Posts tagged #Tailgating

There Is No Game like THE GAME Between Yale and Harvard for Tailgating Fun

November 19th is fast approaching and that can only mean one thing - The Harvard - Yale Game is scheduled for one more mighty confrontation of brawn and brain.

Since 1875, there's been a game. For years it was called either "the Yale - Harvard Game", if one attended Yale or "the Harvard - Yale game" if one went to Harvard. 

Then in the late 1940s, the famous sport columnist Red Smith wrote about the game as “The Game” and the name stuck. Why such praise?  

Because as one of the first games ever played at the university level, this annual contest of Ivy League will significantly defined the game of American football, making it ‘the” major college sport in the U.S. 

This legacy would continue through the years, leading to such memorable games as the 1968 contest when the battered Harvard team made a miraculous last-moment comeback, scoring 16 points in the final 42 seconds to tie a highly acclaimed Yale squad. The next day the Harvard headlines read with justifiable pride, "Harvard beats Yale 29 - 29". 

This year The Game is at New Haven and Yale can’t wait to welcome the hardy Harvard Pilgrims (players, students and fans) down from Cambridge, near Boston.

Besides hoping to break a sad record of five years of straight losses, Yale students and alumni are also looking forward to enjoying another great tailgating event for which they are truly famous.   

And while the University administration has issued various 'rules of engagement' (no under 21 drinking, beverage ID wrist bands required, gas grills only and no glass bottles), that won’t stop the fun, given the combined IQ of both schools.

The joint student bodies are sure to enjoy beer and any other spirited beverage obtainable in the nearby vicinity. Food to hopefully balance the liquid intake is kindly being provided by Yale University’s College dining halls.

Those who have graduated have a far more elegant spread at their disposal be it from the assorted alumni groups or various association hospitality tents. Here the fare is far more gourmet and the beverages as memorable as the fabled ivy covered walls of Yale and Harvard.

If distance or duty keeps you from The Game, you can still enjoy the tradition and heritage of it all with these classic cocktails – ones sure to be enjoyed by many while waiting for The Game (and the fun) to begin. (Will M.I.T. appear and try another of their infamous pranks? Who knows).

Good luck all and remember classes (and work) commence once again, bright and early, on Monday morning.

Harvard Cooler

1/2 tsp. superfine sugar
2 oz. carbonated water
2 oz. applejack

Stir sugar and carbonated water together in a 12 oz. Collins glass. Fill with cracked ice and add applejack. Top off with more carbonated water, or ginger ale. Insert spiral of orange or lemon peel over the rim of the glass.

Yale Punch

1 tsp. sugar dissolved in a little water
1 or 3 dashes lemon juice
1 or 2 dashes lime juice
2 or 3 dashes raspberry syrup
2 or 3 dashes Bénédictine
1/2 oz. St. Croix rum (probably any decent dark rum will do here)
2 oz. brandy (the recipe specifies Hennessey)

Mix with ice in a glass. Garnish with mint. 

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011

How to Score Big at Your Next Tailgating Party with the Big Green Egg

It’s autumn in the U.S. and that means American football is front and center as the most watched sport of the season!  Whether you are rooting for your college favorite or for that big pro team that hopes to make the Super Bowl, it’s all a thrill from the first cheers to the final touchdown.

But why limit a good thing to just the roar inside the stadium?  Those in the know extend the fun by starting their pre-game celebrations at tailgating parties. Once simple affairs based on just having food available, today’s tailgating parties involve tents, tradition and terrific food.

But let’s start at the beginning.  First off, despite what some Internet sites list as ‘history’, tailgating did NOT start at the First Battle of Bull Run (or the First Battle of Manassa to use the southern name for the Civil War’s first major battle).

Tailgating is about the game of football, not armies, guns and death.  Indeed, the first intercollegiate football game (Rutgers vrs Princeton) wasn’t even played until 1869 – four years after the Civil War ended.

And then due to the lingering feelings of loss and rage, the northern and southern universities delayed playing football against each other another decade.

So, NO, tailgating did not start on the battlefields of the American Civil Wars.  Rather it started instead at a Yale football game in 1904 according to research done by Peter Chakerian.  

Due to the distance of the playing field from the University, fans knew they would arrive at the field tired and hungry.  Thinking ahead, they brought food and drink and, as a result, a new culinary tradition was born.    

The actual term “tailgating” is credited by historians to the innovative fans of the Green Bay Packers.  Back in 1919 when the team first took the field, there was no stadium and no seating for the fans.  But what fan wants to stand for a whole game - Ouch!!!

The fans resolved the problem by simply backing up their pickup trucks and dropping the tailgates down.  And in an instant, a new American word was created: tailgating.  

Today tailgating parties are an American sports tradition on campuses and at pro stadiums around the country.  Some parties are rustic with spicy chili and grilled cheeseburgers.  Others are quite elegant with signature cocktails and miniature quiches.  But all feature great food, often cooked on the legendary Big Green Egg.

First seen in Japan by U.S. servicemen after World War II, this grill was unique and very different from the more traditional metal “cut barrel” barbecues used back home.  And so were the cooking results: simply amazing flavors.

Oval in shape and containing a unique ceramic interior, it produces gourmet cuisine that easily surpasses the standard overcooked and often dried out backyard fare often served stateside.

By 1974 an preceptive business man, Ed Fisher, rediscovered the Big Green Egg.  He knew a winner when he saw it.  The result was the creation of a family owned company that would change tailgating (and outdoor cooking in America) forever: The Big Green Egg Company!

Word quickly began to spread about Fisher’s remarkable green grill, that was also a smoker and an oven as well as a traditional barbecue!  The meats (and pies and vegetables and game and pizza and more) that were coming off the Big Green Egg were attracting attention at tailgating party after tailgate party across the country.  Soon everybody wanted an Green Egg.  They even coined a word for it: “Egg-citing!”

But Fisher didn’t stop there.  He has constantly worked to improve the design and tailor the Green Egg to modern needs.  Today the exterior (still green, of course) is glazed with the same tile finish that is used on the Challenger's heat controlling external space tiles.  

Now there is an outstanding cookbook also available called, of course, The Big Green Egg Cookbook, that lists one remarkable recipe after another for such treats as Eggplant Fries, Jalapeno Ham Steaks, Glazed Lobster Salad, Creamed Corn and French Toast with Pears and Cherries as well as Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie and Kahlua Coffee Brownies!  Not your usual barbecue grill fare.  But oh so good!

But what's best of all is that, though tailgating has moved from vintage wicker baskets and aging farm trucks to space age grills that encompass designs from half a world away, what's most important has always remained the same. 

It doesn’t really matter where we live or what team we cheer for.  What’s most important to remember is that it’s fellowship that matters, not the numbers on the board.  What's how we can really score every time!

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2010

Posted on November 29, 2010 and filed under Cookbooks, Holidays, Sports.