Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Tailgating is a time-honored tradition – in fact, there is real history behind the practice, according to the American Tailgaters Association, starting with spectators “attending” the 1861 Battle of Bull Run in Virginia with food and wine, cheering on their Civil War “teams”. Chuck wagons, those traveling kitchens of the prairie, are also part of lore. The first football game, between Princeton and Rutgers, (145 years ago!), though it pre-dated cars and parking lots, saw the first fans wear team colors and bring picnics, and the modern-day tailgate party tradition began. Now, it may be a professional sport event, or your son’s football games. It can be a music event, or your daughter’s soccer league – tailgating is a great way to enjoy meals and snacks with friends and family. For a delicious gathering that scores big taste, check out these tips and recipes!
- Keep perishables cold – even though the weather is cooler, meats and other perishable items should be kept in a cooler with ice packs.
- Canned plus fresh makes it easy – hot or cold fried chicken with canned three bean salad or sliced cooked kielbasa with horseradish sour cream dip and canned German potato salad are two easy ways to make it fun and fast.
- Don’t forget the can opener, napkins, and canned beverages – most venues do not allow glass.