My gosh, it's almost football season, isn't it? It's been a long, brutal summer with nothing football-related to write or talk about, but it's nearing the end. I stepped outside this morning and it didn't feel like being slapped with a damp hot towel for the first time in about three months. Practices are in full swing. Starters are being named. And, of course, tailgates are being planned.
We at Every Day Should Be Saturday are nothing if not gourmands, and we appreciate a good tailgate as much as anybody. Crisp fall air and the excitement of the building crowd. Gathering with old friends over familiar rituals. The knowledge that you donated to the alumni association just so you could set up a tent in a parking lot. Most importantly, though - there's the food.
That's right, you didn't spend all summer working through that running plan you found online because you're actually going to become a runner. No, you just wanted a nice little buffer so the 20 pounds you gain during football Saturdays have somewhere to go. The food's the star of the pregame show. So let's discuss a menu.
Week 1's got a lot of great matchups, but College GameDay has deemed LSU's trip north to play the Wisconsin Badgers at Lambeau Field to be the marquee tilt of the season's opening weekend, and who are we to disagree? Now, we're not going to the game - but we'll be there in spirit, tailgating in front of our television and eating along!
Well, first things first. Some of these recipes are gonna take time, and you and your guests are going to be hungry. Be a good host. Set out a cheese plate.
That's great. Looks delicious. Big ol' cubes. Kinda one-note, though. We probably need a dip or something.
Here, this recipe looks good: Baked Ricotta with Lemon and Herbs. Che Mediterranean!
Alright, that should hold people through the first hour of GameDay. Now let's think main menu.
LET'S GET THEMATIC
Now, when you think of Wisconsin, like most people, you probably think of one thing: its open skies, its friendly people, and its under-the-radar wine scene. What you might not think of is actually one of the state's largest exports: dairy! That's right, the Badger State is surprisingly one of the world's top producers of cheese, and we think our menu should celebrate that. We're thinking something hand-held, so you can still stand around the fire pit and enjoy a cold one while you snack.
There's lots of options: cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas - but we're feeling saucy today, and the internet is an impossibly deep, dark pit of unimaginable horrors - so we're gonna try something new. This recipe for Cream Cheese Patties - "Also well-received by meat eaters", it claims!
Oh hell yeah. Look at that. Looks like a crime scene photo, but here, the only victim is your cholesterol score! [chuckles]
So, we've covered the home team, but what about the visitors? Louisiana's known as a culinary hotbed in its own right, and nothing's more classic than a steaming pot of what the locals call "gumbo". According to Wikipedia,
"It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the Cajun holy trinity of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers, and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used, the vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat."
Great, great. I wasn't listening to any of that. I'm an idiot, and I'm going to trust that the internet, this dark reflection or echo of our world, this place of decay and death, wouldn't lead me astray, so I'm just gonna conduct a half-assed search for gumbo recipes and make the first one I find.
"Orsi's Cheesy Chicken and Rice Gumbo"
[nodding] this checks all the boxes and words still have meaning, excellent, excellent
Okay, boy, we're going to need a dessert after all this. Now, we've already celebrated Wisconsin and LSU, but we're a nationwide blog with a global reach, so we should take a broader view than just this. We need a dessert that represents [starts singing for no damn reason] the greatest city in the world - IT'S THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD [resumes speaking voice] I wonder how Spencer's enjoying Montana this week [singing under breath] the revolution's happening in neeeeeew York [speaking]
Anyways here's the Bing search results for New York Cheesecake did you know you literally cannot be fired for cause from this site, I've been trying for like two years, nothing
Boy, all this recipe-hacking has me parched. And hey, what's a tailgate without some adult beverages? We're going to need something strong and tasty to get us through a Big Ten West football game, so let's head back into the Vale of Shadows and see what kind of drink recipes we can find!
Mmm that's the ticket: a drink with beets and goat cheese in it
God has left this place.