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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #162

Culinary no-no's



Certain days each calendar year evoke traditions that revolve around eating:


Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day.

New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Day.


Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day.

Sweetest Day.


And of course…



That would be next Sunday when, in an East Coast orgasmic affair, the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots.

Hallmark claims the Super Bowl is America's top party occasion, bigger than New Year's Eve. The American Institute of Food Distribution says Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving.

According to one of my favorite websites,, here are some numbers about Super Bowl parties:

41: Days in advance, on average, Super Bowl plans are made.

17: Average number of people attending each party.

10 million: Number of man-hours spent preparing food for the Super
Bowl party.

To quote Kool & the Gang, “Celebrate good times, c’mon!”

This is such a colossal fun day, there’s no possible way you could screw it up, right?


Let’s start with our very own nanny state, Washington D.C., USA.

Last January, the USDA issued a news release entitled, “Referee a Safe Super Bowl Party.” Leave it to our pencil-pushing bureaucrats to piddle all over our parade. Excerpts include:

Chefs and guests should wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food.”

I understand, but who does this at a Super Bowl party? Felix Unger, maybe. But that’s it. Have you ever gotten sick at a Super Bowl party because you didn’t wash your hands 11 times?

's penchant for raw beef is frowned upon by the USDA:

"Call a 'time out' and use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked. Remember that internal temperature, not meat color, indicates doneness. Steaks should be cooked to 145 °F, ground beef should be cooked to 160 °F..."

Reminds me of the time I filled in for Charlie Sykes at WTMJ on the same New Year's Eve Day that the Journal Sentinel ran an article blasting the tradition of devouring raw beef on the final night of the year. You guessed it. Numerous listeners called in to rip the newspaper, including a 90 year -plus gentleman who said he'd been enjoying raw beef since he was a kid.

Speaking of, as Charlie Sykes would put it, “the daily dead tree,” I swear the editors and reporters of “the daily dead tree” have no sense of what’s truly important or interesting to local news consumers.

The following scenario is quite plausible. The circulation manager sheepishly enters publisher Marty Kaiser’s office to inform him that readership numbers are down 25,000 in the last quarter, only to hear Kaiser respond, “That’s OK because we could win a Pulitzer for that series we did on the impact of high blood pressure on teenage mothers in Tanzania.”

They’ve gotta sit around their computers or meeting rooms, come up with complete nonsense, and pat themselves on the backs proclaiming what terrific stuff they’re going to print.

In today’s ENTRÉE section, the Journal Sentinel urges us to “tackle lighter fare for the Super Bowl.” It’s part of a periodic article called “Potluck Palooza.”  The paper promotes this occasional feature thusly:

“The Journal Sentinel food staff teams up to suggest recipes they would prepare for a themed potluck event.”





Journal Sentinel food staff teams instructing what’s good to eat? To me, that signals slop on a plate.

The Journal Sentinel considers an appetizer of shrimp cocktail. Perfect. Until they mess it up, recommending a version by Barefoot Contessa cookbook author and TV host Ina Garten.

“The Thousand Island sauce is another twist on tradition.”

Wait a minute? Forego traditional cocktail sauce?

That’s Strike One.

“We lightened it up with low-fat mayonnaise.”

Strike Two.

“You can experiment with nonfat yogurt, replacing some or all of the mayonnaise with it.”

Strike Three! You’re out!

It gets worse.

“Everybody loves dip”

Incredibly obvious. So how do they royally screw this up?

“There's no reason it can't be light and healthy, too. In this dip from ‘Cooking Light Complete Meals in Minutes’ (Oxmoor House, 2010), green peas add fiber, color and a subtle sweetness. Feta cheese adds tang (and calcium), while mint adds a refreshing note. And with all the ingredients processed at once in a blender or food processor, it couldn't be easier or quicker to throw together.”

This concoction could actually bring loud audible boos from party-goers. The paper actually writes with great glee:

“So we say, lighten up! 
We mean that in more than one sense. You know at every Super Bowl party, there will be plenty of chili, beer-cheese soup, brats, super-subs and all those other calorie-packed football foods. How about contributing some lighter fare to the mix? Fans still chipping away at those holiday pounds will appreciate your thoughtfulness.”


Not at any Super Bowl party I know.

Here’s the major point. Between now and next Sunday, the Internet will be inundated with one article after another about healthy alternatives for Super Bowl Sunday. I say Baloney!

The day of the big game is one of the few during the year that you say the hell with diet, sit back, relax, and just enjoy.

Our daily dead tree says, “How about contributing some lighter fare to the mix?”

I say screw that and pass the beer cheese soup.

Bring on the Cousins Sub 12-foot sandwich, the pizzas, the dips, the wings, the meatballs, the deviled eggs, the chips, the deli meats and cheeses, the fattening desserts.

Two humongous thumbs down to the calorie counters who would ruin this massive party.


Michelle Obama and the USDA: Parents for the nation

Could cheese ever be disgusting?

And finally,

Baseball's cholesterol problem...

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