Change Is In the Air…

By Marianna Boyce

As days get shorter and nights get longer, you can rest assured the leaves will soon begin their amazing transformation.  Of course, they eventually fall to the ground and leave the trees bare waiting for another spring.  Until then, we will soon be making our favorite chili recipes to share with friends and family.

Whether you are a Carolina or Clemson fan, you are enjoying this time of year.  Although I love the Gamecocks, my favorite team is the rose between those two thorns.  I’m a Furman Paladin through and through.  furman

My husband, also an avid Gamecock fan, purchases Furman tickets and a parking pass for me every year.  He attends all the games he can, but working swing shifts, he cannot always go.  My sister Cindy is always “on call” to use that extra ticket.

We started attending in 2006 when our son chose Furman University as his first (and only) choice after graduating high school.  His band director attended there and Cody wanted to follow in his footsteps. We tried getting him to apply to other schools, but he (and God) knew Furman was “the one.” It was indeed the perfect fit for him.

drum

Being a music education major, he was in their marching band.  I miss seeing him on the field, but I love when he’s able to come to a game with me when he’s not working.  (He’s not only a middle school teacher, he’s also a percussion instructor at his high school alma mater.)  Currently, many of his Saturday’s are spent at marching band competitions in our local community.  If you ever have an opportunity to support one in your area, you would certainly not be disappointed!

Our youngest granddaughter Avery also enjoys the day trip to Greenville, SC.  We love the personal touch of a smaller university.  When she’s there, she absolutely owns the place!  cheerleader

Last year at one of the games, after she had two snow cones, she asked for a third.  I said, “Well sweetie, that may not be a great idea.”  She shrugged her shoulders and replied in her confident, perky voice,  “It’s okay GiGi.  It’s only ice.”  The “snow cone man” adamantly agreed!

We laughed and thought, with that kind of logic, why not!  It was an early game anyway. She had time to play on the hill with other kids before we left.  That “ice” sure did give her a boost of energy!

If you’re a grandparent, you understand right?  It is difficult saying no to her, although sometimes I do.  Okay hardly ever, but she never asks for much.  She really just wants our time.  How much money and effort does that take?

The autumn equinox is upon us.  If autumn and football are not your “cup of tea”, hang in there.  With time, there’s always change.  Whether it’s the astronomical seasons, or the seasons of life, try to enjoy them all.  If not?  My daddy would say, “What we don’t enjoy, we endure.”  I enjoy each season for different reasons.  What’s your favorite?  Happy fall y’all!  lake

Salads to Share for Football Season

By Rhonda Woods

Hello everyone!  Well, it’s that time of year….yep, FOOTBALL!!!!!  Weather you are a USC fan, Clemson fan or all of the other college teams,  Football means tailgating or football viewing gatherings on the patio, garage or den. So, we need some recipes to feed the hungry fans to keep up their strength to yell and cheer on their teams.

Like many households, we were a House Divided with both USC and Clemson fans, with my “sweet husband” being one of the biggest Clemson fans I have ever known!  He would boast his devotion to his team, proudly wearing his orange attire, picking with his family and friends and enjoying both the triumphs and defeats.

In my class, we prepare Faculty/Staff lunches twice a month as well as the occasional catering opportunities and have found the following salad recipes to be a huge hit.  Our folks get some pretty good eats here and they are quick to praise our program. I think we have spoiled them just a bit.

May God bless You,

Chef Woods

Red Skinned Potato Salad with Dill

@12-15 servings

4 lbs. red skin potatoes, diced, cooked and cooled

1 small onion, peeled and diced

1 rib celery, diced

½ c. pickle relish

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced

½-1 t. dried dill weed

Dressing:

½ c. evaporated milk

1 t. vinegar

2 t. sugar

2 T. prepared mustard

1 ¾ c. salad dressing (not mayonnaise)

Salt & pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onion, celery, pickle relish, eggs and dill weed.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, vinegar, sugar, mustard and salad dressing.
  3. Gently toss salad dressing with vegetables.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer salad to a plastic or glass bowl, cover and refrigerate.

 

Broccoli Salad

8-10 servings

Salad:

1 large bunch broccoli or 2 broccoli crowns, chopped (including the stem)

1 small red onion, chopped

½ c. raisins (white or dark)

½ c. pecans, chopped

Optional ½ c. shredded carrots

Dressing:

1 c. mayonnaise

¼ c. vinegar

½  c. sugar

¼ c. milk

Stir-ins before serving:

¼ c. Bacon Bits

  1. Soak broccoli in cold salted water for 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse broccoli in cold water and drain.
  3. Chop broccoli, onion, and pecans, placing chopped vegetables and pecans in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Add raisins.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and milk.
  6. Toss dressing with vegetable mixture.
  7. Put salad in a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Before serving, stir in bacon bits.
  9. Refrigerate leftovers.

 

Pasta Salad

8-10 servings

1 gal hot water

1 T. oil

1 T. salt

16 oz. tri-colored rotini pasta

1-4 oz. can sliced black or Kalamata olives, drained

1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix

16 oz. Italian Dressing

Optional:

Peeled diced cucumber

Shredded Carrots

Halved Cherry tomatoes

  1. Heat water, oil and salt in a small stockpot until boiling.
  2. Add pasta, stirring to separate, and cook for 8-10 minutes-al dente.
  3. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool.
  4. Return pasta to the stockpot or a mixing bowl.
  5. Combine cooked pasta, olives, soup mix and salad dressing.
  6. Transfer to a plastic container, cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or overnight for best flavor.

 

Marinated Calico Bean Salad

12-15 servings

¼ c. Sugar

½ c. White vinegar

1 t. Salt

½ c. Onion (yellow or red), chopped

½ c. Green pepper, chopped

½ c. Celery,  thinly sliced

1 can Cut Green Beans

1 can Yellow Wax Beans

1 can Light Red Kidney Beans

1 can Lima Beans

1 can Sliced Carrots

1 can Garbanzo Beans

  1. In a small saucepan, measure and combine sugar, vinegar and salt.
  2. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove and cool.
  4. Chop onion, green pepper and slice celery, then, add to the large mixing bowl.
  5. Open and drain all the canned vegetables in a colander, then add to the large mixing bowl.
  6.  Pour the cooled marinade mixture over the salad and gently toss to coat.
  7. Transfer salad into a large plastic container.  Seal with a lid and refrigerate overnight.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving…

By Stacy Thompson

As an obsessed Gamecock fan, the only thing I love more than the game itself is the tailgate before, and usually, after!  Even the set-up and take-down are entertaining, as I channel my inner ‘pit-crew’ to improve on my time from the week before, while doing my best interpretation of a real-life Tetris game as I methodically pack the tents, chairs, tables, more chairs and TV into the back of my SUV.  Although we take great pride in our tailgate food, my favorite part is the chance to catch up with friends and just enjoy the atmosphere surrounding the stadium.  Our tailgate invitations basically have no limits, and are usually RSVP’ed with the standard question – “What can I bring?”

Typically I reply and say, “Nothing, just yourself!” but recently I was a guest at another rabid fan’s tailgate and started thinking about all of the things I could have brought my host/hostess.  Maybe it’s the Southerner in us, but I think most people do not like to join a social gathering empty-handed, so here are some suggestions if you’re tagging along at a tailgate or possibly attending one of many holiday parties this season.

buffet-974742_1280

Best to bring:

  • Cookies – (store-bought more than acceptable) – everyone loves cookies!
  • Brownies – same reason
  • Boiled peanuts – usually available around the stadium; mixed nuts or roasted peanuts are always welcome
  • Flowers – yes, I said flowers – I’ve only had one person bring these to a tailgate, but it really brightened my day – so I’m going to add flowers to this list even though it may possibly be in violation of the Official Tailgating Rules (I’m sure there are some out there)
  • Your own beverages – you know what you like and unless you are a mainstream water-drinker, then your host/hostess may not have something to your liking – this goes double if you are one of those “Cherry Vanilla Caffeine-Free Diet Coke” people
  • Nothing – yes, this is contrary to the actual point of this blog post, but sometimes it really is OK not to bring anything – but your empty hands can be put to good use in the set-up or clean-up! As a hostess, I truly appreciate anyone who will hang out before or after the game and help out!

Best NOT to bring:

  • Prepared dishes/dips/desserts, particularly if they have to be kept hot or cold – if the host/hostess has planned the meal, he/she has also planned how to keep each dish hot or cold – don’t add to it!
  • Dips without chips or crackers – if you make a dip, bring the chip/cracker that the dip is served with – I know that sounds basic, but I have several unused jars of salsa in my fridge as a result of that oversight
  • Competing dishes – by that I mean, if your host/hostess sends out a menu featuring chili, then for goodness sake, don’t bring your ‘world-famous, can’t-tell-you-the-recipe-or-I’d-have-to-kill-you’ chili – and while we’re on the subject, you can tell anyone who will listen how amazing your chili recipe is, just don’t do it in earshot of your host/hostess and certainly not while you’re stuffing your face with the ‘inferior’ chili

Happy Tailgating Everyone!

If You Can’t Win the Game, Win the Tailgate

By: Stacy Thompson

As football fans, we like to believe that we have control over the ultimate outcome of a game — gotta wear that lucky shirt, lucky hat or lucky socks; if watching on TV, gotta sit in the lucky seat. Obviously, the actions or inactions of the fans have little to do with the play on the field, but that knowledge doesn’t make losing a game any easier or tolerable. On the flip side, there are those that don’t really follow football or care whether the home team wins or loses but simply enjoy the great southern tradition of football tailgating. So whether you are an ardent fan or dedicated socializer, I hope you enjoy these quick and easy tailgate recipes to make your Saturday a blast. Just add burgers, dogs or BBQ and you’ll easily win the day regardless of the score of the game!

Southern Caviar

  • 2 cans black-eyed peas
  • 2 cans shoe peg corn
  • 2 cans Ro-tel tomatoes
  • 2 large bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 can black beans
  • 12 small green onions, chopped
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 16-ounce bottle Zesty Italian dressing

Mix all ingredients and chill overnight. Serve with Tostitos scoops.

 

Sweet Southern Slaw

  • 1 (16-ounce) bag coleslaw mix (finely shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Mix coleslaw and onion. Whisk remaining ingredients and toss well. Chill before serving.

 

Southern Deviled Eggs

  • 7 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 pinch each of salt and pepper

Cut eggs lengthwise. Place yolks in a small bowl, mash, and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Fill egg whites with mixture and garnish with paprika or pimientos.

 

Krispy Kreme Casserole

  • 9 Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts, day old
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. Cut donuts into 1/2 inch pieces. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over donuts. Let sit for 2 hours. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until middle is firm.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By: Stacy Thompson

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

There’ll be much mistltoeing

And hearts will be glowing

When loved ones are near

It’s the most wonderful time

Yes the most wonderful time

Oh the most wonderful time

Of the year

Eddie Pola and George Wylie (as sung by Andy Williams) had it right, with the exception of one word — remove the “mistloeing” and insert “football-tailgating” and it is clearly the perfect song.  Yes, friends, it is Christmas in September, that Most Wonderful Time of the Year — Football Season!!!

Football season

Since my family moved to South Carolina (when I was a mere 6 years old) we spent our fall Saturdays together in the shadows of Williams-Brice Stadium or in front of the TV with only the Garnet and Black on our minds. Winter and Spring was spent cheering on basketball or baseball, but once August hit, we looked forward to two things — school supplies (who doesn’t love a brand new box of Crayolas or brightly colored Mead folders?) and football season. With the exception of a big guy named George in ’80 and the glorious ’84 season (can we pretend the Navy game never happened?), maybe our team hadn’t had too much to crow about, but that didn’t stop us from turning each Saturday into an event and an opportunity to come together.

Tailgating evolved through the years, as did our family. The early years were marked by dirt-laden tracks in the State Fairgrounds parking lot. (Seriously, we had to hold our breath and cover Mom’s succulent deviled eggs every time a car went by!) As the years passed, dedication to our team landed us in a prime paved spot in the shadows of the Willy-B — so close my brother could launch a football into the upper-deck concourse and we could make the most of game-day access to actual restrooms. (Yes…major score. Are Port-o-Johns ever tolerable???) Later we moseyed into the big-time with cable access, electrical boxes and the most gorgeous vista one could have! (Yes, that’s me, laying on my parking spot.)

USC Tailgating

Our new tailgate homes are beyond amazing, but the highlights, as always, are the camaraderie and opportunities gather together. Carolina Park may be the ultimate draw for fans, but look around and you’ll see families and friends savoring time together and experiences shared, even when our team isn’t victorious. (OK, I’ll admit, my ‘experiences shared’ may at times include me moping around and giving a stink-eye those in the vicinity if my team loses. Give me a break, I’m ultra-competitive and take these things personally!)

I loved and still love every single second of the football games on the field, but treasure even more the before and after. To me, Fall means spending time with friends and family while making the most of the season. Regardless of the team you support (or if you could care less about sports!) cherish the time you have when your loved ones are near! Each and every season can be that Most Wonderful Time of the Year — you simply have to find the joy in it.

I’ll finish by sharing two of my favorite tailgate munchies — one passed down from my mom and the other a gem I discovered a few years ago. 

Chili Relleno

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 or 4 green onions (1 bunch), chopped
  • 2 small cans black olives, chopped
  • 1 small can green chilies (jalapeños)
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (can be mild or hot)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot peppers

Directions

  1. Mix well, chill, and serve with tortilla chips.

Slap yo mommas  (Not condoning any actual violence, but using the colloquialism — these are just so darn good, you’ll want to….)

Ingredients

  • 1 sleeve Club crackers
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound thinly sliced bacon
  • (You can substitute a teaspoon of brown sugar or pimiento cheese for the Parmesan)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Lay the crackers face up on a large rack over a baking sheet (or broiler pan).
  3. Scoop about 1 teaspoon of the grated Parmesan (or brown sugar or pimiento cheese) onto each cracker.
  4. Cut the package of bacon in half and wrap each cheese-covered cracker with one half piece of bacon.
  5. Place the bacon-wrapped crackers onto the rack. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 2 hours.
  6. Serve immediately or at room temperature!