Tailgating with Y'all Taste This: Out of Africa
When our team’s opening two games of the season ended in heartbreaking losses, we rallied and reminded ourselves that we still have tailgating.
Over the years, we’ve experienced our fair share of tough seasons, but we’ve never failed at food and fellowship. Quite frankly, our tailgating family never stops planning future events and reminiscing about our best, quirkiest, and most outrageous game day gatherings. That’s what happens when six somewhat overachieving, sometimes overbearing, and always open to friendly competition friends become a tailgate family.
In early summer, we have a planning meeting so we can begin planning our menus, cocktails, games, and shenanigans for the season. After a few years of burgers, brats, and barbecue, we decided to change up our themes a bit and challenge ourselves to be more creative.
For this season, our theme is THE CONTINENTS. With six home games and seven continents, we debated which continent to ditch. In the end, it came down to the Antarctic or North America. Antarctica lost the battle, and North America made the list with a caveat that the menus for North America must be themed around countries other than the United States.
On Saturday, September 14, we arrived at Hard Rock Stadium for the first home game believing that our team would finally add a win to this season’s record and knowing that our tailgate would be the winningest part of the day. We chose Africa for our season-opener, and everyone found a way to embrace the theme in their assigned roles.
We began with Tej, a homemade honey wine popular in Ethiopia, and black-eyed pea fritters with tomato-chile dipping sauce. Years ago, when I wrote the Y’all Taste This blog, I discovered the black-eyed pea fritters that I love from La Camaronera in Little Havana are rooted in Senegalese tradition, and I knew we had to include them in this tailgate.
Our second course of Kik Alicia (yellow split-pea stew) from Ethiopia accompanied a card game from Africa, Thunee. That’s right…our friends responsible for games researched African card games online, found Thunee, learned the game, and even rewrote the game directions as cheat sheets for us when they deemed the web instructions too confusing.
For the main course, we crisscrossed the continent in order to check off the boxes for North, South, and East. We served boerewors sausage and homemade chapati alongside three North African salads: grilled eggplant, roasted red pepper with preserved lemon, and spicy carrot.
As a side note, we were delighted to discover that South Florida has a sausage shop specializing in South African sausages and groceries, Dutchy’s Gourmet Sausages in Plantation, Florida. We ordered the boerewors from them, and we also tried their curry chicken sausages at home. I highly recommend! The drinks kept flowing with some Moroccan-spiced Old Fashioneds and a few stouts and porters.
Finally, we reached dessert, not exactly a typical tailgate course, but for Africa, I knew I wanted to challenge myself to recreate the Malva Pudding from nemesis, and admittedly, I came pretty close. I returned to my Instagram and Twitter archives to find photos and descriptions to ensure that I didn’t miss the little details.
This is an occasion for which we “suffered” through a practice round at home so I could make sure I had a plan for getting it right on the road. So, we had malva pudding with amarula sauce, piri piri caramel, and rooibos ice cream. Without question, the most ambitious tailgate dessert we’ve attempted…and we ate every bite!
All in all, our first home game of the season proved to be one for the books. Our team finally picked up their first win for the season, and our tailgate team turned out a peak performance. I look forward to traveling the world as we delve into the other continents in the next five home games.
Look for us at the next University of Miami home game and come say Hello and see what continent we are visiting next.