So you are invited to a tailgate. You ask the host what you should bring. The reply?
"Just yourself – and anything else you want to drink"
Pretty standard/typical default response. However, you are the type of person that feels bad not bringing something. Understandable. There are some of you out there that want to contribute and do not want to feel like a...
Fast forward a few days and you are on your way to the tailgate but make a pit-stop at the grocery store. You head right to the bakery department and grab the first container of brownies you see. Or those sugar cookies with two inches of frosting that taste good for two bites. Maybe go for a nice banana or pumpkin bread that is way too dry and has one too many walnut.
Thing is, you are probably not the only person doing this. So next thing you know, you are showing up to the tailgate and there are about ten containers of sweets that literally NO ONE will eat. Sure, it is the thought that counts, but do yourself and the host a favor and leave the deserts out of the tailgate.
For the most part – desserts at a tailgate never see the light of day because at the point in which you typically eat them is usually when one or both of the following has occurred:
Everyone is too full from all the other food
Everyone is a little too focused on downing their last beverage before heading into the game
Or, what is almost always the case – there is just no time.
Typically once the grilling is done you are probably looking at the point in time where you will probably be needing to start breaking down the tailgate to make it into the game. Trust us, the last thing the host wants to be doing is putting out a full spread of desserts that will not be touched.
But don't get us wrong – we love sugar, carbs and fat as much as the next tailgater. But there is a time and a place. And in most cases, tailgates may not be that place. Sure, there may be some kids at the tailgate whom this will be a hit for. You know, so they can get half the fudge on their face and the other half on their jersey. But desserts in general at a tailgate are not needed and are usually never thought about in a sincere sense.
"Oh let's drive to this little bakery four towns over the day before and spend thirty bucks on a homemade apple pie and gluten free non-GMO brownies..."
No, it usually goes like this...
[Day of tailgate driving to the lot] "Oh S&%T!, Diane google where closest Wegmans is so we can pick up a container of cookies..."
Now if there is something homemade and “world famous” by some stretch of the imagination, then there can be an exception. Like if you are coming with an Oreo Pie, then disregard this entire post. But if you are rolling in with a store-bought chocolate chip cookie that are not even chewy in the center - just forget about it.
For the most part, the tailgate host knows that no one will eat desserts and at the end of the day, it will make their life easier because:
that means less space taken up by unnecessary boxes
less items to clean-up/pack away
avoids them having to lie and say how they appreciate you bringing something – when in four hours it is just going into the trash.
So here is some some free advice. No one says no or turns down a nice bottle scotch or wine. This move will probably get you invited automatically to all remaining tailgates for the rest of the year. Being in the good graces of a tailgate host is sorta like being friends with someone who has a boat. Not everyone wants the responsibility and financial cost of owning a boat. That is why they always say don't buy one, just become friends with someone that owns one. But to keep being invited you need to bring something to the table after a while to earn your keep. Same thing can be said about a tailgate. Invest in a nice little 20 dollar bottle of wine and you have punched your ticket for the season.