Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This Is The Future of Sports-Themed Food Architecture

My kids love to help in the kitchen.  And by "help," I mean "get in the way, come perilously close to causing catastrophic injuries to themselves and everyone near them, and create a whole other dimension of cleanup opportunities for Dad."  So when Pillsbury approached me to build a "snackadium" for a sponsored post, my first reaction was, "That sounds like a perfect father/daughters project!"  Well; my first reaction after "What the hell is a snackadium?" and "I sure would like to get paid to make something out of food" anyway.

Some internet research indicated to me that a snackadium is actually a thing.  Apparently people make architectural models of sports stadiums out of food so they can eat them while watching telecasts of sporting competitions that take place in stadiums.  Coincidentally, it would seem that the championship of American Football, the "Super-Bowl" is scheduled to occur sometime soon.  It all started coming together.

The first step of the project was to collect the ingredients.  I figured I would take the girls out to the store and buy the Pillsbury crescent roll dough, Pillsbury pizza dough, and other groceries I needed for the snackadium, come home and feed them lunch, and then we would spend the afternoon making a crusty colosseum together.

It was a brisk, sunny day, and I asked the girls if they were up to walking to the store.  They both agreed, so we spent the next half-hour walking four blocks, stopping to look at every weed in the neighbors' yards, pick up every rock with a sparkly fleck in it, and futz with every zipper, strap and lace on their shoes and jackets.

We finally made it to the market and grabbed a basket.  The girls fought over who would carry it, eventually agreeing to each hold one handle, so they could lurch up and down the aisles, yelling accusations about who was smashing who's shins.  A well-meaning employee said to me, "Just get two baskets, Dad."  It probably had not occurred to her that, had I done so, I would have then been obliged to buy twice as many items as I needed, so that they could have the exact same things in their respective baskets.  I smiled at the nice lady, hoping she would read my mind, which was telling her to stock the damn shelves and lay off on the parenting advice already.

We had not covered two aisles before Cobra, who had insisted on wearing shoes that were a size too big, started complaining about her feet hurting.  Sure enough, there were little raw spots on each foot.  So we trudged to the first-aid aisle and settled on some Strawberry Shortcake band-aids.  Naturally, Butterbean wanted medical attention as well, so she announced that her ankle was hurt and required band-aids too. Soon, the aisle was littered with shoes, groceries, and band-aid refuse.   

After everyone's wounds were dressed, we were finally able to collect the ingredients for our edible arena.  There was some drama in the cheese section, when Cobra became attached to a three-pound bag of shredded cheddar that cost like twelve bucks.  I let her carry it up to the register and put it on the conveyer belt, but, when the kids were distracted by gossip magazines, asked the cashier to discreetly remove it while she rang up the other items.

On the way home, Cobra wanted to hold her shredded cheese, but I told her that it was too heavy and it would make her tired.  Once we finally got to the house, she wanted to eat it with lunch, but I told her we had to eat the cheese from the fridge instead, before it got moldy.  This happened two days ago, and, although she hasn't mentioned the cheese today, I fully expect her to have a spontaneous meltdown about it during a meal within the week, or wake up in the middle of the night, sobbing hysterically about it, as she has done over some lemonade that I threw away before she was finished, and a cookie that she claimed my wife ate.

After lunch, my plan was to clean up the kitchen, and then get to work on the snackadium with the kids.

I goofed around with the kids for a while, and then turned my attention to the aftermath of the last two meals and some remaining mess from a houseful of visiting relatives over the weekend.  The girls went upstairs to do god-knows-what in our bedroom.  It sounded like they were playing bathe-the-princess-dolls in the shower.   

As I finished up the dishes, I heard a horrifying sound.  It was like a wave crashing into the cliffs at high tide, followed by children's screams.

I ran upstairs to find our old baby bathtub (why do we still have that?) overturned in the middle of the bathroom, and the kids lying on the floor in about two inches of water.  The girls didn't seem to be bleeding, so I fished them out and set them aside on the carpet in the bedroom, which was quickly absorbing the water as it flowed out of the bathroom door.  Then I grabbed every towel out of the linen closet and started sopping up the flood.  I may have said some swear words, loudly; and I can't be certain, but there's a possibility I told the kids that they were never allowed to take a bath again.  I'm pretty sure I threw some princesses against the shower wall.

By the time I cleaned up the mess, the girls were happily running around, buck naked.  In fact, they were amped up and acting crazy.  I scratched the snackadium mission for the day, and went to the gym instead, where I could deposit the feral children in Kids' Club.  We needed time apart.

The next day, the kids went to school, and I made the snackadium myself between doing a million other things.  The plan was to make a rectangular white pizza with sauteed garlic, tomatoes, artichokes, and some basil on top to represent a football field; and then to populate it with tiny pigs-in-a-blanket that would stand in for the players.  We had picked up a bunch of celery, the girls' new favorite vegetable (thanks, Wonder Pets!), which would somehow become the walls of the stadium, or the stands or something.  This is what it looked like by the time I had to leave to pick up the kids:

You can practically hear the helmets smashing together, right?

When I got back from picking the kids up, my wife had returned home.  She had added greens to the pizza to make it more field-y, kitchen twine to represent yardlines, and an olive for a football.  She also made some celery bleachers and tiny tomato spectators.  I constructed goalposts out of celery, and BOOM!  Snackadium!

I know there aren't enough guys on the field.  I looked up "American Football" on Wikipedia

The kids had no idea what the hell this was all about, but they thought the snackadium was both hilarious and delicious.

      I have partnered with Pillsbury through DailyBuzz to help promote their Crescent Roll and Pizza Crust products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Pillsbury for this awesome opportunity to create a Snackadium!


  1. I was all set to mock you about this, and then I saw the final football stadium product. And then I remembered that you don't have a freaking clue what the inside of a football stadium looks like. Which makes this all the more impressive.

    Well done, Beta. Looks awesomely delicious!

    1. Hey! I'll have you know that I used to go to football games (a.k.a mid-day drinking binges) all the time in college. Also, you're not the first gay guy this week to make me feel sheepish about my football ignorance.

  2. Not that I'm surprised, but thanks for saying "buck naked" instead of "butt naked." Nekkid would have been acceptable as well.


  3. You have sold out -- deliciously.

    1. Babies need some new pairs of shoes. That's what I always say.

  4. I really enjoyed this post. We've outgrown the 'princess' in our house, thankfully.

  5. Replies
    1. That sounds fantastic! Please let me know if this comes to fruition.

  6. Cool! I get in trouble when I play with my food.

    Chad made one of these, too: Y'all are creative and stuff.

    1. Dude. Chad's snackadium made mine look like a total pile of crap. I tried to comment on his blog, but WP hates me and never lets me comment on anything.

  7. Playing with food is very exciting. Although child are very eager to do that but sometimes Mom & Dad can play it. Dad is a vital part of a family to protect financially, mentally, physically etc. Learn more about Dad here.

  8. Your wife definitely gets an award for her Hail Mary pass at the end. I was laughing so hard and then had to give it up for the final product with greens and celery saving the day. Nicely.


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