4th Quarter Trifle
In my family, Superbowl Sunday was never about the football… it was always about the food.
Mom usually started planning “the menu” a month in advance:
Should we have artichoke dip this year?
What should we do for dinner? Sandwiches? Or something larger?
Should we just nibble the day away with cheeses, dips, and crackers?
What should we have to drink?
Every year, the game day table spread was a little different, but one thing was always a constant:
4th Quarter Trifle.
I honestly don’t know where Mom first found the recipe, but trifle has been our family celebratory dessert for-ev-er. She makes it for birthdays and big occasions, with the Super Bowl qualifying easily as a big occasion.
So, in honor of Minneapolis hosting the big game this year, I thought I’d share the steps needed for making and serving our 4th Quarter Trifle, none of which are trifle. (Ha! Couldn’t resist…)
1) Trifle has to be made in a special glass bowl, one with tall straight sides. No bowl? No trifle.
2) Once you’ve got the bowl, gather all the ingredients together, measure them out, and arrange neatly on the countertop. Cooking on the fly is not an option; this is an organized endeavor.
3) Always start by smearing a thin layer of pudding on the bottom of the trifle bowl to keep everything else from sticking. Next, add cut up angel food cake, jam, berries, mandarin oranges, vanilla pudding, sherry (Mom’s “special ingredient”), and whipped cream. Repeat the layering of ingredients a couple of times until the trifle bowl overflows with the tasty goodness.
4) To finish, top the glorious creation with even more whipped cream, and garnish with artfully displayed strawberries. Most years I was in charge of this last step, and I liked to slice the strawberries so that they’d splay out like a fan. Once I cut out the stem on top and filled the middle with big blueberries; that was tasty and pretty.
5) Pull the trifle out of the fridge just before the start of the second half of the game.
6) When the 3rd quarter ends, everyone must gather around the table and say “Ooh… aah… it looks so GOOD! Are those strawberries on top?”
7) After a few minutes of appreciative commenting, the long-handled spoon that can reach to the bottom of the trifle bowl will appear, and the ambrosia is heaped into special little trifle cups (small plastic bowls that look like fancy crystal but aren’t fancy at all).
8) After all of the cups are filled and claimed, everyone can dig in, and go back to watching the game.
That’s it — 4th Quarter Trifle.
Traditions that involve tasty food are always well loved.
If your team isn’t in the Super Bowl, at least you can still look forward to trifle.