On the eve of the nation’s most spectacular televised circus, it’s appropriate to talk a little about bread.
Not the bounty of bread that will be showered on the players, coaches, and especially owners associated with the two teams playing in the Super Bowl, or how much bread television commercials will cost this time around.
On today’s menu, the bread takes the form of the tamales that volunteers have been assembling under the auspices of the Eastern Service Workers Association in a church in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
When I called this week to find out more about the Super Bowl Sunday Tamale Benefit, one of the volunteers working with the ESWA’s Annual Winter Survival Campaign said sure, they’d appreciate the publicity, but she wanted to make sure I understood that they’re not running a restaurant. If you want tamales for your Super Bowl Party, they’ll provide ‘em. They’ll even deliver ‘em. Suggested donation is ten dollars for half a dozen, twenty dollars for a dozen, with all the proceeds going to people who’ll need food, blankets, heaters, and winter clothing to make it from Super Bowl Sunday to Opening Day and beyond.
And if you want to roll your sleeves up and get involved in the preparation of the tamales, there will be a place for you at that table.
But you’ll be welcome after the game, too. The Eastern Service Workers Association operates three hundred sixty five days a year, volunteering to help the lowest-paid workers in the community, many of whom have recently become unemployed. They’re at 247 Bowdoin Street in Dorchester, and you can reach them by calling 617-265-9200.
But that’s the message for all the other weeks of the winter. The word this week, as the Cardinals and Steelers prepare to entertain an enormous audience of football fans and people pretending to be football fans, is tamales. If they’d go well with the snacks, dips, and beverages you’re already planning to serve at home or tote to somebody else’s Super Bowl Celebration, get your order in now. In fact, get your order in now even if tamales would screw up Sunday’s menu. You can freeze them, and eat them in a couple of weeks when you’re watching basketball.