Football Season Is First and Goal
Not single fall leaf has tumbled to the ground but it is already time to gear up for the national obsession of football and the All-American sport of tailgating. Teams across the nation have been practicing, waiting for that opening coin-toss and the start of a new season while their fans have been collecting recipes, buying grills and dreaming of the kick off to their first tailgate party! If you have never had a major party in the parking lot of a football stadium you need to get out there and support your team and the tailgate tradition.
Other sports and countries have sports fans but no one has taken throwing a party at the back of parked car to such heights as American football fans; it’s a sporting and culinary tradition. We take the sport of it all seriously. Here are some tips to make it even better:
It takes a winning team to win a game or throw a great tailgating party. You might have each person bring a side dish while you host the drinks and prepare main course. With a long season of home games ahead have you friends chip in some money to help defray tailgating costs. Use a site like WePay where they can easily chip in on-line for expenses or pay the party organizer for football tickets. It will save you trying to collect cash when you have your mind on you prize-winning tri-tip.
Location Is Everything
Get there early to stake a claim or send someone ahead to get a prime spot. If you are going to be grilling get there early enough to set up your gas Bar-be-que or get the charcoal fire perfect before it time to get down to business. Mark your location with a team flag or come up with a banner unique to your group.
Just like sports a great party takes a lot of behind the scenes training and preparation. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Cut and Marinade all your meats for the Bar-B-Que, cut veggies, pre-slice buns and mix drinks. Wrap up all the ingredients and have them really to roll. You will be short of resources in your tailgating spot so it’s best to have everything set so you can grill baby grill.
Keep it Simple
Make ahead main dishes and pre-packed snacks are a good idea. Stick to finger foods. This doesn’t mean dainty items it means anything that does not require a knife and fork: burgers, hot dogs and wings are all-time favorites. Make things easy on yourself by condensing the menu down to simple terms. That will also cut down on all the utensils and supplies you’ll need to haul out- and take home and wash.
Have a plan to keep hot things hot and cold things cold in separate coolers or insulated bags. Bring along extra fold out table for food prep. Let your guests know to bring their own folding chairs but bring a couple just in case they forget. Depending on the availability of power in the stadium lot and their regulations you might want to bring a generator for extra power, lights or small heaters.
Bring disposable table cloths to spread out the buffet and fold it up with the mess to make for an easy clean up. Extra trash bags and boxes for recycling are a must. Police up after yourself and make sure you leave the area as you found it.
Make sure you leave enough time for everyone to eat, clean up and get to their seat. Take extra caution in cleaning up fires and properly disposing ashes and coals. Some stadiums even have bins for refuse, coals and recycling.
We love our traditions and our teams about as much as we like tailgating. It is our own way to manage a few more leisure hours with our closest friends, create something out of an empty stretch of black top and get psyched to support our own. Go Team!