THERE WAS A TIME when the Grey Cup was one of the most highly an­tic­i­pated sport­ing events across the land. Be­tween the 1950s and ’80s, fam­ily and friends would gather to watch the big­gest Cana­dian foot­ball game of the year, a cel­e­bra­tion fu­elled by high­calo­rie food and plenty of booze. Sadly, with de­clin­ing in­ter­est in the game cou­pled with a new em­pha­sis on healthy eat­ing, the Grey Cup party just isn’t what it used to be. For those who want to keep the fine old tra­di­tion alive, here’s a sug­gested bill of fare for a truly Cana­dian old-school Grey Cup party.

Pre-game cock­tail Serve only the clas­sics, ei­ther that time­less Cana­dian cock­tail, a Cae­sar with Mott’s Clam­ato (in­vented in Cal­gary) or the once ubiq­ui­tous rum and Coke. Avoid any­thing trendy like Cham­pagne san­gria or lemon-drop mar­ti­nis. Pre-game snack Noth­ing says foot­ball like salty, cheesy and ul­tra high-fat munchies. We sug­gest cock­tail wee­nies, gua­camole and Bu­gles or Ritz crack­ers with Philly Cream Cheese dip. Avoid sea salt kale chips and egg­plant dip. Main course Stuff your face with line­backer-sized por­tions of na­chos, pou­tine, back-ba­con

sand­wiches, chicken fin­gers, ham­burg­ers and pizza. Avoid but­ter­nut squash soup, vegan chili, smoked trout and sweet-potato fries. Dessert: An al­lCana­dian lineup: but­ter tarts, Nanaimo bars and carrot cake with cream cheese ic­ing. Avoid choco­late­dipped apri­cots and avocado ice cream. Thirst quencher Leg­endary sports writer Dick Bed­does al­ways re­ferred to the big game as Canada’s Grand Na­tional Drunk. Keep that spirit alive by of­fer­ing sesqui­cen­ten­nial themed-beers, like La­batt 150 or Mol­son Cana­dian – bet­ter if it comes in stub­bies, which are still avail­able in some parts of the coun­try. No self-re­spect­ing CFL fan would ever bring craft beer to an old-school Grey Cup party.

Yes, your Grey Cup party can be as groovy as the one former Toronto Arg­onauts star Dave Raimey and wife, Melody, hosted in 1974. —Peter Mug­geridge

Gift It Wil­son (WTF1905) CFL Ul­ti­mate foot­ball, $30, ama­

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