Tailgating prior to a football game is an established tradition throughout the country. I recently traveled back to Oxford, Mississippi, to get the lowdown on tailgating from a group of pros: the “Yoste Circle of Family and Friends.” I had the pleasure of joining this eclectic cluster of football fans for their tailgate party before the Texas A&M-Ole Miss game.
The robust Geoffrey Yoste and his lovely wife, Julie, welcomed my friends and me with open arms. The Yoste family has been gathering in the same tailgating spot in The Grove, the legendary tailgating area on the Ole Miss campus, for many years. With a core group of 50 family members, it is not surprising that at some of the games they have 200 guests throughout the day. It is the perfect place to watch fans of all ages—and both teams—come and go. It was a special treat to meet Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who brought Texas Governor Rick Perry to the celebration. They had a grand time greeting the fans from both teams and it was great to see them relaxed before the big game.
Governor Bryant, Cindy Edwards, and Governor Perry.
Tailgating of this magnitude requires major organization. The entire Yoste family is very involved in keeping this tradition going. Everyone has a “specialty:” Colonel Florian Yoste and his sweet wife, Jesse, bring all of the paper products; cousin Jessica always brings her delicious pimento cheese sandwiches; and they can always count on Uncle Bill to pick up the fried chicken. Geoffrey Yoste used to do the setup, but now he hires a company to set-up and break down the tent.
Ole Miss tailgates are known for their beautiful tents, tablecloths and flower arrangements. Jesse Yoste always brings cute table accessories, and Julie Yoste supplies the floral arrangement. For this particular weekend, she created a beautiful arrangement of oak leaf hydrangeas that she gathered from her yard.
I enjoyed sampling all of the delicious food. My particular favorite was the “Yoste Roast.” It is a staple at Yoste tailgates, and unlike some cooks, Julie Yoste loves to share this recipe that she received from a dear friend many years ago. She calls it “comfort food with a kick.” It is delicious and super easy!
1 English roast (also called a chuck arm roast, cross rib roast or chuck eye roast)
1 package of dry Good Seasons Italian dressing
1 jar of pepperoncini peppers (with juice)
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve on toasted French bread with provolone cheese.
Here are a few tips for creating the perfect tailgate
1.Organize your group and divide the responsibilities.
e. Paper products
2. Create a menu that is easy and will appeal to a crowd.
a. Fried chicken
d. Fruit and cheese
3. Prepare for inclement weather. Take a few extra towels and sets of rain gear.
4. Have fun!!
Traditions like tailgating keep us close to the ones that we love. As Julie Yoste says, “There are so many wonderful things to say about The Grove: family, tradition, memories, wins, losses, food, fellowship, cocktails, cheers and big family hugs!”
I would like to extend a special thanks to all of my new friends at Texas A&M and at Ole Miss. The hospitality was simply amazing!!
As always, thanks for reading.
i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above?
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am
Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
I WISH I COULD COOK.
COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER?
I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE.
19 SPENCER WAY
KINGS PARK, NY 11754
HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am
You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition.
Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm