What a great game that was, and congratulations to the Green Bay Packers for a well deserved victory! Getting to watch this game in Nepal accompanied by all the correct food took a little bit of American ingenuity and some sleep deprivation. The obstacles were quite numerous actually, and at several occasions I thought we would miss the better part of the game, but fate was on our side and in the end, Kim Donnie and I all got to enjoy some great food and a very good game.
There are two major problems, the first being the difficulty in finding a way to actually watch the game. Apparently it was being broadcast on some channel according to an article that Kim found, but we don't have a TV, and few- if any- bars would be showing the game, especially when you consider the kick off time (we'll get to that in a minute). Donnie has a TV in his room, but with load shedding increasing to 14 hours/day as of today there was no chance we could watch the whole game even if his TV got the correct channel due to the power outage. NFL.com was streaming the live game, but internet here is too slow to do live feeds. The solution I had come up with was to stream the audio and put up the play by play board from ESPN for the visual. I spoke with my dad on Skype the night before and we worked out a system where he ran a direct cable feed on his computer and had the webcam facing the screen to send the image back to me. We ran it full size on our screens, and though it was a bit blurry- it was the closest thing to a live feed we would be able to get, and was really rather decent considering the circumstances. Big thanks to my dad for the feed, which he had to check up on every once in a while to make sure it hadn't been lost on my end or his end.
The second big challenge was the time of day. Kick off happened at about 5:30 AM local time. Now getting up to watch a sports game at 5:30 in the morning is hard to do, especailly when you considder in the grand scheme of things it's kind of a waste of time, but to me the Super Bowl is more like a holiday with football (which I do enjoy) acting as more of the catalyst as an excuse to make good food and get together with friends. Which makes the 5:30 AM time even more difficult- as getting pulled pork sandwiches, and other labor intensive food ready for that time of day requires one to be up really early...or to just not bother going to bed, which is the option that I chose.
So the adventure started the night before when I went around and picked up all the ingredients I would need. Most people don't realize that pulled pork cooked the propper way takes roughly 10 hours to make. So as soon as dinner was over I got started on this, with an estimated completion time just after kick off the next morning. The smart thing would have been to prepare it in advance, but oh well. The recipe I used I got from a good friend of mine on his blog and can be read HERE. Every minute of that ten hour prep was worth it as that is some damned good pulled pork. Every time I cook stuff like this I am reminded that the purchase of 1 gallon of Frank's Red Hot Sauce I ordered through Harilo might be my smartest purchase in Nepal yet.
I hate mayonnaise so I normally stay away from coleslaw- but you kind of need it to accompany pulled pork, so I came up with a mayo free version that uses a white whine vinegar, red & green cabbage, carrot, some raw sugar and it came out really tasty. Other essentials included a couple pounds of french fries, real Buffalo wings, Greek Yogurt dip, chips and all types of my salsa, as well as plenty of chopped up cucumber and carrot sticks. I finished preparing all the food just shortly after kick off when I sat down to watch the game with a heaping plate of food and a freshly prepared mojito. Having been up all night and being a very light drinker, the mojito was a bad idea and I got quite sleepy once the alcohol and massive quantity of food weighed down on me.
This being Nepal I was sitting in the dark as load shedding had kicked the power off at 2AM and it wasn't scheduled to come back on until 9AM. I made sure everything was unplugged except the modem and my big laptop to conserve battery power, and even ran the screen dimmed through all of the pre-game. These precautions didn't seem to help too much as a little ways into the second quarter our inverter started beeping at us and cut power to warn us that the battery was low. When the power resumed the internet would not come back on. Sigh. So we shut off the laptop (whose battery only lasts about 1 hour unplugged) and as I settled inot bed I checked on my netbook to see if the connection would come back up. It did after about 15 minutes and we caught just the tail end of the second half and my dad got us back on just in time for Kim to watch the half time show which I tried to mute to her protests.
The second half of the game three of us watched from my 10.5" netbook screen, though it was certainly better than nothing. To my surprise the battery held out powering the modem all the way to the end of the game and as the sun rose up over Nepal it set on the chances for the Steelers to pull out a win. Although others may have had a larger television and a clearer reception, I'm confidant we had the best food and those victories over difficulties make even the more meager rewards worth savoring. With a very full belly and happy that Green Bay had won, I went to put some of the mountain of food that was left over in the fridge and headed to bed for a couple hours of well deserved napping.