The first time my husband brought up the idea of throwing a tailgating party, I thought he was crazy. Hanging out in a parking lot before the game? Not my idea of fun. He had invited me to plenty of tailgating parties in the past, but I always avoided them. Then my best friend called to tell me she was going to be there, too. She even sounded excited about it. Told me she’d be bringing her “world-famous potato salad” and another surprise dish. I knew what her next question would be before she even asked it, “What are you bringing?”
Beyond Hot Dogs
I skirted her question and said I wasn’t sure yet. And I wasn’t. Whenever I thought of tailgating, I had always just pictured hot dogs and beer. I knew I had some research ahead of me, so I started with the only tailgater I know, my husband. The more he talked about the dishes he’s had at past events, the more I realized tailgating was only a step beyond throwing a party at your own house. He even had his own preparation checklist.
Prepping for Our First Party
We sat down and reviewed his checklist to make sure our first tailgating party would go without a hitch. I was impressed with his planning: Freeze water bottles the night before the game so there will be cold water for the party; marinate flank steaks two days before game day; line the portable grill with aluminum for easy cleanup. The list went on. How was this the same man who waited until the last second to file his taxes?
Kicking Off the Party
All that extra prep work made for more socializing time. I ended up bringing a three-bean salad and homemade salsa for the chips. The party was so much fun! In fact, I was a little disappointed when it was time for the game.
Items we forgot, but won’t forget next time: