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Monday, September 27, 2010

Only the Brave (?) Tailgate for the ASU-Oregon Game

Across the country, folks were bringing out the bar-be-ques to tailgate before their favorite college team played football this past Saturday.  Some schools are known for their elaborate food spreads  and table decorations.  Some schools have you park in the parking lots and others have grassy areas to set up.  Some people leave their homes around 9 am and stay all day, eating and drinking and listening to other ball games on the radio.  It's a time-honored tradition that many people look forward to every Fall Season.  But, you haven't truly tailgated (see top 12 spots in related article below) until you have done so in Tempe, Arizona at Arizona State University!   Or should I say....until you have SURVIVED a tailgate party at ASU!
The group next to us was already in full swing.  They are a younger group with a terrific set-up.  Several tables of food, games were set up and they had fun maroon ASU chairs and an ASU tablecloth for their friends to enjoy.  My favorite part?

The stuffed-animal DUCK, hanging from the tree!  Very cute.

On the other side of our tailgate set-up are some serious tailgating pros:

Here is their Master Chef.  He has gone with a Mexican food menu and the whole area smells delicious!  I think he is grilling some quesadillas in this picture.  Yummy.

And you cannot forget the beans and chips!

And here's a picture of our group.  One of the things I like most about tailgate parties is how you get multi-generational families together.  Here we have three different families, who's kids or the parents who have attended ASU at one time or another, all meeting for the first time at the tailgate party.

Sometimes, you have people or children join your group and you don't know them at all.  This one boy was seen at everyone's table at one time or another:

And of course, you have the roaming college kids who "are starved" and politely ask if they can have some chicken or chips and salsa.  Who could refuse them?

This year we are styling with this custom ASU bean toss game that Andy and Kim gave us for Christmas.
I like to make a unique, frozen drink for the ladies who chose not to drink a beer.  This week, I made a Kiwifruit Caipiroska (similar to the Brazilian caipirinha only replacing the usual cachaca with vodka) which was light and refreshing, compliments of  Here is the recipe:

Pulse 6 peeled kiwifruits in a food processor until chopped and fruit is extracted.  Strain fruit through a fine sieve; discard solids. Transfer to a pitcher or blender. Stir in 3 cups tonic (I used 2 cups of a sparkling orange drink and 1 cup tonic), 1 cup limeade and 1/2 cup vodka.  Fill with ice cubes and blend.  Garnish with peeled kiwifruit slices.
But I have to say, we came up with the most creative way to stay cool and refreshed during the hot weather.....we placed out foil roasters with ice water for people to soak their in feet while sitting.  It cooled us down and was absolutely delightful, I must say.

Don't we look cool..............okay, maybe I should say.........refreshed.?!  But when the sun is so bright and hot (see the background), no one really cares! It's a new tradition that I plan on doing for every game when the temperatures are over 100 degrees.  Because, my son was right, it's fun to tailgate before the football games.  It's fun to watch the police motorcade bringing the buses of football players into the stadium.  It's fun to listen to the band play before the game:

It's fun to be with friends (old and new), eating and drinking and dreaming of your team beating a highly-ranked team.  (Oregon ended up beating us due to come costly mistakes, but it wasn't a blowout).

It's too hot for football and tailgating but it's something you get used to in Arizona.  The game was long and when we were driving home, it was still very warm:

Yes, you ARE reading that right, just after midnight and still 91 degrees!  Ouch!

Did you tailgate this weekend?  What did you cook?  What made your tailgate special?  I'd love to hear your ideas.  And be sure to join us before the ASU-Stanford game in November.  (I will be missing the game on October 30th as we will be tailgating with my daughter at Dickinson for parents weekend!)
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Blogger ArizonaMammograms said...

Beth, I have to say you know how tailgate in style! I felt like I was at someone's home with all of the creature comfort touches (ice foot baths) and the Martha Stewart spread of food and drink. You made me a convert! Thanks for hosting me and my family. They had nothing but praise for our hostess with the mostest! Rada

September 27, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

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