Tailgate fun, fellowship and food!

20 Sep

 

Tailgating fun! Food, fellowship, friends!

Have you ever been tailgating?  It can really revolve around most any event, and it is fun.  It is another way to get together with folks, gather with some food, share some fellowship, and have some fun!  If you haven’t tried it, its fall, football has begun, and there has never been a better time to tailgate!  It is always a blast to get together with family and friends.

I have done a lot of tailgating…mostly at football games but also some concerts. Sporting events are my favorite though.   Kids sporting events, high school football, professional games, and the big time…SEC college football tailgating (there is nothing like tailgating at The Grove at Ol’ Miss!  It is the Holy Grail of tailgating!).  Different venues, same fun.  And it doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it does take some planning.  Whats the fun in tailgating?  Let me tell you!

Tailgating is when you get together with friends and sometimes the children.  It can be before, during, or after an event.  Maybe its in a parking lot at a concert venue, sometimes a field next to ball park, or a street next to a stadium, but it is always outside.  You set up a table, something easy breezy in my opinion, like a folding table.  Cover it with a table cloth, toss some food on it, pull out a frisbee or football, and let the fun begin.  Celebrate the upcoming game, concert or sporting event.  Chat with friends.  Toss the ball.  Enjoy the food.

Tailgating is a time honored tradition for football fans.  But you can really enjoy it with any event you choose. It is just easy fun, a celebration of sorts.  So why not try it?  Here is how to do it.

First:

  • Pick an event-it doesn’t matter what it is.  Concert, football game, soccer match.
  • Call friends that are also participating in the event and invite them to join you.
  • Pick a time.  An hour before the event is a good starting place.
  • Establish a menu.  Think transportable food that doesn’t need a lot of prep work.
  • Dont forget to ask your friends to bring their food/drinks as well.  Everyone pitches in!

Then:

  • Get some  bags of ice and tasty beverages.  Prep your food if you need to.
  • Pack up your coolers, beverages in one, food in another.
  • Don’t forget  your table, table cloth, serving dishes, platters, bowls, sports flag for your team.
  • Toss a ball, frisbee, or corn hole into a bag to bring.  Games are a must at tailgating!
  • If you have “skybox”, or sideless tent, pack that up too.
  • Pack your bags of chips, a roll of paper towels, some garbage bags.  Use cute canvas bags, beach bags, whatever you have to pack your things up.
  • If you are technical, get your iPod and wireless speakers ready to bring too.  Music adds to the ambiance.

Finally:

  • Go to the venue and stake out a killer location for your tailgate party!
  • Set up your tent, get the table out, grab the food, get the music going, and celebrate!
Here are some ideas for food, depending on the location/set up/time.
  • chicken fingers and dipping sauce (heat up the chicken and wrap up tightly if it is a short time between leaving your home and serving).
  • Corn chips and salsa
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Little sandwiches on rolls
  • Snack mix
  • Fruit plate
  • Seafood dip and crackers
  • Cold veggies and dip
When the event is ready to begin and the tailgating is winding down, pull the garbage bags out, throw away the leftover food, close the coolers, fold up the tent, put the games away, and head into the event.
The beauty of tailgating is that you can be as sophisticated or as simple as you want.  Using plastic platters?  Fine.  Want to pull out the silver and a vase of flowers?  That works too.  Paper napkins?  Go for it!  Pulling out grannies linens?  Beautiful!  I have done it all, from using a family quilt for a table cloth and my silver platters to paper napkins and plastic bowls.  The important thing to remember is to enjoy your family, your friends, and the event that you have chosen to celebrate.  Spend time with old friends, make new ones.  Have fun!  Get out there!  Try it, you will like it!

Tailgating moms! We rock! And had a blast!

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