Tailgate parties have their ups and downs this time of year. No, by Ups and Downs I don’t mean temperament, I mean the red stuff in the thermometer, temperature. During this period of the fall, temperatures can burn you up and then almost freeze you, all in one day. This morning the temperature was below 40 degrees and by afternoon it will be above 70. By the end of an 8 p.m. game it will be back down into the 50s. That temperature swing can make you uncomfortable.
This time of the year it’s best to think of things you can do to lessen the effects of nature. If it’s a cold morning, try to get out of the wind and into the sun. To get out of the wind, park your vehicle so you tailgate on its leeward side. Set up more of a windbreak with a tarp. You can also have some heat source like your grill or even a portable wood burning fireplace. The next concern is to dress for success.
Your mother always said that you should wear layers and she was right. By layering, you can put on and take off protection against the cold. A sweater (in school colors of course) is a nice way to stay warm. Natural fibers like cotton, wool and Cashmere are great because they breathe. So they keep you warm, but not too much, and they can be removed when you become too warm. They pack nicely in a tote used for seat cushions and a blanket so that later on they can be put on when a chill sets in. Of course stadium blankets are also a part of layering and have been used successfully for more than 100 years. Enjoy your trips to the game this fall and remember to stay warm or keep cool.
Here’s a great main dish for cold weather from Ron De Mao, a Pitt Panther fan.
Italian Baked Beans – Fagiolo Italiano
1 medium onion, chopped
1 6lb. can Van Camps Pork and Beans (or other favorite)
1/4lb. bacon, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1clove garlic, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup catsup
Sauté bacon, onions, green pepper, and garlic in olive oil over low heat until vegetables are cooked. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour bacon mixture into large casserole dish. Add beans, brown sugar, catsup, and season with salt and pepper to individual taste. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes.