Feast of Champions: tailgating recipes for everyone to enjoy

Posted on Sep 11 2015 - 12:37pm by Taylor Cook

Oh, it’s the most wonderful time of the year here at Ole Miss! No, I am not talking about Thanksgiving or Christmas— I am talking about Grove season. That’s right, folks! Unpack your tents, gather your friends and get ready to experience the classiest tailgating in the South.

For all those first time Grovers out there, you are in for the experience of a lifetime. There is no comparison to the Grove on game day. In this beautiful state of Mississippi, it tends to be hella hot the first couple of games, so grab your red solo cup and start chugging. Make sure that you are properly hydrated before you venture out into the maze of tents.

Now, eating on game day— that is a whole other story. As college students, it’s hard to maintain a well-rounded diet. Apparently, there is no such thing as a microwaveable food group on the food pyramid.  So if you forget to eat your PopTart the morning of the big game, do not worry; the Grove is a 10 acre-long buffet of enough scrumptious goodness to keep you full for a week. Crowds, and not stomachs, should be the only things rumbling in the Grove. So grab your Hotty Toddy apron and put on your game face, because it is time to get cooking. Here are a few fan favorites that are simple and savory: perfect treats for game day.  Just remember, Rebels: Grove responsibly!

• For a spicy dip with enough kick to knock a linebacker off his feet, Beer Queso is perfect for any Rebel fan. Do not fret my fellow procrastinators, this is an easy recipe anyone can prepare when it is crunch time. Head to your fridge and grab 12 ounces of bottled beer, 8 ounces of cream cheese, and one pound of pepper jack cheese. Pour all of the beer into a a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Once the beer is simmering add the cream cheese and the pepper jack cheese. For about five minutes or so, continually whisk the mixture until completely smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and wait for it to cool, about five minutes. Don’t let it cool for too long, though; this is a dip best served warm. Once it’s reached the perfect temperature, you are good to grab some tortilla chips or other dip-ables of your choice and head out to the Grove for some satisfying snacking.

Jalapeño poppers are the perfect addition to any Grove tent buffet. This is a very easy recipe that does not require a lot of effort or ingredients. All you need are about 12 jalapeño peppers, ½ cup of cream cheese, ½ cup of cheddar cheese, and of course, 12 slices of bacon. First, preheat the oven to 400 F. Take the jalapeños and cut them in half. Next, mix the cream cheese and cheddar cheese together. Then take the cheesy mixture and fill the jalapeño halves.To finish off these lil monsters, wrap the bacon around the jalapeño halves, secure bacon with a toothpick, and place in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are crispy. Voila, Rebels! After little effort and little time the perfect tailgating snack is produced. These grab-and-go treats will certainty keep your visitors fired up for the game.

•Now that the fans are hot and bothered, we need to give them a little something sweet. Take the trifecta of desserts—Oreos, chocolate chip cookies and fudgey brownies—and marry them together to create the oh-so-scandalous Brownies. Why scandalous, you ask? These dark delicious devils will be the best sin you commit all day. Once you take one bite, you are hooked; there is no turning back. Making this delectable dessert also happens to be scandalously simple.  Heat the oven to 350 F, then take one roll of pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough and mash it down into the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch pan, evenly. Next, gently press the Oreos in rows, side-by-side, into the layer of cookie dough. Whip up some quick box brownie mix and pour the mixture over the Oreos. Place the pan into the oven for about 30-35 minutes, and let cool for about 30 minutes before cutting. These brownies are hands-down a crowd-pleaser and will satisfy any sweet tooth.

  • What better to wash down your delicious Grove cuisine than cool refreshing drink? It is essential to remain hydrated on game day and the John Daly is the perfect punch is to keep your guests feeling good. This tasty beverage takes no time at all to prepare. All you need is lemonade, sweet tea, and if everyone is of legal drinking age, vodka. These three ingredients create a refreshing drink that goes well with any Grove tent spread. Grab a pitcher and fill it with 1/2 lemonade, 1/2 sweet tea, and add 1 1/4 oz. vodka. For a virgin version, nix the vodka and enjoy a classic Arnold Palmer.

The anticipation on campus is intoxicating— Saturday could not come soon enough. People from all over the country will start pouring into Oxford all decked out in red and blue. At Christmas and Thanksgiving everyone gathers around the table and feasts in merriment. That is what Grove season is all about; everyone gathering together, eating great food and supporting the team that we all love the most. The Grove is where the Ole Miss family gathers around the table and sings together, “Are you ready?”


Taylor Cook