Tailgating is an American tradition that southerners have taken to another level. The name itself pretty much describes what it is. You open/drop your tailgate and enjoy food and beverages with your friends before, after or during the game.
The final big item for the grill is chicken. Some people prefer just the wings while others go for breast fillets and the other parts of the bird. There are some main entrees that don’t need a grill. If you are not in the cooking mood but still want to tailgate, it’s perfectly acceptable to stop by a pizza joint and get a few pies or one of the fried chicken places and let them do the cooking. An entrée you may not think of but was great at a tailgate I once went to was Lowcountry Boil (Frogmore Stew). Everyone was impressed and it was really good. For the recipe, check the last edition of Edibles Magazine.
The sides are easy but important. You can’t go wrong with your basic chips and dips. This is also where you can show a little presentation by using dipping bowls shaped like footballs. Potato salad and baked beans are also great sides for the event.
What’s a party without beverages? The standards are always cool. Your basic soft drinks are a must – which can also be used as chaser for adult beverages. Speaking of adult beverages, more and more people are starting to tell me that clear (white) liquor is for the summer months while your darker varieties should be consumed in the colder part of the year. That’s a decision you have to make. Just remember to always drink responsibly even if it is just beer or wine, which are also good choices for the adult tailgate party. Want to show off? A nice homemade punch will add a touch that people may not expect. Depending on your crowd, you can choose a version with or without alcohol. Or you can do both (just don’t get them mixed up).
Now that you’ve got food and drinks ready to go, be sure to bring a television or radio so you can get into the spirit of the game. Happy tailgating…and Go Team!