Tailgating for my college team today was superb…beautiful weather, great food and best of all – our team won the game!
Tailgating is one of my favorite past-times and perhaps my only form of exercise. It is a weekly highlight of every fall football season. Oh, but a win makes it so much sweeter. Sorry Vandy. You did your best.
Cynthia demonstrates the rigors of tailgating.
I was especially impressed with the marinated shrimp our friends Cynthia and Larry brought up from the Gulf coast. These perennial Mississippi State Bulldog fans always bring along delicacies from the sea that we rarely find in North Mississippi.
This year they brought a thick rich smokey tuna aioli (this didn’t come out of a can, folks) a delicious crab dip and a marinated shrimp that would make you slap yo’ mama. It was spiked with cilantro and capers that made it stand head and shoulders above the usual assortment of fried chicken and barbequed ribs.
Cynthia served her specialties in carved out pumpkins and fall squashes which added to the festive atmosphere . You can bet I’m stealin’ that idea for my next party. She even made the goblin cake pictured below.
Our friend Marc, who is single (and available – he told me to say that), even kicked in cookies from the Jiggly Wiggly. Listen girls, this guy is a keeper. He put together a mean dessert called Death by Chocolate for our pre-tailgate/pregame day party which is a new tradition among my friends. We held it on the evening before game day.
Kathy (along with her husband Ken), were our hosts for the pregame/pretailgate day dinner party. She is pictured with Gulf Coast friend Larry who helped formulate the recipe for the shrimp.
Here’s the recipe for the marinated shrimp which is the best I’ve ever had. It was delicious on Friday evening, but it was stupendous at the tailgate prior to the game. After the game I wanted to project myself into orbit. It was that good and seemed to get better with age.
Here’s Cynthia and Larry’s recipe developed over long years – or was it minutes. No matter. It was perhaps the best thing I’ve ever tasted:
1 lemon sliced
2 fresh , seeded, deveined, and finely minced
3 cloves garlic minced
4 tablespoons dried minced onion flakes
¾ cup superfine sugar
4 pounds cooked shrimp peeled (and deveined optional)
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons of capers
1 teaspoon of (optional)
Pour vinegar into a pot over high heat and stir in lemon slices, jalapeno peppers, garlic, onion flakes, and sugar. Bring to rapid boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. I’m thinking this marinade would be good over many other foods beside shrimp. The cilantro and capers are what make it stand out I think.
Place the shrimp and cilantro and capers in a resealable plastic bag. Pour the lukewarm sauce into the bag and seal; refrigerate over night, turning the bag several times.
Drain the liquid from the resealable bag over shrimp in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.
IBelow: Indoor pretailgate/pregame day party. A novel way to stretch the tailgate plus you have indoor plumbing.
Lamar, at right, is our resident tailgate wine czar who attempts to educate us and discourages any brown bagging of inferior wines.