This past weekend was the first home football game here at The University of Mississippi. SF and I gathered our chickens together and headed to the Grove to partake in what Sporting News calls, "The holy grail of tailgating." I think it was Sport's Illustrated that said, "Tailgating in The Grove before an Ole Miss game is an experience so sublime even native son William Faulkner would be at a loss to describe it." In fact, it is this very tradition that inspired my latest picture book. Funny how inspiration hits you.... I wrote my second PB based on a random comment my hairdresser made about her lunch. Hmmm....food must be on my brain most of the time.
As we walked from SF's house to The Grove, visions of tailgating food began to form in our minds. We were salivating while imagining ham biscuits, fried chicken, sugary sweets and no less than 10,000 different dips. After a couple of beers and some chit-chat, we dug in. The first tent had so much food, that I couldn't even begin to list what I saw. The second, smaller tent had the following: Monterey Jack salsa, fried and grilled chicken fingers with two dipping sauces, ham and cheese biscuits, Reuben dip, fresh fruit, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate white chocolate chip cookies, various canapes, a cheese ball, tiny chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing, bigger strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing, and homemade caramel popcorn. Today, I thought I'd share a couple of recipes that we particularly enjoyed.
MONTEREY JACK SALSA (courtesy Come on In! Cookbook)
1 can green chilies (4 ounces) chopped
1 can black olives (3 1/2 ounces) chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese shredded
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Blend together and serve with tortilla chips.
REUBEN DIP (courtesy Whitney Byars)
6 ounces shredded Swiss
6 ounces shredded Cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
5 ounces shredded corned beef (I think I'd use pastrami)
12 ounces sauerkraut, drained
Mix together. Put in greased dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with Wheat Thins