Ready to build a stadium?
1. Start with a box
A rectangular (read: field-shaped) box. Cut the sides so they're tall enough for the depth of the guacamole field (we went with one inch) and the stadium seating (four pretzel rods high). Tape down the bottom flaps, reinforce the corners around the outside with tape, and cut slits at the edges to separate the flaps for the stadium seating. Score each of these flaps on the inside, and fold'em outwards.
2. Make triangular corners
To give the stadium seating a more realistic slanted feel, measure triangular cardboard pieces and tape them to each of the four corners so that the seats slant out at about a 30 degree angle.
3. Foil time
Cover the box with foil since we're going to be covering it with food...and nobody wants to eat from a dirty cardboard box.
4. So shiny
All foiled up.
5. End zone barricades
To make sure the field (guacamole) doesn't start spilling into the end zones (queso on one side, refried black beans on the other) create short foil walls. End zones on American football fields are 10 yards long by 53⅓ yards wide, so keep that in mind when figuring out the dimension ratios on a tinier scale.
6. Cream cheese slathering
How else would the fans stay put in their seats during the game? Cover all the seating sections with a very thin layer of cream cheese.
7. Guacamole field
This is a pretty fun part. Slop on the guac! Turfgrass never tasted so good. We used the pre-made kind from Trader Joe's just to make things easier. If you want to whip it up from scratch, try this recipe. We ended up using 64 ounces' worth (eight of the eight-ounce pouches).
8. Smoothing the field
Since we couldn't find a mini lawnmower and rake, we just wet our hands and smoothed all the way across. A rubber spatula would also do the trick, but for some reason we didn't have one at SEHQ. Sometimes you don't realize what you're missing until... you have to pave a guacamole field. It's been added to the shopping list.
9. Sour cream yard lines
First you have to fill a squeeze bottle with sour cream which isn't as easy as it sounds. Fill 'er up, scoop by scoop. Make sure the nozzle has a fine tip for these skinny lines.
10. Cilantro sidelines and numbering
Pick apart cilantro, leaf by leaf, for the sidelines.
For the yard lines, measure out the field's length so you have evenly-spaced-out 10-yard marks for the whole 100-yard field, then chalk them up. Find a friend who doesn't have a shaky hand for this job. We used a ziplock bag with the corner cut off to get even finer lines than we could with the squeeze bottle.
11. End zones
We brainstormed all sorts of ideas for this dipping section, but ended up with refried black beans (or try this this black bean dip) and queso. Is any diorama really complete without queso?
The colors, naturally, have team significance: the black beans represent the Steelers and the queso for the taxicab gold of Green Bay. We debated salsa verde for Green Bay, but there was already enough green happening on this field.
12. Starting to resemble a stadium..
We made four rows of pretzel rods going across for the Chex Mix fans (see next slide) to sit in between. This requires breaking apart (read: nibbling) some rods to fit the corners and edges. These pretzel rods were a bit curvy; not ideal. Try to find pretzel rods that don't have scoliosis. C'mon, those fans paid the big bucks for those seats—they deserve straight rows!
14. Chex Mix fans
Like the people of the world, Chex Mix comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Squeeze them in between the pretzel rod rows. Create families and scatter around the tall dudes (the brown crunchy cracker pieces) so they aren't obstructing everyone else's view.
15. STEELERS vs. PACKERS
Time to grab the sour cream again. "Steelers" has eight letters; "Packers" has seven. Eyeball-measure the length so you don't spell STEELE .. squished R .. squished S. The best way is to start from the center of the word and work your way outwards to the ends.
16. Goal posts
These are made of skinny pretzels, NOT pretzel rods. Use little wads of cream cheese as the adhesive between pieces. Tweezers also come in handy. "Anyone have tweezers they don't mind getting guac on?" Note to tweezer marketing teams: you should really start advertising this undercelebrated use!
17. The coin toss
Gummy bears? Teddy Grahams? Nope, not allowed for the players. We stuck to the savory-ingredients-only initial vision, and went with Goldfish.* Grab your friend with the non-shaky-hand again for the numbers on those thumb-sized jerseys.
For helmets, use green and black olives (for the Packers and Steelers, respectively). And for the referee, make white sour cream stripes on a black olive. Try not to think too hard about his body being made up of a Steelers helmet...
There was debate over what yard line we should set the players on, but to keep an unbiased stance, we made this the coin toss scene. Yes, those are the actual numbers for the team captains on each team. Hey, there's Jarrett Bush (#24), Charles Woodson (#21), and Aaron Rodgers (#12) on the Packers!
* How long have Goldfish had smiley faces on them? A big debate at SEHQ. Or really, it became a when-were-you-in-elementary-school conversation.
Windy on the field
The goal post on the Packers side had trouble staying up. Are the football gods trying to tell us something? The Packers are doomed? Or they kicked a winning field goal so hard it knocked down the goal post?
Players rush the field
We had extra Goldfish, so...
Every time the Packers score, you should dunk into the queso!