I graduated from Roanoke College, and if I had it to do all over again, I’d go to the same school. But I can’t deny that I feel a little left out when football season rolls around. For one thing, it sure would be fun to root for an alma mater. For another, I have missed out on countless opportunities to tailgate.
What could be more fun, other than watching your team cream the other guys, than partying out of the back of a vehicle? It’s a picnic on wheels. Indulgence in a parking lot. An excuse, for some, to tie one on hours before the typical toddy time.
This year, I was tasked with writing a story about tailgating food for our special Welcome Back Students section, which comes out this Sunday. Because I couldn’t speak for experience, I chatted up the biggest tailgaters I know. I find it amazing that such things as gas-powered blenders, hitch-on grills and customizable steak branding irons exist. These people are SERIOUS!
My story for the section focuses on how to turn the typical American tailgate into one with ethnic flair. It includes a Mexican tailgating menu and a Mediterranean tailgating menu, and I’ll be sure to share all of that with you on the blog. Coincidentally, my favorite magazine, Fine Cooking, has just released a special Tailgating issue that will be on newsstands through the end of November. It is packed with menus, including one for a tailgate breakfast, a vegetarian tailgate and a super-cold weather tailgate (helloooo, spiked hot cocoa!)
I would be very surprised if I didn’t have some professional tailgaters reading this blog. If you’re out there, tell us about some of the best pre-game meals you’ve ever had, and some of the craziest things you’ve transported to make those meals happen. Any tips for newbies on the best way to keep foods cold/hot and fresh are also appreciated.
I would love to share some of your ideas in an upcoming Front Burner column.