didn’t call it Football, since language hadn’t even been invented yet, but they grunted and groaned and yelled a lot when they played, just like guys do today. And they crashed into each other and a lot of them got hurt (no pads, helmets, no astroturf), but no one ever worried about not getting into the Hall of Fame, because they hadn’t invented steroids or betting yet.

They Used A Rock

Whenever Cave Dudes got together to take the edge off (back then they played to relax, not to get a college scholarship, college hadn’t been invented yet, that came later, when Cave Parents needed a way to pay for their neanderthal kid’s schooling – much like today, the Neanderthal part, that is), they just picked up a big rock and started throwing it at each other, much like dodgeball, but there were no lines to cross or not, and after they’d throw the rock, they’d crash into each other, because there were no penalties. Let’s face it, there weren’t even any referees. Referees were invented much later, just before bookies, not that they had anything to do with each other.

No Uniforms

Cave Dudes pretty much wore the same stuff – animal skins – and one day a couple of the Cave Babes were watching, and couldn’t tell the difference between their dudes, so they had the idea to have one group (they didn’t call them teams yet) wear the animal skins, while the other didn’t (this is how shirts and skins began). It also began the team names, as the Cave Babes still couldn’t tell the difference between their Dudes (Cave Dudes were too hairy, which is why barbers were invented shortly after), so they started calling them by their animal skin names: Lions, Tigers, Panthers, etc.

They Started to Bet

First on themselves, as a matter of pride: whoever won either got or had to give up a pelt or two, remember, money hadn’t been invented yet, which is why there were no bookies, but that didn’t last long, and it’s still a historical mystery as to which came fist, the dollar or the bookie. Banks came after both.

They Always Had Cheerleaders

The Cave Babes were enthusiastic about their Dudes playing this game, and weren’t shy about showing their enthusiasm, even though they weren’t quite organized in their cheers yet. But their outfits were a lot like the cheerleader outfits of today: a lot of off-the-shoulder stuff, especially in leopard print, which is how Victoria’s Secret really got started.

They Played About Once a Week

Just like today, even though they didn’t have calendars yet. After about ten games, they all got a little tired (and pretty beat up, no helmets or pads, remember?), so they decided to call it a season (they had seasons then, they just didn’t call them that, as weathermen hadn’t been invented yet), and throw a big game to end it all, the winners would get a really big dinosaur skin, and the losers would just get depressed (they hadn’t invented drugs or alcohol yet to dull their senses).

No TV

Even without commercials, somehow they played the game. Advertisers would later (much later) figure out how to cash in on sports, but the Cave Dudes didn’t care anything about that. They played for the love of the game, and the admiration of their Cave Babes, and let’s face it, Cave Babe admiration was probably the real reason, because even back then, guys did most things to get attention from Babes.

The Game Has Really Changed

And that’s only right, nothing stays the same over time, nor should it. Games are played with balls today instead of rocks, though it seems there are still just as many concussions and injuries, even with pads and helmets. And referees and umpires keep the game from getting out of control, even though they make mistakes that change lives and careers. The players don’t seem to mind, though, they get paid an awful lot of money no matter what happens on the field.

Cave Dudes Gave It Their All

The Romans really had the right idea. The Gladiators had to really try, unlike the players today, who get paid no matter who wins. If a Gladiator lost, he got eaten by the Lion or Tiger. It gave him an incentive to win. And okay, we can’t really do that today, even though we might like to throw certain players to the Lions or Tigers (Mike Tyson comes to mind, but the animals would probably welcome him to the den as one of their own).

Winner Take All

If you don’t win, you don’t get any money. That might change the nature of sport. The games might be a little different if the loser just got a bag of rocks. Sure, there might be a few more fights, but at least we’d know they really cared. There might be some real rivalries, as opposed to those the media invents.

We Still Care About the Game

And that’s the way it should be, just like in the day of the Cave Man. We applaud the efforts of the players and coaches, laugh and cry at their heroics and mistakes, live or die by the touchdowns and field goals and fumbles and injuries. The Super Bowl, as with sports in general, has become a microcosm of our lives.

We just don’t want to watch it without commercials.

Roscoe’s Super Bowl Meatballs (In Honey Mustard Bourbon BBQ Sauce)

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Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef (or pork, or turkey, or any combination)
1/2 red onion (chopped fine)
2 cloves garlic (minced or chopped fine)
1 celery stalk (chopped fine)
sun dried tomatoes (about a half a handful, chopped fine)
Chili Mango (2 slices, chopped fine)
spinach – a big handful, veins removed, chopped fine
Parmesan cheese
Beer (a couple glugs)
1 egg
Steak sauce (3-4 squirts)
Worcestershire, Cholula, salt, pepper, paprika

Mustard – 1 big dollop

For the Sauce:

About 2 cups BBQ Sauce
A few spoons mustard (various)
Bourbon (a couple glugs)
Papper jelly (a couple spoons)

Gotta Make A Choice

You’re having people over for the Super Bowl and you gotta feed ’em, so you gotta decide what to feed ’em. and let’s face it, the choices are all good: pulled pork, pizza, sausage, gumbo, wings, the list goes on and on. And here at Roscoe’s, we’ve already done most of those, so we’d like to try something new.

Meatballs

How can you go wrong? Put ’em on a sandwich, or pop ’em in your mouth (depends how big the meatball, and how big the mouth; maybe supply a fork). Braise your meatballs in a Honey Mustard Bourbon BBQ Sauce, and you’ve got a winner, no matter who wins the game.

Here’s What You Do:

No Tofu

Here at Cookin’WithRoscoe we’ve always said “Cook what you like, eat what you like.” But really, tofu meatballs for the Super Bowl? We don’t recommend it. So go with whatever ground meat you like, or any mixture – beef and pork, pork and chicken or turkey, sausage and beef, you get the picture. Put it in a bowl, season it up, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well (don’t be afraid to get your hands in there, it’s easiest and the most fun).

Use An Ice Cream Scoop

About the size of a golfball, makes about 30 meatballs from the 2 lbs of meat.

Bake ‘Em Up

It’s best if you lay the meatballs on a rack on a baking pan, the grease will stay in the bottom of the pan, not in the meatballs. 350 oven for about 40 minutes. But check ’em at 30. If they’ve got a nice crust, pull them out. You don’t want to overcook the meatballs and have them be dry. Remember, they’ll cook some more as you heat them for the game.

Serve In Sauce

You can do the meatballs the day ahead (recommended), warm them in a large foil pan in the oven with the sauce, which will keep them moist. Then just refill your crockpot as it empties. You can mix the sauce ahead of time, too, and add it to the foil pan in the fridge.

Now You Can Watch the Game

With the meatballs warming in your crockpot, it’s self serve for your guests, just supply them with some rolls for those with big appetites, maybe have someone bring a salad, and you’re…

Cookin’ With Roscoe

More Cave Man Christmas (History According to Roscoe)

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Yes, Cave Men Celebrated Christmas

Even though religion hadn’t been invented yet, the Cave Man knew instinctively that there had to be a higher power out there in the universe (though Cave Men didn’t know very much about the universe, only that there sure were a bunch of stars out there – smog hadn’t been invented yet, so he could see them). And this knowledge of the higher power was inherently a cause for celebration. Why? To be honest, it took the pressure off. Because if there was a higher power out there somewhere, then the Cave Dude knew that he wasn’t responsible for everything (like his Cave Babe told him he was; this was before marriage, but not before nagging, there was always nagging). Politics was invented eventually, supposedly to take even more pressure off the people by making the government responsible for their safety and well being, but they’re still figuring out how to do that without ruining everything.

Shopping Was Invented

Let’s face it, it had to be. Because once the Cave Dude put up a Christmas tree in the cave, his Cave Babe wasn’t gonna be happy until she had something to put under it. Cave Dudes tried to tell their Babes that rocks were enough, and even arranged them in all sorts of ways, but there was no way that was ever going to work for the Cave Babe.

There Were No Malls Yet

But that didn’t matter. Cave Babes went out foraging for presents (they didn’t call it foraging then, actually, they didn’t talk all that much, so they didn’t call it anything, they just went out and did it, but let’s face it, foraging would never have made it as a catch phrase. Think about it: “Only nine more foraging days till Christmas.” Doesn’t quite work, does it?

When Did Santa Show Up?

Even way back then, Cave Kids believed in Santa Clause. They didn’t call him that, because again, they didn’t talk all that much, mostly grunted and gestured, but Cave Parents promoted the idea of Santa because they didn’t want their kids to think the presents were from them because then the kids would expect to get them all the time (this was before child psychology, which tells parents to give their kids everything they want or the kids won’t like them; Cave Parents didn’t care about that, they just wanted the kids out of the cave, which is why school was invented).

No Credit Cards

Back then, everything was paid for in cash (cash hadn’t been invented yet, but there certainly was a barter system in effect — something like… I’ll trade you this Saber Tooth pelt for that big rock in your yard (there were always yards, everyone had a yard, it was the area just in front of the cave, all dirt, which really annoyed the Cave Babe, because she was getting tired of sweeping it out of the cave, so sod was invented pretty quickly). But eventually, somebody always got the short end of the stick on those deals, so they invented money.

Now It’s All About Money

And that’s really too bad, because, as we said earlier, this whole celebration thing came about because of the higher power out there in the universe. Even the Cave Men knew about it. But things have changed so much since then that we’ve all but forgotten it. Maybe we don’t have to go back to rocks and Saber Tooth pelts (even though Victoria Secret could probably come up with something that would keep us interested), but we can at least keep the old spirit going: celebrate the goodness and the hope that all started with the Cave Man. Because let’s face it, if he hadn’t had it, then neither would we.

Merry Christmas, from Cookin’ With Roscoe

 

The Second Thanksgiving (History According to Roscoe)

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Turkeys Got Smarter

Roscoe’s chronicle of the first Thanksgiving gave us a lot of insight into the Cave Man and how he came to celebrate this wonderful holiday (even though holidays hadn’t been invented yet, Cave Men knew instinctively that they would be soon, and that each one would call for a dinner). There were an awful lot of turkeys running around wild back then, and they hadn’t heard anything about Thanksgiving, so it was easy for the Cave Dude to sneak up on one and club it to death. But turkeys caught on (they’re not as dumb as people think they are), and as everyone who’s a fan of Evolution knows, they soon got faster, making it harder for Cave Dudes to catch them (eventually, Butterball was invented, and the holiday was saved).

Gravy

There was no gravy at the First Thanksgiving dinner, and even though everyone enjoyed the turkey and the dressing and even the green bean casserole (yes, there were casseroles back then, they just didn’t call them that because there was no need, since there were only a couple really good side dishes, and there was no inclination yet to dis anything), the absence of gravy left a void. So secretly, the Cave Babe worked on it over the next year. Whenever her Cave Dude brought some meat or another bird home for her to cook, she would experiment, trying to get some liquid out of it that would moisten the meal (there were no meat thermometers or pop-ups back then). This led to the invention of the pot, which changed forever our culinary procedures.

No Pilgrims

No one had ever heard of a Pilgrim back then, either, and it’s doubtful they would have been tolerated, what with those funny hats and shoes they wore, though the Cave Babe may have been intrigued by the women’s dresses, since they were about to invent fashion (say what you will, though, Roscoe still thinks a leopard print off-the-shoulder tank top is about as good as it gets).

No Take-Out, Either

Today, if you don’t want to cook your own Thanksgiving Dinner, there are numerous places you can go to eat it or bring it in. But restaurants hadn’t been invented yet (though they were right around the corner, because as soon as jobs were invented and the Cave Dude started bringing home a paycheck – jobs and paychecks happened simultaneously – Cave Babes were suddenly in need of a place to be seen so they could show off their Dude’s affluence) so what better place to be seen than a restaurant? This killed two birds with one stone, so to speak, restaurants satisfying both the need to be seen and to eat, and once this trend was established, cameras and magazines came shortly after, which, of course, then established the need for papparazzi. (Roscoe’s note: you’d think it would have been hard for Cave Dudes and Babes to dodge the papparazzi, since cars hadn’t been invented yet, but, as it is today, they probably didn’t really want to back then, either.)

Grateful, As Always

But whether you cook your Thanksgiving meal yourself at home, or bring it in from the local BBQ (everyone knows smoked turkeys are the best), or even if you go out to your favorite restaurant, we’re celebrating this holiday to give thanks for everything we have, so let’s not forget the brave Cave Dudes and Babes who did it all before us and showed us the way. Because even though they didn’t know it, even back then they were…

Cookin’ With Roscoe

Roscoe’s Stew Recipe (Comfort Food For Cave Men)

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Ingredients:

2-3 lbs. stew meat (inexpensive cut, consult your butcher)
2 onions, 1 red 1 white
4-5 large carrots
3 red or white potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
Sausage (optional)
olive oil, Worcestershire, Cholula
wine (3-4 glugs)
beer (1 bottle minus 1 sip)
Teriyaki (1/2 cup)
BBQ sauce (1/2 cup)
Salt, pepper, paprika
garlic
flour

Cave Men Had Stew

It’s true. Stew’s been around a long time. Cave Men and Women would put everything into a pot and let it cook up for a long time (hey, dinosaur meat took a while). This was after fire, of course, but before gravy. Once they invented gravy, well, that’s when cuisine really took off. They didn’t call it cuisine back then, of course, they just called it food (actually, they didn’t call it anything, Cave Men didn’t have much of a vocabulary, just grunted a lot and made a bunch of funny noises, but somehow they still got their point across to their Cave Babes; we’re still here, aren’t we?) Actually, it was the Cave Woman who invented the first word. She was getting tired of cleaning the cave all the time, got a little cranky one day when her Cave Dude brought in his latest catch, and just sort of blurted out “Wipe your feet!” (Why use one word when you can use three, even back then). Marriage was invented shortly after this, but that’s another article entirely.

So Let’s Make the Stew – Meat First

Cut up your meat into about 1/2 inch cubes, season it (Worcestershire and Cholula, salt, pepper, paprika) and sear it in some olive oil in your stew pot till it gets brown (doesn’t have to be fully cooked, it’s gonna braise a long time). Sprinkle some flour over it, mix it up until it’s all coated and you get some liquid. Add the Teriyaki and BBQ sauce, wine and beer, mix it up, cover the pot and step back. Let this go for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the meat starts to get tender.

Chop the Veggies

However you like them, medium or course, then add them with the garlic, mix it all up, cover and walk away (at east walk to the fridge for another beer, it’s guaranteed you’ll be thirsty by this time, and you don’t want to get dehydrated).

Mix Frequently

You want all the flavors to meld, the gravy to cover everything.

Another Hour Or So

Check the veggies. When they’re fork tender, they’re done. Add some red wine vinegar, maybe a little balsamic, mix it in, let it go another half hour or so, and you’re there.

We’ve Come A Long Way From the Cave

But we’re still eating stew. Only now we’re…

Cookin’ With Roscoe

Smoked Hash Browns

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Ingredients:

2 large red potatoes (smoked)
2 sweet potatoes (smoked)
1 red or white onion (smoked)
2-3 cloves smoked garlic, chopped
Bacon – optional (yeah, right)

When the Pitmaster Fires Up the Smoker…

…you know something good is about to happen. Brisket, pulled pork, ribs, turkey, prime rib, it goes on and on, even in your dreams. And what dreams they are. But…

Meat Isn’t the Only Thing You Can Smoke

Besides your cigar, I mean.Veggies are great on the smoker, especially peppers. But think about onions, garlic, tomatoes, even carrots.

Who Ever Thought of Smoked Potatoes?

Well, Roscoe did. The Pitmaster had just pulled a beautiful pork butt that had smoked for about 16 hours, and the smoker was still going. What to do with those potatoes he had in his hand? So he threw the potatoes in with some garlic and an onion, without the slightest idea what he’d do with them, or even if they’d turn out to be good.

There Are No Rules

That’s one of Roscoe’s favorites, and the Pitmaster echoed it. So…

Three Hours Later

The potatoes were smoked, and man, did they smell good. We tasted them, and they tasted good. But… what do we do with smoked potatoes?

Hash Browns!

Gotta have something for breakfast, right?

It’s the Easiest Thing In the World (Almost)

Saute’ some chopped bacon, then just chop up the potatoes, onion, and garlic, fry it all up in a pan with some olive oil, Worcestershire, and Cholula (Roscoe’s trinity), some salt and pepper, a little paprika, and you’re in breakfast heaven. It takes a while to get crispy, 45 minutes to an hour, so be sure to have some coffee on hand, maybe even a Bloody Mary or two.

A Fried Egg On Top

And you’re ready for anything the day might bring. But then, that’s only natural, because you’re…

Cookin’ With Roscoe

Roscoe’s Short Ribs (The Comfort Food Dinner)

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Ingredients:

3-4 lbs. beef short ribs (about 6 ribs)
1 large onion
5-8 cloves garlic (chopped)
Olive oil
Worcestershire
Cholula
Red wine (a couple glugs)
1 12 oz. bottle of beer
2-3 red potatoes (quartered)
2 sweet potatoes (quartered lengthwise)
6-8 carrots (halved lengthwise)
salt, pepper

For Glaze:
(to make 1/2 to 3/4 cup)

BBQ sauce (a few glugs)
Steak sauce (a few glugs)
Flavored bourbon mustard (2 tablespoons)

They Call It Comfort Food

Why? Does it make you more comfortable? Like a warm blanket or a hot babe on a soft couch? Well, kind of. A dish like short ribs, usually served with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, warm crusty bread, can make you feel warm and good all over. And isn’t that what we want from a warm blanket or a hot babe on a soft couch? Exactly. And if you’ve got the hot babe already, a dish full of short ribs will make her appreciate you even more, and after all, that’s what comfort food is really all about.

So Let’s Make It Happen

Go to your butcher, pick up 3 or 4 pounds of beef short ribs. These are not like baby backs or any of the other ribs you get that you want to put in your smoker and finish on your grill with some great BBQ sauce. Short ribs are a very tough cut of meat that takes a long time to make tender and juicy and delicious. But if you put in the time, it’s all worth it (see above reference to hot babe on soft couch).

Marinate, Marinate, Marinate

Hardly any recipe you see for short ribs will tell you to marinate them. Roscoe knows better. Season ’em up with your favorite rub, toss ’em in a plastic bag with Roscoe’s trinity – olive oil, Worcestershire and Cholula – and put ’em in the fridge overnight. This gives you plenty of time to prepare that soft couch for that hot babe you’re cooking for.

Roscoe’s Note: This process can be reversed, too. No reason the hot babe can’t cook up the short ribs for her favorite guy (or even second favorite). Comfort goes both ways, after all.

The Whole Thing Takes About Three Hours

And absolutely worth the comfort you get when you share this dish.

Sear The Meat

Cover a deep pan or dutch oven with olive oil, get it hot, then place the ribs in and sear on each side. Those guys on the food network, the famous chefs, will tell you this seals in the juices. Who knows, maybe it does. All Roscoe knows is that it makes ’em taste good. So get a good sear going – all sides, not just the top and bottom – this takes about fifteen minutes. When this is done, take ’em out of the pan, set aside, drain most of the fat from the pan. Splash in some more olive oil and saute’ your onions and garlic with some Worcestershire and Cholula and red wine.

Add The Ribs Back

Pour in a bottle of beer, dark is best, but any beer will do. Roscoe’s Note: Pouring a full beer into a pan (and not your mouth) is not the easiest thing for a guy to do, it can even be painful, so here’s a little tip: open two beers, one for the pan, one for the cook. Take it from Roscoe, this procedure alleviates the pain immediately. Then a couple cups of chicken stock, mix it all up gently, cover and let it simmer. For an hour.

Potatoes and Carrots

Just slip ’em into the pan, mix ’em around in the juices, cover it back up and crack another beer. You’ll already be smelling the ribs, so the beer will help you over the next hour and a half until it’s all done.

Make A Glaze

Mix whatever you have handy: BBQ sauce, steak sauce, mustard, maybe a little bourbon. Take the cover off the pan, gently prop up the ribs on top of the veggies, and pour your glaze onto them. Then put the pan, uncovered, into your (pre-heated) 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Real Comfort

Place the ribs and veggies in a nice serving dish or bowl, serve with some crusty warm bread, maybe a little salad. It’s better than any blanket for comfort, though maybe not as good as the hot babe on the soft couch. But it just might help you get her there. And once you do, remember…

Life’s Good, When You’re Cookin’ With Roscoe

Roscoe’s Hot Sauce

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Ingredients:

Peppers (all kinds, roasted)
onions
garlic
Worcestershire
wine
red wine vinegar
honey mustard
spicey mustard
rum (a couple glugs)
salt and pepper

A Big Bag of Peppers

What do you do when someone gives you a big bag of peppers?Peppers of all kinds: red peppers, green peppers, cubanels, habaneros, jalapenos, and some you don’t even know. You…

Make Your Own Hot Sauce

… that’s what you do. Hey, it ain’t gonna be Cholula, but it’s bound to be good, and for sure it’ll be fun.

Just Roast ’em All Up

Rub the peppers in some veggie oil, salt and pepper, and grill ’em or roast ’em in your oven. Let ’em get charred, then take ’em out and put ’em in a plastic bag and let ’em steam a while, till the skins get nice and loose. Then take ’em out, pull the charred skins off, and you’ve got all that great pepper meat, soft and tasty and ready to become your own hot sauce.

This Is The Fun Part

Chop up the peppers, put ’em all into a pot and let ’em cook up with some onions and garlic, maybe a little tomato. Then start to add…

Whatever You Like

Red wine vinegar, wine, Worcestershire, herbs, spices, and don’t forget… Roscoe’s secret… mustard and rum.

Hand Blender Is Mandatory

Sure, you can put it all in a regular blender, and do it that way if you want. But there’s nothing more fun (well, almost nothing) than standing at the stove with an immersion blender in one hand and a beer in the other, mixing up your own hot sauce. And don’t even worry if some of that beer gets into the blend, ’cause then you’re really…

Cookin’ With Roscoe