It’s as easy as two simple steps.
#1: Start with the perfect parking spot.
When you pull into the parking lot you will have some options, especially if you get there early enough. Think about where you want to be. Do you think it might rain? If so, look for cover from a tree or a bridge. Where is the Port-a-Potty? You don’t want to be right next to it due to odors and long lines – being about 100 feet away from it is best. The worst thing is walking half a mile to find a bathroom. Look at who you are pulling in next to. Are they blasting music you can’t stand? If you don’t like cigarette smoke, watch for people smoking and don’t park next to them. Try to be at least three cars away from someone who is being noisy and smoking. It’s easy to have your tailgate party ruined by a neighbor’s bad music and cigarette or cigar smoke. Last, look for a public trash can and a hot coal disposal drum. Parking lots usually have red painted charcoal disposal drums you can use to get rid of hot coals. Look for one and park close! After you pull into the spot, arrange the chairs and table around the cooler and set up the grill and table.
#2: Choose an easy recipe. Here’s one!
Bacon-wrapped Cheese-stuffed Hotdogs:
- Hotdogs (about 2 per person)
- Soft hotdog rolls
- Cheddar cheese sticks
- Bacon (1 slice per hotdog)
The key to making a tailgate party low-stress is picking a menu that is easy to pull off in a parking lot. That means doing most of the prep work at home. Hot dogs are the easiest thing to make for a tailgate, but who wants to have a boring old hotdog on a bun when you’re supposed to be at a fun cookout? It’s easy to take a boring hotdog and turn it into something special by stuffing it with cheddar cheese and wrapping it in bacon. If you have 10 people coming, buy 20 all-beef jumbo hotdogs. The day before, slice each hotdog down the center (about halfway through) and insert a cheddar cheese stick. Then take one slice of bacon and wrap it around the hotdog. This will keep the cheese inside nice and tight. Use a toothpick to hold the bacon in place if it falls off. Prepare each hotdog and store them in the refrigerator in a covered disposable aluminum tin until you’re ready to leave for the game.
Originally published by The Fix.com on Sept 15, 2015. Updated October 27, 2016