September is upon us, gentle readers. Have you a gameplan? As a grateful nation settles into the glorious grind of football season, it behooves us to be prepared for the onset of conference play — prime tailgating time. Campus Union spoke with Southern Living Test Kitchen director Rebecca Gordon, West Coast food blogger Sarah Sprague and East Coast food blogger The Gurgling Cod on a range of topics, from food safety to meal planning to the sacred art of cooking an entire pig before a game. Read on, and may your parties be championship-caliber from sunup to cleanup.
Tailgating 102: Food safety & portability
You can cook just fine in your own kitchen, but can you pull off a multi-course outdoor feast that doesn’t serve the same old dishes as the neighboring tent and that won’t poison your guests? Guest lecturer: Rebecca Gordon, Southern Living Test Kitchen Director, who’s responsible for the development of all recipes in the magazine’s new Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook.
SI.com: Let’s start with safety, since nobody wants to spend game day working food poisoning out of their system. Southerners are by and large a mayo-based people. How long is it really safe to let that potato salad or those pimento cheese sandwiches sit out?
Rebecca Gordon: Ice, ice, baby. Nestle platters and bowls filled with mayonnaise-based deviled eggs and potato salad into larger bowls filled with ice. Don’t let food sit out more than one hour. On a hot day (90 degrees or higher), reduce this time to 30 minutes, but definitely use your best judgment and don’t lollygag because we all know it’s going to be hotter than Georgia asphalt until about…um, well, I’d say Thanksgiving down South. If you’re in the sun, take items directly from your cooler and eat them right away.