Now that my kids are back in school I can officially feel like it’s fall! And with fall comes all sorts of opportunities to enjoy getting together with friends in the crisp autumn weather. . . it’s Tailgating Time!
That’s right-the American tradition of turning something boring like hanging out in a parking lot into a party! It’s practically a national pastime. And let’s be honest–for a lot of folks it’s even more fun than the game itself.
Walmart asked me to have fun and come up with some ideas for a perfect tailgating party. They gave me a generous budget and told me to feel free to include not only food items but supplies as well. Of course, since over the years we’ve attended Nascar races, football games, hosted BBQ’s, been camping and more, we actually already had a lot of the equipment type items on hand that you’d want for tailgating–like a nice 48 quart cooler, some great camp chairs and our Weber Smokey Joe grill.
There is one thing we’ve wanted for a long time, and this was the perfect excuse to buy it. A pop up canopy! At my local Walmart they had a nice 10×10 Ozark Trail canopy that was $79–it had aftermarket items you could purchase like a replacement top and a winscreen. But they also had a 9X9 Ozark Trail Express Canopy for $49.00. That fit in my budget better and would do the job just fine!
I purchased my food and drinks, whipped up some awesome artichoke dip and created my “simulated tailgating environment” in the back yard.
You see those subs? Well let me tell you a little bit about them. Walmart suggested that we try their 6 foot subs to complete our tailgating party–so I figured what the heck. I called my local Walmart and ordered my sub over the phone. The gentleman I spoke to explained that my sub would come in three sections–which is good, I wasn’t sure how I’d fit a 6 foot long sub in my car! Each section could have a different meat & cheese choice–so I chose roast beef and provolone, ham and swiss and turkey with cheddar. He suggested that I get the tomatoes, onions and condiments on the side both so that the sub would not get soggy and so that each person could fix their sub up however they like.
When I got to the store to pick up the subs I was amazed. Each section was made of two full loaves of french bread–and although I didn’t measure it I think they looked more like 3 feet long each instead of just two. They were HUGE. They weren’t skimpy on the meat either-it was a full, thick sandwich.
The total cost for all that food? $28. I don’t know if I could have bought the luncheon meat by itself for that price! You know I’m a frugal do it yourself kind of gal-but getting that much food all premade at that price really seemed like a bargain to me. Not only that-but the friends we invited to enjoy our “simulated tailgating experience” with us (and enjoy the food-there is no way we could eat all of that sub) couldn’t get over how good it tasted. I am not making this up–I got the “You got this at Walmart? Really? It’s good!” type comments.
Tailgating isn’t complete without munchies and for me party munchies aren’t really complete unless you have a dip–so I whipped up my favorite spinach artichoke dip!
Gooey and warm this dip is very much like the kind you get at Friday’s. You can make it at home and package it up pipping hot by wrapping it in some tinfoil and then wrapping some towels around it. If you’ve got a spare small cooler set it in there by itself (no ice please!) until its time to eat–you should be able to keep it warm for quite a while that way.
- 1/2 C Sour Cream
- 1/2 C Mayonnaise
- 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 C Shredded Mozzarella
- 2-3 Cloves minced garlic
- 10 oz Frozen Spinach
- 14 oz can Artichoke Hearts
- -Thaw spinach and drain thoroughly. You may want to actually squeeze excess liquid out.
- -Chop artichoke hearts.
- -Mix all ingredients and place in a shallow greased casserole dish. At this point you may refrigerate until ready to cook.
- -Bake for 20 min at 325 or microwave for approx 5 min on high.
- -Serve with tortilla’s, pita chips (homemade?) or toasted bread wedges.
So what do you think? Would you want to be invited to our tailgating party? What items are a “must have” for your own tailgating adventures?