How to Tailgate at Home
Football attracts fans from all over the nation. Watching men throw and kick a pigskin fills fall season weekends for many folks. But not everyone has season tickets to watch their favorite team in person.
Why not host a tailgate party in your own yard? You’ve spent all summer sprucing it up, now it’s time to show off the landscaping. Fire up the grill, let the kids play outside and brag about your favorite team without leaving the backyard. Have more fun and spend less money enjoying yummy food and an outstanding game with friends. Check out these hassle-free tips.
1. Fill the Cooler
Have a variety of different beers and soft drinks on hand to satisfy all your guests’ tastes. Plunk them in the cooler surrounded by ice and a few bottles of frozen water, then let everyone serve themselves.
2. Provide Disposable Cups
To keep everyone’s drinks straight and make sure no one catches a virus, give them a cup when they arrive and a marker to put their name on it. This avoids confusion if two people are consuming the same kind of beverage.
3. Prep Food Ahead of Time
Marinate steak, chicken or kabobs in plastic bags. Make hamburger patties so you can slap them on the barbecue after your guests arrive. Seasoned outdoor cooks recommend grilling over charcoal, not gas. To avoid that not-so-pleasant lighter-fluid flavor, apply a moderate amount of fluid to the briquettes, light them and let the coals burn until they turn white. That takes about 15 minutes. Now you can cook.
4. Serve a Variety
To appeal to the gluten-free, low-carb, constant dieters and big eaters alike, offer a good selection of protein, salads, veggies and desserts. Ask people to bring a dish to share to relieve some of the burden of shopping and cooking. Then, set up a buffet table so everyone can see all the offerings.
5. Make Clean Up Easy
Line your grill with foil so you can dump the ashes in one fell swoop. Wait at least 12 hours before chucking the spent charcoal to prevent a fire.
6. Take the Entertainment Outside
In “How to Throw a Poppin” Fourth of July Party,” Pro.com described how to set up a TV and sound system in your yard. If the weather threatens rain, erect a tent to house the entertainment system and your guests.
7. Plan for Half Time
Suggest a scrimmage on the lawn, tag football, volleyball, ping-pong or some activity to shed some of the calories previously consumed. Maybe even a little dance music so your guests can strut their stuff.
8. Keep a Checklist
Your first tailgating party goes down in the annals as one of the best you’ve ever hosted. Create a list of what you did to prepare and when, so your next event brings as much praise.
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