Story by Lyda Kay Ferree, The Southern Lifestyles Lady. Photography courtesy of Photographer Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey; and Prop Stylist: Mindi Shapir Levine; Image by Time Inc. Food Studios; Photograph: Linda Pugliese, Prop and Food Stylists: Time Inc. Food Studios; University of Kentucky; Michael Hickey/Getty. Recipe excerpted from “The All-New Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook” by the Editors of Southern Living. Copyright ©2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
“The All-New Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook,” by the Editors of “Southern Living,” is the ultimate guide to game day with 150+ crave-worthy tailgating recipes, including those specifically developed for each of the 14 NCAA Southeastern Conference football teams.
From Alabama to Vanderbilt, each SEC team is profiled with information on school traditions, iconic football moments, legendary coaches and players, and photos. In the “Tent Talk” sidebars, you’ll find fascinating football trivia to quiz your fellow tailgaters.
As you flip through the pages, you’ll discover a menu of four recipes, plus a customized spritzer, jalapeno popper, and whoopee pie for each team. No matter where your team loyalties lie, you can prepare dishes perfectly suited for game day, including Loaded Potato Skins for Kentucky Wildcats (page 94). With this tailgating cookbook in hand, you’ll take your tailgates to biblical levels.
Recently I spoke with April Colburn, Assistant Editor, Meredith Corporation, about “The All-New Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook.”
VIP: There are so many tailgating cookbooks on the market now. What sets your book apart from the rest?
April Colburn: There are so many features that sets “The All-New Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook” apart from other tailgating cookbooks.
First, this cookbook is officially endorsed by the SEC conference. Unlike other books out there, the SEC schools themselves have given this book their stamp of approval.
Second, in addition to dozens of mouthwatering tailgating recipes that are good for any occasion and fan, we also include team-specific recipes for each of the 14 SEC schools. All Southerners love a menu that’s perfectly suited to the occasion, and all hard-core SEC football fans love foods that reflect their teams, so for each SEC team, we give a menu of 4 recipes plus 3 bonus, custom-created recipes: a spritzer, jalapeno popper (as an appetizer), and whoopie pie for dessert. You’ll never again have to wonder what to make for game day!
Third, the book has a tabletop-decorating component. For each of the SEC teams, we give a full-spread image of a tablescape that’s decked out with school-themed décor and that displays the team recipes. These gorgeous tablescape images show what tablecloths, dishes, centerpieces, and more to use to make your table ready for game day. Simple tips on top of the image show how to pull together the festive look.
Next, each of the SEC schools is profiled with information on iconic coaches and players, historic games and traditions, and photos. These profiles will delight both long-time, nostalgic fans as well as new fans looking to learn more about the SEC conference.
Furthermore, football trivia is given throughout the book in sidebar features. The information is given in Q&A or True/False format, which makes for fun games to play with family or friends either in the kitchen while you cook or at the tailgate while you eat. All the trivia answers are in the back of the book.
Also, Paul Finebaum, with whom most SEC fans are familiar—he’s a southern sports authority who hosts both radio and television shows on the SEC Television Network—has written the foreword for the book. As an expert on SEC football and a humorous and witty writer, Finebaum’s foreword is just as entertaining as you’d expect.
VIP: Are there any new tailgating trends this season?
AC: Homegating—many people prefer to tailgate from the comfort of their living rooms and backyards rather than traveling each week to the stadium. While many recipes in this cookbook may be made stadium-side, there are also recipes included that call for the stovetop or oven, making them perfect recipes for homegating. The team-specific recipes and festival school tablescapes in the book help to keep the atmosphere spirited.
What I like to call “easy-chic”—This trend expresses tailgaters’ desire to make their spread of tailgate foods and the tailgating table look collected and themed without spending a ton of money or time doing so. The tablescapes in our book show exactly how to achieve that balance—a fun and put-together look yet one that is uncomplicated. Plus, the school tablescapes can easily be adapted to accommodate whatever materials your readers have on hand. They may purchase new pieces that they can use each game day, or they can use what they already have on hand or borrow from a neighbor—the choice is theirs.
As always, anything specific to one’s team of choice is “in.” Not only do fans love flashing tents, chairs, coolers, and more emblazoned with their team logos, they also want foods that communicate their game-day devotion and school spirit. The menus and school-customized bonus recipes allow fans to make foods that highlight iconic flavors and dishes from their school’s region or, in some cases, showcase their team’s colors.
VIP: Share an overview of the SEC Tailgating Cookbook with our readers.
AC: This is an all-new version of the original top-selling tailgating cookbook from “Southern Living” that came out in 2012. This new edition offers 100% new content—all new recipes and images. Readers will find all of their favorite features from the first book in revamped glory. This includes profiles of each of the 14 SEC member schools; more than 150 delicious game-day recipes, including recipes for each school; expert tailgating advice; and beautiful photography (there are close to 250 full-color images throughout the book)—plus a brand new tailgate decorating guide.
First, turn to pages 5 and 6 and look at the Table of Contents and page on How to Use This Book. These pages will explain to readers exactly what’s in the book, how the book is organized, and how to navigate it.
The book begins with a chapter on helping readers prep for a successful day of tailgating, giving advice on food safety, grilling, tailgating supplies; there’s a checklist of what to bring so tailgaters don’t forget anything-and even a list of Southern manners to keep in mind that will charm opponents if not defeat them. This manners section is called the Ten Commandments of Tailgating and is written in light-hearted style. The recipe chapters follow. These include breakfast and brunch; drinks; snacks and appetizers; soups, stews, and chilies; main dishes; side dishes; and desserts. With each recipe chapter in addition to recipes, readers will find two of the SEC schools profiled with photos; quick facts, stories that highlight iconic coaches and players and legendary game and traditions; and finally the full-spread image of the decorated school table and menu….
Throughout the book, readers will find interesting football trivia in sidebars. The facts are presented in Q&A and True/False format, and the answers are all located in the back of the book. All of these features make this a must-have cookbook for SEC football fanatics, sports lovers of all kinds, and simply anyone who enjoys eating delicious food among friends.
VIP: Talk about the recipes in this tailgating cookbook.
AC: We developed all these recipes to make sure that they fit the bill for being crave-worthy dishes that fans truly can make on game day—either in the comfort of their own kitchens or at the tailgate site….We took inspiration for each menu from foods that that school or region of the South is known for. For example, on the Kentucky menu, you’ll find a recipe for Game-Day Hot Brown Turkey Sliders. A hot brown is a sandwich that originated in Kentucky…. In some cases the foods reflect the school colors. This is best seen in the customized school spritzers and jalapeno poppers.
Not all the recipes in this book belong to a school menu. There are plenty of other fantastic all-purpose tailgating recipes, such as Sweet Potato Bread Pudding Cups, Sausage-Cheese Dip, Cranberry-Apple Breakfast Crumble, and Wonder Wings.
What to Know
“The All-New Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook” may be found wherever books are sold, including Amazon, B&N (Barnes & Noble), Books-a-Million, Dillard’s, and Walmart.com. The book is available in some Walmart stores (such as TN, but not KY).
The book makes a fantastic gift for anyone, especially newlyweds who love football, a recent college grad, and that superfan in your life who’s always talking about college football. It would make a great Christmas present or Father’s Day gift.