Just in time for that season of moveable feasts that is tailgating, Southern Living magazine has published “The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook.”
Now you can impress your friends and be the envy of those surrounding you in the lot with recipes tailored for the Southern palate and themed for every team in the conference (even newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri).
What I liked, flipping through an advance copy, were the opening tips for using a portable charcoal grill and common sense food safety tips; recipes that were organized for whatever time of day the game started (morning, afternoon and snack time) and the team-inspired menus. There are handy tips in the margins and quotes and photos from fans and players.
Each school has a four-page introduction with a bit of school game day ritual followed by a shout-out to local eateries and traditions (it name-checks some of the popular Vista and Five Points restaurants as well as EdVenture and Riverbanks Zoo).
I do have one nit to pick – those South Carolina-inspired recipes more often than not had mainly Lowcountry ingredients (Charleston’s Magnolia Inn is referenced in the signature cupcake recipe and Lowcountry shrimp is a topping for deviled eggs). I can see it if you’re using the state as a whole, but for USC? Being located smack-in-the-middle of the state, why not barbecue pork? Or dare I say...chicken?
Well, the chicken did end up on the individual school menu: Spicy Honey-Lime Grilled Drumsticks, which sound delicious, by the way.
I also enjoy Southern Living’s signature drink recipes (Team Spritzers) for each school. So as not to be seen as condoning the use of alcohol, the recipes are virgin versions of what you’ve enjoyed all these years. And with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge, the authors promise “if you choose to make these beverages, let’s say – more spirited – the secret’s safe with us.”
Overall, this is a fine addition for any fan’s game day preparations. It IS Southern Living, y’all.