Sometimes, things that are typically done one way or one place are actually better when done another way, or another place.
Take, for example, tailgating. Chelsea and I have two cute little monster boys. It isn’t easy packing these guys up for something as easy as a movie, let alone a full stadium type sporting event. That doesn’t mean I forgot about the world of football pre-game/post game. It just means I have to find another way to get it done.
As a man (and a manly man at that), I don’t follow the rules. Just ask Chelsea. I’m willing to bet she could list a bajillion things I've done or do on a regular basis which don’t “fall within guidelines.” I will say, however, I do put the toilet seat down after use. I learned this WAY before Chelsea, after an unfortunate TV remote accident. As a brother, you learn to be politically savvy very young. If you have the remote, you choose the channel. If the other acquires the remote, the channel is theirs to choose. My brother loved The Price is Right after school. I did not. I had to go…and, well, it turns out I could only hold one thing at a time back then. Not the first time I had to stick my hand in the toilet to retrieve something precious.
Tailgating is a pastime as old as the airplane. Yeah, that’s a fact. No, don’t Google it. STOP IT! What does Wikipedia know anyway? Either way, tailgating is what old people do. No, wait. People have done it for a long time. Since the days of tailgate invention. And when did the tailgate come about? Pioneer days. There you were on the Oregon Trail. Dinner came and BAM! Nowhere to sit. “Why don’t I just sit on the tailgate Pa?!” BOOM! Problem solved. And back then when siblings wanted to play cowboys and Indians…it didn’t end well.
I digress. I enjoy tailgating because it gives you an opportunity to both make a mess you can let your dog clean up as well as give you a chance to feel like you’re camping up until dinner is over. So when I was looking to eat dinner the other night in a place other than say, the dinner table, I chose to tailgate with grilled rice.
The other “win” in this situation is that Some Boy is a crazyface lately and refuses to voluntarily eat in his highchair. Put him in an odd location to make him think it's new and he suddenly becomes a Dyson vacuum.
Grilled Rice and Chicken Tailgating Casserole
- 2 cups instant rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1/2 large onion diced
- 4 handfuls Tyson Buffalo Style Chicken Strips thawed and cut into chunks
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Mix all ingredients in a 9-by-12 inch foil casserole pan.
- Place casserole pan in preheated grill and cook for approximately 15 minutes until water is absorbed.
The trick to tailgating is deciding what to make. Looking for something appropriately football-inspired for my tailgating casserole, I chose to use Tyson Buffalo Chicken Tenders. The strips gave the whole thing a spicy kick that I actually didn’t expect to be as good as it was. I mean, I wound up eating this stuff for the next two days. All I had to do was chop them up, mix with the rice, veggies and liquids and throw that on the obligatory BBQ to be officially christened into tailgating food.
Some Boy really loved our tailgating casserole, almost as much as he loves football. And it was fun eating where Chelsea couldn't nag at me for spitting on the floor. I mean, she really overreacted that one time. It’s just a kitchen, Chels! Another thing I got to enjoy was time with Some Boy in the fall air. I am not a summer person. I am not a hot weather person.
And when that cool, dry breeze kept blowing through my trees, and the setting sun began to make everything orange, and Some Boy just sat there saying “more” and pointing to the food…well…nothing really gets much better.
Except, perhaps, a Hail Mary touchdown pass just as the clock runs down.
What are you favorite game day snacks to take to a tailgate?