Making distant relationships work

Did you know 2.9% of all married couples live long distance relationships?  That comes to approximately 3.75 million couples!  This subject is of considerable interest to me because, I am one of the 2.9%.  It can be done!  In fact, my husband and I credit it to why we celebrated our 35th year anniversary back in June.👰🤵

 Our lives, seperated and shared, lent certain characteristics to our marriage.  While we each worked independently, we acted as one.  💑 As expected, there are extra tweeks to add with a long distance relationship.   Because this type of arrangement holds heightened challenges than a traditional marriage, obviously, emphasis upon the basic structure of any commitment such as trust, respect, and humility should exist.  Like other married couples, we traveled through the honeymoon phase, the seven year itch, and mid life crises.  Each addition to our family 🤰added more responsibility, less time, and more financial burden.  Life lessons like “love isn’t everything” didn’t limit us because we learned first and foremost to continue as best friends.

 Why would couples complicate their relationships by adding the challenge of distance?   The trend that truly takes the numbers to new heights, is the onslaught of Online dating!  There are obvious reasons distance becomes a factor, for instance military service and other career choices that mean commuting. It is not always something a couple stepped into knowingly💍, but out of adapting to uncontrollable circumstances.  The economy often causes chasing work in different locations. Apparently, it’s not as uncommon as you may think!

It wasn’t always as easy as it is now! Yes, practice has paid off but communication and logistics advancement play an important part.  Initially, my husband and I talked once a day during his absence.  ☎️ Of course, this was back in the prehistoric times of long distance landline plans 😂.  Mounting phone bills was not in the budget! One of the hidden factors for our household is double indemnity.   For instance, we finance two households. 🏠🏡 Double the rent, utilities, transportation, and food in a long distance relationship 💲!  Technology turned the tide on time in this case.  It changed the way we communicate.  The ability to text, Facetime, email, allows contact at any given time 24/7.  Even the way we handle our finances is different.  Instead of waiting for a check in the mail, with electronic funds transfers our funds are instantly available for either of us.  Seemingly an incidental occurrence, it plays a large role in our life.

 One area of consideration not discussed is the affect on children.  A television show once aired called, “Wait Till Your Father Gets Home”.  It was an animated series that featured a typical American family consisting of a father, mother, daughter, and son.  Each episode headlined a situation that transpired at some given point had to be revealed to the father when he arrived home from work.  Do not apply any special authority to one or the other parent.  Like everything else in your relationship, parenting needs to be shared!
 Top Communication Tips for Long Distance Couples

1. Text timely check ins including emoji hugs and kisses

2. Talk first thing in the morning and the last moment at night

3. Trade pics of current activities i.e. what your eating, the task your working on, etc

4. Take the time to video chat or FaceTime a couple times a week

5. Try to arrange visits around long weekends so travel time won’t apply too much

6. Create relaxing and simple activities during visits

7. Assign one partial day for personal business and errands together

8. Allow each other some privacy

9. Respect each other’s wishes

10. Touch each other simply by holding hands, hugs, passing caresses

Game Day Timeless Touchdown Treats

For all you grid iron followers, playoffs are in their final brackets. Certainly one of the biggest party days in our household, the NFL’s contest between the AFC and NFC conferences is right up there with Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, and Thanksgiving! No matter which pair up of teams you are routing, NE Patriots vs New Orleans Saints or Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Rams, you are gearing up for the biggest game of the year. The NFL’s “Super Bowl” sums up the best of the best teams.

This year’s Super Bowl marks its 53rd kickoff! Los Angeles, CA hosted Super Bowl I where the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs faced off. Remarkably for its 1967 premiere, more fans, in fact 61,000 of them, viewed the game on television from home. Even more amazingly is that back in the day, when there were only THREE NETWORKS, the game aired on TWO of them!

Where will you be watching the game?

As one of the original Super Bowl teams, Kansas City Chiefs has a chance to battle Los Angeles Rams, the inaugural Super Bowl’s host city’s team. In contrast, 1967 our present day version of the Super Bowl will air on only ONE NETWORK. While CBS is this year’s chosen network, the game’s popularity has prompted multiple media to stream the contest live. Subsequently, whether you are at home, work, or anywhere else on Super Bowl LIII, you will be able to enjoy the game along with an estimated 112 million other viewers! On the other hand, Sunday February 3, 2019 Atlanta, Georgia’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will host the game to at least an expected 70,000 fans.

So no matter where you end up entertaining, kickoff your game day with a game plan that your guests will score highly! Will you want a buffet style spread? Are finger foods your preference? Even “tailgating ideas” have become very inventive, ranging from the typical to elaborate endeavors.

Easy host game plan

But, for me, I like simple and easy! That is to say, I want something I can prepare largely ahead of time and set out for all to enjoy. As a result, I am able to watch and join my guests with the game rather than trying to catch the replay of a great play!

So, we all want our top line up for our game table. You will be able to find a wide field of ideas to feed your guests with the best of the best snacks out there.  While the most popular item for recent Super Bowl, chicken wings weren’t a game player for the first Super Bowl. But, why not look back at the beginning of the biggest game’s history itself for ideas?

Easily reach your first down with these 10 vintage food ideas!

  • Cold cut Loaf
  • Italian Meatball Grinders
  • Hot dogs/Pigs in Blankets
  • Grilled kabobs
  • Grape jelly meatballs
  • Fruit Salad/Ambrosia
  • Mac and cheese
  • Baked Beans
  • Stuffed Eggs
  • Simple salad

Super Bowl Vintage Recipes

Game Table Winning Entrée Lineup

Game Scoring Cold Cut Stromboli/ serves 9 to 18

Certainly one of my favorites, this recipe is open for adaptation. That is to say, get creative with it!  Your key players for this recipe can be found in your freezer section.  Frozen ready to make bread loaves layout the field for your favorite fillings.  For example, throw in your favorite deli meats or cheeses, or make a play with pizza influenced fillings, and it’s your decision to serve it hot or cold. As a result, you end up scoring touchdown for game day or an easy everyday dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg of 3 Rhodes Frozen bread loafs
  • 6×3 slices of Assortment of deli meats per loaf
  • 6×3 slices Choices of sliced cheese per loaf
  • Sliced onion
  • Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
  • Mustard or desired condiment

Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Roll dough into a 12×15 inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest.

Remove wrap from dough and spread with mustard, avoiding 1-inch around all edges. Layer middle third of dough, vertically, with meat and cheese. Top with vegetable mixture. Fold one third of dough over fillings. Repeat with remaining side.

Place seam side down on a large sprayed baking sheet. Tuck ends under and cut some vents in the top using a sharp knife. Brush with egg and (optional) sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.

Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 25-30 minutes. NOTE: Servings will vary depending on stuffing choices and size of slices cut for serving.

Game Kicking Footlong Italian Meatball Grinders

Similarly, you maybe more familiar with its name as “sub” or “hoagie” because of your region. Here in New England, they are known as “grinders”! Unlike our previous form of game day sandwich, our grinders offer even more ease as hosts. For instance, picture a crockpot, frozen prepared meatballs, jarred tomato sauce, and bakery rolls. However, if you don’t mind putting in some time before the game, you can start off this way… <\p>


Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 3 lbs Hamburg
  • 1 1/2 lb Salt Pork
  • 3 cups Bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbs Grated Parmesan
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Pepper
  • Parsely
  • Oregano

Form into about 50 meatballs by rolling out a scoop of meat mixture in your handS. Fry out (render) salt pork. Remove salt pork scraps. Place meatballs into pan, cooking until browned on all sides. When well cooked, add tomato sauce (recipe below), and simmer 2 1/2 hours.

  • Tomato Sauce
  • 3 sm cans Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 cans Tomato Paste
  • 3 cups Water
  • 3 cups Tomato Sauce
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Basil, Parsley, and Italian Seasonings
  • 1 Whole diced onion

Cook until thick. Combine with meatballs to simmer. Subsequently, this is where you can convert over to a crockpot setting up your table.

Now if you want a kicking appetizer rather than running with meatball sandwiches, there’s a simple play in our playbook for that too! Instead of using a marinara style sauce, a retro recipe from the Sixties is always a good offence for great taste. This “Blast” play is so easy with big results!

Spicy Grape Jelly Meatballs

A game day advantage for any host! Using your top player in your kitchen, the crockpot, these spicy grape jelly meatballs only need 3 ingredients.

  • Meatballs (recipe above)
  • sm jar Grape Jelly
  • 2 bottles Chili Sauce

If you need to switch it up a little, this is another versatile recipe. I use sliced Kielbasa, “Lil Smokey ” cocktail wieners, or even sliced hot dogs in place of the meatballs.

Pigs in Blankets

Icons to game day tables, pigs in blankets play big in the finger food category. Their ability to adjust to your guest list needs is a great ace in the hole. You can make regular sized hot dogs or substitute cocktail wieners for winning yields.

Tailgate Gameday Grilled Kabobs

If you are one of the thousands fortunate enough to go to the game, tailgating and grilling are certainly part of the experience. However, that does not mean for us at home we cannot serve up the same feel foods. Grilling and barbecuing became popular with 1960’s suburban families. Introduced during this time was the Shish Kebob. While fans of the first Super Bowls weren’t up to today’s tailgating standards, who’s to say grills weren’t geared up in backyards.

  • Chunks of chicken, beef, or shrimp
  • whole mushrooms
  • cut bell pepper
  • pearl onions

Soak wooden skewers in water at least 1 hour before using. Alternate meat chunks and veggie ingredients on skewers. Grill or for indoor option the oven will work.

Game Sideline Stars

Five Yard line Fruit Salad

Any referee won’t drop a flag with this dish. A side line sure to keep the play in motion is this fruit salad. Just huddle these ingredients together and its as easy as that!

  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 can Mandarine oranges (drained)
  • 1 can Pineapple (drained)
  • 1 cup Tiny Marshmallows
  • 1 cup Coconut
  • few Maraschino Cherries

Another sideline favorite, Macaroni and Cheese completes the pass! Again, there is a shortcut available in your grocery aisle and that’s fine. However, I am going to give you a recipe for a homemade style.

  • 1 lb box Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 Tbs Flour
  • 1 cup Cold Milk
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 2 Tbs Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Start by cooking your macaroni and drain. Next, make your Rue. Melt butter in sauce pan and stir in the flour. Whisk until Rue becomes smooth and then add cold milk. Constantly stirring until boil and thickens. Add mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to season. Stir in the cheese a little at a time until melted. Combine Cheese Sauce with cooked macaroni into a baking dish. Additionally, at this time you can add an assortment of crumble toppings you choose. Like bacon, crushed cheese crackers, crushed nacho cheese chips, or just buttered bread crumbs to bring a game changing bite!

Boston Baked Beans Blitz

A New England Game day star, even if the Patriots aren’t playing, Boston Baked Beans are sure to bring a smile to your guests’ face. However, my mother’s recipe most likely would not make you smile. It is very time consuming! But if you’re willing to go for it, you would score big for points.

  • 1 bag dry Navy Beans
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 12 oz. Salt Pork
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 Lg. Onion
  • 1 1/3 Tbs Dry Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper

After reading the traditional recipe process, you will understand why I call this Boston Baked Beans Blitz. Unlike, my mother’s time, I have the convenience of many acceptable canned beans at hand. By pairing my canned beans and some added coaching from her vintage ingredients, I am able to simplify it.

Of course the original recipe would bake in the oven for hours. To clarify, its six hours of cooking time. But preparation time is another thing that comes into play.

You see, you start out by having to pick over the bag of dry beans. There could be small stones or other foreign objects in the bag. Then you wash them in a colander. Because these are dry beans, you need to soak them overnight.

On the morning of game day, you place all but the beans and Salt Pork into a 6 qt. Dutch oven. Bring to boil dissolving the sugar. Sear your scored Salt Pork and place into your baking dish (An Aluminum Foil Pan, crockpot, Dutch oven, or beanpot). Add your beans and then pour your liquid over covering them at least 1/2 inch. If you need more liquid, add water. Bake 6 hours at 350 degrees.

Stuffed Eggs

No party, game day or any other get together isn’t complete without a version of deviled eggs. These are clubhouse seats worthy stuffed eggs!

  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup crabmeat
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 Tbs chopped green pepper
  • 1 Tbs French Dressing
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream

Cut eggs in half. Mash yokes and mix in remaining ingredients. Spoon mixture into eggs. Chill.

Along side the eggs, a nice and simple salad of greens adds another element for your guests to choose.

To conclude our vintage style Super Bowl Game Day Table, there are several dessert items to finish your game plan. For example, hand held Whoopie pies, Magical Layer Bars, and Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cakes. I hope you enjoy the game and the food!

Is your team one of the best of the best this year? Do you have favored team, if your team didn’t make it this time? Even being from New England, the Patriots don’t need another win yet. So, I think I’m leaning toward Kansas City, myself, since our team Green Bay Packers didn’t make the cut. Good Luck!

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