Ramblings
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Tailgating Party Kit Giveaway


This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board as part of the Tailgating with Pork and Kroger Program. Score big at your next tailgate party with Kroger – from tailgating to backyard BBQs, game day gatherings with friends and family can be simply delicious with juicy, tender and versatile pork – the MVP of championship-worthy spreads this fall season.


The National Pork Board and Kroger sponsored my tailgate! I loaded up on beer, snacks, and pork at Kroger, spent Saturday afternoon skewering kebabs, and left for the Cleveland Muni lot really early in the morning to tailgate with my brothers and some friends.
This was Ben’s first trip to a live Browns game, and his first exposure to the Muni lot crowd. It’s…um….quite a slice of humanity. We got to the lot at 7AM. I still needed my thermos of coffee, but some of our fellow tailgaters had moved on to harder beverages already.

Panoramic view of the Muni lot on a Browns Sunday (click for larger version)

My brother Pat (the lawyer) fired up my Weber Q and started breakfast – breakfast burritos with sausage and brats were on tap (Ben went with a breakfast bratwurst wrapped in a tortilla – he’s only twelve, and he’s a natural tailgater). We threw the football around, debated our chances for the day (surprisingly optimistic, considering we’re a bunch of Browns fans), and watched the real die-hards stream by. I’m a huge Browns fan. I live and die by their results on Sundays – die, usually – but I felt like an amateur compared to some of the fans.
Favorite Ben quote of the day: “Dad! Some of these people are drunk! Are you drunk?” No son, I’m not. It’s only 9AM. But, let’s see how the game goes this afternoon. I may need to drown my sorrows.

We know our own strengths, though – we aren’t amateurs when it comes to food. My brother Matt (the doctor) has been organizing us for years at Ohio State and Notre Dame tailgates. While Pat worked on breakfast, his friend Ricco and I got the Weber Kettle set up with the rotisserie and started a long-cooking shoulder roast. Then we relaxed, had a beverage or two, and waited for Pat to finish breakfast.
Pat invited a big crowd, and it took a while for two cast iron skillets to heat up on the Weber Q. But it was worth it – the breakfast burritos were fabulous.

After breakfast came more football tossing, another beverage, and then it was my turn at the grill. The pork shoulder kebabs worked perfectly. They’re relaxing to cook – pork shoulder can always grill a little longer, which is good when I get distracted by, say, educating Ben on the history of Browns quarterbacks.
In my lifetime: Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe, and then a string of has-beens and never-weres.

Kebabs come with a built in handle – easy to grab and eat. And there are even some vegetables wedged in there between the pork cubes. Vegetables – that means it’s healthy, right? When the kebab is done, the bamboo skewer goes in the garbage bag. After a few skewers of pork, it’s time for another beverage. Maybe this one should be a bottle of water – don’t want to get dehydrated and burn out too early.


Reminder: the National Pork Board and Kroger are still hosting their Pin to Win contest – go to the Tailgating with Pork and Kroger pinterest board, repin a recipe from the board. Like, say, my pork shoulder kebabs recipe? I’m sad to say it has not been repinned, not even once. I feel so unloved. OK, I’m over myself. If you repin a recipe (even if it’s not mine), you’re in the running to win a $250 Kroger gift card. The rules are pinned here. Now, back to our original commercial from this commercial break…


Game time! We loaded our coolers into the van, folded up the Weber Q grill, and joined the sea of bodies heading towards the stadium. Ben joined in the “Here we go Brownies, Woof Woof!” chants, and I worried about some of the other language he was learning when a (pick one: brave/oblivious/suicidal) Bengals fan was spotted.

Shock of shocks – the Browns won! Whohoo! And, while we were stuck in traffic, waiting to leave the parking lot, we listened to the Indians secure a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. I don’t know how to deal with success as a sports fan, really I don’t.
I try to live in the moment, and enjoy a victory. But in the back of my head is the voice that says: If they win today, it’s only because it will hurt more when they lose tomorrow.


The Giveaway

So, that’s my tailgating experience. To help you join in the tailgating fun, it is time for the giveaway! The National Pork Board and Kroger grocery stores gave me a tailgating party kit to give to one of my lucky readers.

The kit consists of:

Soft sided cooler

18“ x 12” x 10″, with a handy bottle opener attached to a pull-out tether.

Instant Read Thermometer

A big help for the big roast. (It was huge, and took a lot longer than we thought it would to cook.)

Portable grill

Comes with its own carrying case. It’s cute. And tiny. I have to admit – I left this mini-grill at home. I just bought a Weber Q for tailgating, and I wanted to play with my new toy.

To Enter

Leave a comment on my blog, telling us about your favorite tailgating experience.
Note: on the blog, please. If you’re reading this on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or some new social media that I’m too old to have heard of, please click through on the attached link to DadCooksDinner.com to enter.

The Fine Print

One entry per person, and please make sure there is some way I can get in touch with you through the comment – if I can’t contact you to find out where to ship the prize, you can’t win. The comment has to be in the “Tailgating Party Kit Giveaway” post on DadCooksDinner.com.

Emails, entries on my Facebook page, retweets, and illuminated manuscripts rolled up and stuffed in my mailbox will not be considered for the drawing. Only entries from North America will be accepted.

Entries will be closed at 9PM EST on Sunday, October 6th, and I will randomly select the winner at that point. The winner will be announced Monday the 7th. If I am unable to contact the winner by Wednesday the 9th, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck!

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Filed under: Ramblings

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Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

16 Comments

  1. koalkracker says

    My Favorite tailgating experience was at a Penn State game last year. I was able to go with my wife and two sons, along with a friend who is an alumni. We spent the morning and afternoon having a great time, tossing football and people watching. My friend is a great b-b-q chef and I enjoyed both his cooking and the product he created. This kit would help me in my quest to join him at that level of expertise!

  2. Patrick says

    I used to tailgate a lot at AutoX events at Giant’s Stadium. We made some crazy stuff. One time, we made this huge pot of chili in the parking lot with camping stoves. LOL!

  3. John K. says

    These days my “tailgating” occurs on my deck, and my neighbors deck! Sunday it was smoked chicken wings — some made by my neighbor Ray, and some by me. The only thing better than the wings was the sweet taste of a Brown’s victory!!!

  4. Dave Whittaker says

    My favorite tailgate was on a boat in the harbor behind the Rock Hall and Science Center. It was a beautiful 80 degree September day and the Browns even managed to win.

  5. Heather Hayes Panjon says

    My Favorite Tailgating Experience Was When I Was 9, I Went Down To The Ohio State University Spring Game With My Family, The Atmosphere Was ELECTRIC! , The Sights, Sounds And The Aroma Of Grill’s Fired- Up Was The Best Experience Ever! I Was Forever Hooked On Football And Tailgating… And Found My Obsession For Grilled Foods That Year! Email: hthr83heather (at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. MikeT29 says

    My favorite tailgate was at the Rose Bowl before a UCLA/USC game. An alumni friend had tickets to the game, which is always a sellout. The atmosphere was fun and festive, lots of great smells in the air and people tossing footballs and generally having a good time.

  7. Big Daddy Mac says

    My favorite tailgating experience actually occurs in my living room, prior to, during and after Notre Dame football games. It always consists of wings, fries, some kind of sausage, ribs and plent of cold frosty beverages. I’ve been a lifelong Irish fan and our “tailgating”. brings back fond meomories of watching games with my Dad. I’ve happily passed on the tailgating tradition to my family and with any luck the love of the Fightin’ Irish!

  8. sharonjo2 says

    My favorite tailgating was at a college game about 3 years ago when my alma mater (South Dakota State University) played Nebraska in Lincoln. Cornhuskers fans are wildly loyal and enthusiastic! Of course it was a real David and Goliath game, but tons of fun nevertheless. Thanks!
    sharonjo at gwtc dot net

  9. Ranger Rick says

    My favorite tailgating experience is recreated in the backyard of my farm here in MN for the Super Bowl. We usually line up our trucks, etc. bundle up and have a great time making all the usual grill munchies and foods featuring wild game predominantly. Keeping beverages cold is never an issue!

  10. susitravl says

    Never had more fun tailgating than at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, KS. Everyone shares food and throws balls, frisbees to each other – it’s like being with thousands of friends.

  11. carogonza says

    When we lived in State College, we went to the Penn State game one day with friends. We weren’t going to tailgate but we ended up hitting up about 12 different tailgate parties just walking to the stadium. It was nuts but so much fun

  12. I’ve never been tailgating at a game, but we have gone to a neighbors and sat on our tailgates in the driveway while we grilled and drank beer. That count? 🙂

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  13. Terry says

    While not technically tailgating my wife and I go to a friend’s house for a monthly game night. It doesn’t take long for the married men to all wind up around the grill on the back porch talking about anything and everything. teferrell@gmail.com

  14. Whitney Lindeman says

    Best tailgating experience I have ever had was in St. Louis, before a Rams game…back when they were good! 🙂

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