Posted 11/08/2017 by Denise Cripps
Your craziest, funnest friends are assembled. The giant games everyone loves are standing by. What’s the last tailgate essential?
Never underestimate the importance of keeping Team Tailgate energized so that by game time, curtain time or go time, the only thing anyone’s hungry for is, well … more fun!
Must #3: Serve finger foods and drinks in reusable cups or recyclables
Fan favorites for trash-free tailgates include any finger foods, so think beyond buns. Instead, make Pinterest your new best friend, and give these ideas a whirl:
- Anything roll-able – Try wraps, tortillas, bacon, crescent rolls, grape leaves, and thin, wide slices of cucumber or zucchini for rolling up your favorite fillings, like meat, sliced cheese, bacon, microgreens, fancified cream cheese, flavorful spreads….
- Anything stuff-able – Go for pitas, pepper halves, mushroom caps, cucumber boats, avocados, artichoke bottoms, wonton wraps, handpies, puff pastry….
- Anything poke-able or kabob-able – Take a stab at meatballs, bacon-wrapped little smokies, cut fruit, cubed cheese, grilled vegetables, chicken or kielbasa bites, shrimp or even (wait for it…) tortellini!
- Anything pop-able – As in, straight into your mouth, one-bite appetizers like crab or spinach bites, tiny tarts (savory or sweet), pull-apart recipes, wontons, mini cookies, brownies or bar squares, popcorn or caramel corn….
- Anything dip-able with, well … dips (duh) – A good place to sneak in something pseudo-healthy, choose veggies, fruit, chips, crackers, etc. for diving into salsa, guacamole, queso or dip recipes like seven-layer, hot spinach, crab or artichoke, buffalo chicken, cheesy bacon jalapeno, loaded baked potato or “Million Dollar.”
What’s so awesome about finger foods? Well, 1) they’re everyone’s favorites anyway, 2) they’re easy to make ahead and transport, and 3) they lend themselves perfectly to the trash-free tailgate concept we love. No plates or plastic silverware to throw away or dirty reusable dishes to transport home.
Speaking of transportation, tailgates require quick and easy everything: pack-up, set-up, tear-down and put-away.
Solution? Our strong, portable Knockdown Table. It's in, out, up, and ready to go in under three minutes. No tools. No fasteners. No swear words. And it's big enough to handle everything from giant crockpots to heavy beverage dispensers. Then, knock it back down flat for the trip home and easily store it away until next time.
Wait. Did someone say “heavy beverage dispensers”? At every tailgate, drinks — cold or warm, weather-depending— are a must.
When it’s hot — and especially if your tailgate includes alcohol — have lots of water on hand so everyone is sure to stay hydrated. Set up a few extra Knockdown Tables near the games for a safe place to set down drinks (because everyone knows tips and spills are a tailgate foul). Need a spot to play Towering Timbers and Tic-Tac-Toe? On a table.
Tailgate SUPER-fan? Our table’s sanded surface paints and stains beautifully. Slap on your team colors, embellish with concert flair, stencil your family name, or add your favorite logo. Use a clear finish coat to top it off and your customized tailgate table will feed your love of … whatever you love most!
At the very least, a few coats of clear polyurethane are worth considering. These will extend longevity by protecting your Knockdown Tables from spills, melting ice and condensation.
Share your tips for making tailgating easier in the comments below, and learn more about all the products mentioned above at BelknapHill.com.
Part 1: Team Tailgate Pro Tips
Part 2: Three Cheers for BIG Games!
Tailgate with Belknap Hill!