Tailgater’s Toolbox

ND 0919 Tailgating
Italian Baked Beans are a delicious tailgate recipe option. (Submitted photo)

By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

Dictionary.com says the first record of the “toolbox” was between 1835-1845. It’s a box to organize, carry and protect the tools of the craft of the owner. If your craft is tailgating then here are some ideas for the contents of your game-day, take-along, soft-sided, small tool box.

Quoting the great cartoon philosopher Ziggy, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” Remember, there’s always somebody parked near you that will need something. So, fill your box/bag with:

  • Duct tape with team logo or at least team colors
  • Combination bottle and can opener
  • All-in-one plier tool
  • Clips to hold down tablecloth
  • Small bungie cords
  • Matches or lighter
  • Nail clippers
  • Masking and other tapes
  • Wisk broom
  • Corkscrew
  • First aid kit for burns and cuts
  • Packs of antacid and gas chewable tablets (replace yearly)
  • Packs of aspirin or other pain killers (replace yearly)
  • Packs of wash and dry sanitary wipes and a small bar of soap
  • Zip lock full of tiny salt, pepper, sugar and sweetener packets.

No matter how well prepared you are, you’ll still become hungry. Here’s a recipe you should try.

Italian Baked Beans


1 medium onion, chopped

1 6-pound can Van Camps or other Pork and Beans

¼ pound bacon, diced

1 green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup ketchup


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.