During the 2010 World Cup, I tried something with my family that was, ok, a bit ridiculous. Once the competition went to the knockout rounds, weekend play only, I tried to make a signature dish for dinner from the homeland of each team in the competition that day. This was quite complicated when there was more than one game in a day or when the country’s signature dishes were hard with regard to specialty ingredients or effort, or the combination of teams produced weird food pairings. For example, one day the games were Uruguay v. Korea and US v. Ghana. Another complication: one member of my family is not so gastronomically adventuresome. Also, I’m kind of lazy.
Some simplification occurred because multiple countries have similar signature dishes, for example, several had potato soup as a common dish. I could do double duty by making only one soup recipe. I also cheated a few times and bought takeout dishes from restaurants or prepared food from Trader Joe’s. The problem was also simplified somewhat by me not being too particular about whether a recipe represented a true signature dish of that country. If the internet said that Koreans eat Dish X, and I could get the ingredients, and it met my need to lounge around watching football matches instead of cooking all day, I would go with it. For example, one day I made a dish that was supposedly a Dutch dish, called Naakte kindertjes in het gras. This dish is made from green beans and dried white beans. The name translates to “Naked babies in the grass.” Do the Dutch really eat such a dish with any regularity? I have no idea! But I made it, and we ate it.
Well, some of us did.
I was going to name this post “Naked babies in the grass,” but after the Nacho Monreal puns search faux debacle, I was concerned about the sorts of people who may find their way to this blog.
Of the recipes we tried, only one became anything I made with any regularity after the World Cup was over. That was a sweet potato and tomato soup that was purportedly a Brazillian dish. It is quite yummy. You can find the recipe here.
Based on this, I thought we, dear readers, should institute the Gooner Supper Club. For you non-Gooner sorts, “Gooner” is what we Gunner fans call ourselves. Why? Probably some Tottenham fan once called us that, thinking we’d be insulted. Instead, we were delighted.
Here’s how the Gooner Supper Club will work: on each game day, an Arsenal player will be adjudged player of the match. We’ll accept either a telecast assessment (which usually happens only if Arsenal win) or an assessment based on Arseblog player ratings. Ties will be broken using Arseblog reader ratings. Based on the Player of the Match’s country of birth, a recipe for a national dish will be located and published on WholeArsed. It will be as lax as the World Cup exercise just described. (We are WholeArsed only with regard to following Arsenal. With regard to the Gooner Supper Club, we are HalfArsed at best.) I’ll choose easy recipes based on loose interpretation of whether the dish is actually consumed by the populace of said player’s country of birth. If the internet makes us believe it’s so, it’s so. Suggestions will be gladly accepted.
As an example of how this would have gone down after Sunday’s game, because Arsenal lost, I don’t recall there being a named Arsenal POTM, but Arseblog gave Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the highest rating among Arsenal players (a 6). Ox was born in England, so our supper club dish would have been something like beans on toast. Oof.
As you are my witness, I will produce said Gooner Supper Club dish for dinner each match night. And I will eat it, even beans on toast.
Misery loves company, so join in, whether you love football or not, or Arsenal or not!
Fortunately, for purposes of this exercise, our Dutch skunk is now long gone. Unless the transfer window produces a fresh Dutch Arsenal player, we should be safe from the dreaded Naked Babies in the Grass.