Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have a Hotty Toddy Christmas!

I'm sure every Ole Miss fan is asking Santa for the same thing this year: a winning Rebel football season. Santa seems to have brought us a promising new coach, so hopefully this coming season will be a fresh start for our Rebs!
Christmas is just like another Grove party in Oxford. Driving down South Lamar and around the square, you see beautiful historical homes adorned with Christmas lights, wreaths, and other decor that is absolutely Grove worthy. Christmas parties are hosted almost every night, with silver platters and beautiful decorations that are equally as elaborate as seen in The Grove. Rebel fans pull out all the stops for games, and that is equally carried out during the Christmas season.
Wishing you and all the Ole Miss family a very Hotty Toddy Christmas!

Hotty Toddy Shout-Outs

Here's a few Hotty Toddy Shout-Outs I'd like to give to some other blog posts and articles I've read on The Grove and Ole Miss tailgating recently:
This Ole Miss belle's post about gameday in The Grove is a great description of a Rebel football day from the view of a female. 
"Tailgating Off the Back Fender" - Okay, this guy obviously didn't get the memo about the "Southern Class and Charm" of The Grove, but his article is hilarious! He tailgated off the back of his motorcycle! I would have loved to see this. 
Here's a Rebels themed party! This Ole Miss belle did a fantastic job! You could definitely use some of these ideas for a tailgate in The Grove!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ole Miss Tailgating 101: The Tent

The most basic and essential part of tailgating in The Grove is having a tent. The Friday night before a home game, fans line up on the outskirts of The Grove, waiting to get the signal to begin setting up their tents. Tents and other tailgating items are not allowed to be brought into The Grove before 9:00pm. During the day, you will see people standing in random spots throughout The Grove, holding the place that they want to place their tent.
But setting up the tent doesn't end at getting it into The Grove. People decorate their tents almost as nicely as they do their own homes. Elements such as chandeliers and curtains can be seen adorning many of these tents. I think the curtains add a nice elegant touch. Yes, they are a little bit extravagant for a football tailgate... but hey, this is Ole Miss, extravagant is what we do best!
I'm a big fan of damask print fabric curtains! The large bows also give the curtains a little something extra, and add a little more flair to the tent.
I like this more "square" style of a curtain. It gives the tent a little more of a closed-in feeling, and really transforms the tent into a more elegant atmosphere.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tailgate Treats: Cake Pops

Now I don't mean to brag, but our Grove Tent has come to be known for one thing: Cake Pops. Cake Pops are the new fad in bakery goods, and let me tell you, they are to die for! They aren't the easiest to make though, and it takes a lot of practice until you really get a system down (trust me, I'm still figuring it out!) This is the tutorial I used to learn to make the basic Cake Pop. Here's a few of the fun ones I've made for The Grove!
These were vanilla cake pops, with chocolate coating. I just used some white pipping icing to make them look like footballs. The base is a pie of styrofoam that I painted to look like the Vaught-Heminway field.
These seemed to be everyone's favorite! They were carrot cake with vanilla coating, and I used red pipping icing to make them look like helmets and jerseys! So much fun!

Football Food: Breakfast in the Grove

Morning games are always a little more tricky then evening games. You have to wake-up early,  which is particularly difficult if you spent to much time on the square the night before. You have to adjust your cocktails, usually bloody marys, mimosas, and screwdrivers are seen in The Grove on a morning game day. And most importantly, you have to make a breakfast spread for your fellow fans to enjoy. Here's a couple breakfast foods I've made to get my fellow Grovers up and ready to cheer on the Rebels!
Breakfast Biscuit Muffin
These can be made using a variety of different ingredients. The ones above are made with bacon, but I've also used sausage. Here's the basic ingredients:
-Bisquick mix
-large eggs
-shredded cheese (I usually use sharp cheddar)
-breakfast meat of choice (bacon, sausage, etc)
Start by making your Bisquick mix like you would make regular biscuits. Let the dough sit covered while you scramble some eggs. Add shredded cheese to the scrambled eggs with a little salt and pepper. Grease a muffin pan. Roll the Bisquick into balls, then press the Bisquick into the muffin tins, leaving a dip in the middle of the cup. Fill the cup with the egg and cheese mixture. Now top with your breakfast meat of choice, and back according to the Bisquick directions. And now you have an easy yummy breakfast food for The Grove!
Cinnamon Roll Muffins/Cupcakes
I'm a huge fan of simple and easy when it comes to game day food, but of course you want it to be yummy! Now some of you ambitious few might decide to make your own cinnamon rolls from scratch for this one, but I prefer to just use a roll of good old fashioned Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. All you have to do is line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, pop the cinnamon rolls into the tins, and bake! Super easy! I've also tried this with orange rolls, and they were a big hit!

Football Food: Pizza Pinwheels

The tents and chandeliers might add the charm and class to The Grove, but no Ole Miss tailgate is complete without a spread of delicious appetizers and treats for fans to dine on. Pizza Pinwheels are one of my favorite football foods to make for The Grove!
Pizza Pinwheels
-Roll of Pre-Made Pizza Dough
-Pepperoni (or other meat of choice)
-Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
-Can of Pizza Sauce
-Italian Seasoning (garlic salt, oregano, etc)
This is a really simple recipe that everyone loves! These turn out best if you pre-make the pizza roll the night before, and pop in it the oven the morning of the game. Roll out your can of pizza dough. I like to roll it a little thinner than it comes already rolled out. Next spread a thin layer of pizza sauce onto the dough (just like your making a pizza). Sprinkle some cheese onto the pizza (not too much, remember you have to roll it). Add your pepperoni (or meat of choice), and top with as much (or as little) Italian Seasoning as you'd like. Now roll the dough from the longest side (hotdog style for those of you remember elementary school!). Now pop it in the fridge for the night. 
The morning of the game slide the roll in small pinwheels, about and 1-1 1/2 inches thick. You can either lay the pinwheels flat on a cookie sheet, or place them in muffin tins, just make sure you grease either one! Now bake according to the pizza crust directions. Serve with a side of pizza sauce, and your tent will for sure be a hit!

Ole Miss Tailgating 101: History of the Grove

The Grove is quite possibly the most recognized landmark of The University of Mississippi. It is a large 10 acre field in the middle of campus, beautifully landscaped with large oak trees. The Grove is a beautiful place for a picnic or spring-time outing, but during football season The Grove transforms into the ultimate tailgating party.
In the first few seasons of Rebel football, the Grove was used by sorority and fraternities on campus as an informal get-together. In the 1950's other fans caught on, and soon The Grove became part of the pre-game tradition. Today The Grove is no longer an "informal gathering." On the contrary, the true "Grovers" bring out all their formal wear, from silver platters on the tables to chandeliers hung in the tents. And let's not forget about the ladies of Ole Miss. The women also dress to the nines, with elegant sundresses and high heels that just make your feet hurt by looking at them. 
Fans in The Grove dine on delicious appetizers, and drink their "adult beverages" out of red solo cups. After everyone has indulged themselves, the football team walks along the honored Walk of Champions. The Walk stretches from the student union across The Grove. Fans line up to shake the hands of players and coaches, and wish them good luck in the game. After this event, fans walk to the stadium to enjoy the Ole Miss Rebels take on their opponent. However, most fans only make it through the first half of the game, and return to the Grove to "win the party" at halftime.  
The Grove has been ranked the number one tailgating spot in the country by ESPN and Sports Illustrated, and was named "Most Beautiful" by Newsweek. An Ole Miss Journalism Alum, Alex McDaniel, is now working for Parade Magazine in New York. she has written many articles on The Grove and Ole Miss traditions. You can find some of her work here.