5 Tips for Tasty Tailgating

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By Jamie Deen

My favorite time of the year in the South has always been the fall. Now, we don’t get the explosive color change in our trees or the cooler weather that forces folks to change out their closet, but we do get college football. It’s one of the birthrights for us in SEC country. You say your prayers, go to work, answer “yes ma’am” or “no ma’am,” and choose a side. We choose the university in Athens, our Hairy Damn Dawgs.

Over 90,000 members of the Bulldog Nation gather on Saturdays in Sanford Stadium to holler, sing, pray and rejoice… it’s a lot like a revival. In fact, it IS a revival, a beautiful revival of one’s spirit.

Establish Traditions
Traditions are passed down through the generations, hand to hand. We wear what our grandparents wore, sing their songs, even park our cars in the same spot. One of the most prized and exciting traditions we have is the tailgate.

Make it Your Own
The tailgate can mean different things to different people. One person’s perfect set up may be seen by others as just a bar. That person may see the big, full-out spread as a pain in the neck to produce. I, as usual, find my comfort zone right in the middle of the two extremes. I want great food that’s as easy to clean up as set up… and I love me a good cocktail too! The perfectly mixed Bloody Mary on a Saturday morning in Athens is my favorite flavor in all of the world.

Grill, Grill, Grill
The grill plays a large roll in tailgating but it is hard to transport. I have a metal stand that hooks up to a propane tank, and I bring pots of chili that have been cooked at home so when I serve it up in bread bowls, clean up is easy.

Bring a Little Somethin’ Extra
I bring a variety of meats and salads (chicken, egg, tuna, pimento cheese) that I keep in the cooler so people can have a big fresh sandwich anytime during the day.

Keep it Clean
A tailgate must have is trash bags. I like the large, extra heavy-duty kind. Remember that you will not have water to clean up, so just load all the dirty stuff in a bag for clean up at the house later.

In the end, for me it doesn’t matter if its bologna or filet mignon. As long as I am with my friends and family at a ball game, I’m happy.

I’ll see y’all out there! Gooo DAWGS!

Enjoy Some of These Tasty Tailgating Recipes
Hogs in a Sleeping Bag
Easy Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Sue and Gloria’s Baked Beans
Chili Dogs

Read More From Deen Bros.

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Reader Comments:


I am so glad to be involved in getting your recipies and any advice you have to help in bettering my cooking.I have followed you and several other cooks on Food Network for so many yearsw. I almost feel part of the family.Thanks for being you.

By toni tigreros on January 31, 2012


Wow those spicy shrimp potatoes look so good I gotta try those since shrimp is one of my favorite sea food items....Way To Go Bobby!

By SANDY L SEWELL on January 31, 2012


GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck this season!

By Tracey on September 16, 2011


Would like to know your bread bowl recipe used with the chili for a no mess clean up. Go ECU Pirates!!!!

By Sally on September 06, 2011


All of us here in Arkansas love your recipes but would change one thing....and that is..GO HOGS! smile

By Shannon on September 06, 2011


love your shows and recipes keep them going

By johnny on August 31, 2011


GGGOOOOOOO DAWGS!!!! Good Luck GA Bulldogs and SIU Salukis!!! this season!!!

By andrea lepinske on August 30, 2011

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm