Contributor Blog Post
Client: Wayward Stock
Writing and contributing to Wayward Stock has been a good outlet for me to expand my creative writing abilities as well as write about topics I am personally interested in.
Contribution: Words and Photos
Originally Published: 7/9/15
THE JOY OF COOKING: TAILGATING
When most people think of tailgating, it’s usually a pre-game activity involving keg cups, hot dogs, and color-coordinated face paint, but we see it more as a mobile outdoor dining experience. There is something about pulling off the highway, finding a quiet spot next to a river, and cooking up a quick lunch that is much more satisfying than any supersizing any drive-thru meal. Whether mowing down after a surf session, taking a break from skiing and riding, or grabbing a midday bite on a road trip, tailgating is cheaper, healthier, and way more fun than succumbing to fast food giants.
While you could stop and grab a footlong sub and eat it standing next to your car and technically be tailgating, here are a few pointers we’ve collected that will make your next experience richer and much more enjoyable.
Propane Stove - Not always necessary for a meal, but having a small backpacking stove allows you to boil water quickly for coffee, different noodle dishes, or even one of those freeze-dried backpacking meals. Busting out a larger, two burner propane stove lets you get even more gourmet, bringing grilled cheeses, quesadillas, or even an entire plate of bacon within reach. There is something about hot food on a cold day that does wonders for both body and mind.
Cooler - For most camping and road trips, a cooler is a no-brainer, but bringing one surfing, hiking, or snowboarding is just smart. With a little preparation and planning the night before, you can make some great food and cut down on the time it takes in the field. Just make sure to get some ice to keep your food from going bad.
Coffee Kit - Nothing is better than taking a break and enjoying a cup of jo. Far from gritty instant coffee, contraptions like the Aeropress and a french press make brewing high quality coffee on the go easy while keeping you away from gas station gut-bombs.
Other Beverages - By no means would we ever condone drinking and driving, but if you’re not driving, have a beer or three during lunch. That’s not illegal is it? If you’re driving, just use your best judgement. We’re not dumb, but we’re not squares either.
Food - Of course you’re gonna need food, but where you get that food makes all the difference. Locating fresh ingredients at a mini mart in the middle of nowhere can be as hard as finding a designated driver at a Phish concert. Make a point to stop at a grocery store and stock up on some fresh ingredients, a simple addition that will make even the quickest of lunches taste better.
Basic Utensils - You’d be surprised what you can cook up with only a folding knife, fork, can opener, and bottle opener, but bringing some basic stuff like a spatula, spoons, Sriracha, and paper towels makes everything much easier.
Doing Dishes - One of the key strategies with tailgating, or camping for that matter, is to use as few dishes as possible and be as clean as possible. Most of the time, a good wipe with a paper towel before things have a chance to dry is good enough, but carrying a little bottle of Dr. Bronner’s detergent is a good call to help prevent food poisoning, a shitty way to end any adventure.
While tailgating, you’re more than welcome to be as basic as you want, or get all Bobby Flay on it. The types of food you like, the amount of time you’re willing to invest, where you choose to partake, that’s all up to you.