Like Lucy to Charlie Brown, will the Lions once more pull the proverbial football out from under Detroit fans just when we think we might enjoy the thrill of something the first time in our life? Will U. of M. finally live up to the hype, beat its rivals, and reestablish itself among the college football’s elite? And what about MSU? Are they one the way up, or down in the Big 10?
While we wait for these football questions to be answered, there’s one thing that’s certain, we’ll be eating and drinking while it all unfolds.
Whether tailgating at the game or snacking in front of the big screen at home, college and professional football will preoccupy our weekends this year from late August through February 3rd, 2019 when the BIG Game #53, (or LIII for all you Ancient Romans), is held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
If this season is typical, there’s likely to be weekends where the time and effort you put into your tailgate or “arm chair fare” before kickoff, will be a lot more rewarding than the game that follows it.
My advice has generally been to remember a few important rules when deciding on what to prepare for your tailgate or even your home gatherings.
Tailgating, like football, has lots of important rules, here are my TOP 10.
1. Stick with what you know. You got a great BBQ recipe? Use it. Killer potato salad, make it.
2. Don’t get fancy shmantzy, Martha Stewart won’t be there. Tailgates are casual, not Kardashian.
3. Go big or go home. Don’t skimp, be sure you have LOTS of food.
4. Hot is Hot, Cold is Cold. Keep hot foods above 140 F and cold foods below 45 F. It’s a GREAT move to bring an insta-read thermometer even its to check the grilled chicken (which by the way should always be above 165F before serving,)
5. Don’t get cute. There’s a reason you don’t see football Jello molds & helmut shaped meat loaf in restaurants.
6. Don’t serve greasy, fatty foods or try to impress with hot, super spicy recipes. This is Port-a Potty land….just sayin’…
7. Hands make good plates. Finger size foods encourage your friends to try different things, make it easier to mingle and reduce clean up. Win-win-win.
8. Ice, I’ll say it again. Ice. Don’t run out for drinks or keeping left overs chilled on the way home.
9. Be Careful of the Ethnic Foods. I’m sure your tribal, South American recipe collection is inspiring, I just don’t want to be perspiring….later.
10. Don’t forget you’re there to enjoy yourself too. Sometimes even I forget that rule.
So, what kind of foods do I enjoy preparing for tailgates? Here are some links to Blogs I’ve offered.
Tailgate Sandwich Wrap Ideas
Don’t Just Tailgate, Tailgate Better
What Do Chefs Bring to a Tailgate Party?