Tailgating with Joe Drozda: Ideal tailgater Christmas gifts

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White peppermint bark can be made with a double boiler or even in the microwave. (Submitted photo)

White peppermint bark can be made with a double boiler or even in the microwave. (Submitted photo)

Commentary Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

Martha De Lacey, writing for the “Daily Mail” says that men get bored with shopping in 26 minutes, but women can go two hours before it hits them.  Now if we believe this, then there has to be a better way to shop for the tailgater on your list then to just go out to the stores looking for things.  There is and here is a simple routine to plan for success.

Start at coleman.com to make your wish list.  Since tailgating gear is camping gear, and Coleman is probably the premier maker of such gear, they have virtually every possible piece of gear one could need.  Start at tailgating equipment, but also look at chairs, grills, canopies and coolers and more.  Just invest 26 minutes and you’ll have a list of items that you could see at your tailgate next year.  Don’t forget to jot down the price of these items if you were to buy them straight from Coleman.  Now you need to change your Internet gears.

Enter one of your listed items into your favorite search engine with the item name and manufacturer and the word “sale” or “cheap.”  What you’ll get as a result is usually a bunch of photos of the item you want with prices on them.  If these are lower than your list price, find out where they are being sold.  Most often it can be a local store that has them on sale. Then you can just go to that store and buy it at a good price.  Don’t forget that this is the season for lower prices on camping gear (it’s on sale) since the season for outdoor activity is NOT winter.  Repeat this process time and again until you have satisfied your wish/shopping list.

Here’s another Christmas shopping day treat that can also be packaged as a gift for a party or simple visit to a friend’s home during this season.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

Crushed candy canes, to yield 1 cup

2 pounds white chocolate cut into pieces

Peppermint flavorings, optional

Directions:

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and break into 1/4-inch or smaller pieces with a kitchen mallet or can from your pantry.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (see below if no double boiler). * Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired). Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm.  Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle).

*If you do not have a double boiler you can use the microwave. Just cut the white chocolate in pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl.  Adjust your microwave to 50 % strength so you don’t burn the chocolate.  Then heat the chocolate 30 seconds at a time and stir it between each 30 second interval.  Repeat this process as needed until the white chocolate is mostly melted.

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