Since I have international readers, I want to explain what happens at an American "tailgate." Fans of the football team arrive at the stadium 3-4 hours before the game starts to have an outdoor party in the area behind their car. Rows and rows of families have casual parties that blend into each other. People grill, throw a football around and listen to sports radio in a relaxed atmosphere before they head into the stadium to watch the game.
I have to say, a lot of planning went into having "the perfect tailgate" at Michigan State's homecoming game this year. My Dad had a new Coleman "Road Trip" grill and since this was its maiden voyage, I thought we should cook on it twice! In the days leading up to Homecoming, we joked that this was the agenda:
9:00 arrive and park outside the football stadium
9:30 - 10:30 breakfast
12 noon kickoff
In truth, that is exactly what we did! First we cooked French Toast on a griddle pan (thanks, Kim!). We served it with maple syrup, fresh fruit and hot coffee. I used a football stadium serving platter and MSU Spartan napkins to add some spirit.
Then we grilled bratwurst and hot dogs for a lunch! Somehow, eleven family members managed to eat 2 meals in 2 hours. We had a great parking spot, perfect weather and my dear family all crowded around the new grill. So much fun! Here is my successful outdoor French Toast recipe:
Anne's "Outdoor" French Toast
1 loaf Italian white bread
Stick of unsalted butter
2 teaspoons table salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 cups whole milk
Log Cabin syrup (I know! but I love it)
Preparation at home:
Open a large plastic rectangular food storage container with a reliable lid. In it, whisk together the eggs, salt, sugar and milk. Seal and place in an ice-filled cooler.
Preheat the grill. Place the non-griddle pan onto the grill.
When you are ready to make the French Toast, put a few butter pats on the griddle to melt. Place 2 piece of bread into the egg mixture. Turn to coat all sides, then remove from egg bath with a slotted spatula. Place bread in a single layer on the griddle. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Repeat until you have 6 slices cooking. Turn slices over (with a different spatula - clean and nonstick). When bread is golden brown, the French Toast is ready to eat! Have your guests approach the grill when they are ready and serve the hot French Toast slices right onto their plate. Serve with butter, Log Cabin (or real maple syrup) and fresh fruit. Yum!
P.S. Everything tastes better outside!