Tailgating Tips

August 18, 2003


Sports Editor

If you are a college football fan, chances are you will be tailgating at a game this season.

Nina Swan-Kohler thinks football fans are among the most loyal of any fans. She also knows how much they enjoy their pre-game rituals.

That's why she's written a new cookbook, "Tailgates to Touchdowns," that features recipes developed especially for football fans and tailgaters.

Most of the recipes in the 80-page cookbook can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.

Each chapter has a football-related name. Chapter one is "Tailgates" and features appetizers and snacks. The "Sidelines" chapter has new sauces, salsas and spreads to complement brats and burgers. The "Half-Time Show" chapter deals with entrees.

Accompanying each recipe is "Extra Points" to provide cooking hints or serving suggestions.

"For most football fans, preparing for the tailgate party is part of the fun of attending the game," Swan-Kohler said. "This book is all about helping you have even a better experience."


Here are her top 10 tips for preparing and serving foods to make your tailgating experience even better:

1. Keep the menu simple. Do as much party planning and food preparation as possible ahead of time.

2. Gather the equipment you will need. If you plan to make frozen drinks, take your blender plus an appropriate power source. Consider purchasing a power inverter that converts 12-vote DC power from your car's battery into 110/120-volt AC power for appliances.

3. Make a list and check it. Don't forget to take plenty of ice, water, extra paper plates, napkins, plastic flatware, clean-up cloths and trash bags.

4. Take one or more coolers filled with ice and plenty of cold drinks. Keep cold food on ice until cooking or serving time.

5. Use resealable plastic bags to marinate chicken or meat. Simply discard the bag after use.

6. Pack a jug of water, antibacterial soap and wet cloths for washing your hands before and after handling foods, especially raw chicken, beef, pork or fish.

7. Keep hot foods in a slow cooker.

8. Use insulated heat-and-tote containers (such as Pyrex Portables) to transport hot or cold foods to the game. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and will keep foods hot or cold for a few hours.

9. Take enough food to share with fellow tailgaters. Invite others to taste your creations because it's a great way to meet new friends.

10. Create a festive atmosphere. Show your support with the team colors. Use thematic plates, napkins, flatware and decorations.|8/12/03***

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