“Tailgating is a special time in our family, especially with both our children (at Clemson.) We get to know their college friends and enjoy a part of campus life with them,” Virginia Harrison said. She and her husband, Lane, are both Clemson alumni.
“Tailgating is more than just bringing and sharing wonderful food. It is an Allen family event. My husband and I began tailgating together as Clemson students,” said Melissa Allen, who, along with her husband, Wade, are also Clemson alumni. “Our children are privy to hearing funny and embarrassing stories about their parents as students from the many friends that stop by. Building those memories has added a strong and special bond to our family fabric.”
Both families claim 12 degrees each from Clemson, and all of their children are either graduates or current students: Will Harrison (class of 2012 and member of the Tigers football team) and Caroline Harrison (class of 2015) and Michael Allen (class of 2009), Sarah Beth Allen (class of 2011) and Taylor Allen (class of 2014.)
Harrison and Allen, suitemates at Clemson, tailgate together with their families on occasion. They share an easy menu to make any tailgate a success.
“This menu works well for a tailgate because it is ready to serve — no prep work necessary. Straight from the cooler to the table gives us more time to visit with family and friends and get to the game on time,” Harrison said.
“Over the years, I have created many menus that are delicious but don’t keep well or are too complicated to share. We have over 60 students and adults attend our Clemson tailgates, and this menu is an ideal fit for everyone to eat and for the adults to prepare,” Allen said.
Without a doubt, the menu is “pawty” perfect. “These recipes are all family favorites and crowd pleasers,” Harrison said.
“We are thrilled to pass down our love of this special tradition. Tailgating is just better in the South,” Allen said.
Tiger Paw-sta Salad 1 16-ounce package bow tie pasta
1 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
Good Seasons Garlic and Herb Salad Dressing mix, prepared according to directions
1 ounce package fresh basil, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions, adding asparagus during last 2 minutes of cooking time.
Drain and rinse under cool water. Stir together dressing and fresh basil, adding juice from lemon.
Combine all ingredients and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
No-Penalty Pumpkin Dip “The pumpkin dip is from an Auburn friend and the dessert bar recipe is from a Gamecock friend, so here in the South we all share yummy recipes.” — Virginia Harrison 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powered sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin pie filling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed. Add pie filling, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Cover and chill 8 hours. Serve with thin gingersnaps.
Death Valley Delights 2 cups quick oats
1½ cups plain flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ cups plain M&M's
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Additional M&M’s in school colors for decorating
Combine first 6 ingredients, mix well. Add melted butter and mix until mixture resembles course crumbs. Reserve 1½ cups of oat mixture.
Press remaining oat mixture into greased 13x9x2 pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Heat oil in non-stick skillet on stove and add 1 cup M&M’s. Stir and press pieces with back of spoon. Remove from heat and stir in condensed milk.
Spread this mixture over partially baked oak crust. Combine reserved oat mixture (1½ cups) and M&M’s (½ cup) and sprinkle on top. Decorate with additional M&Ms on top if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into bars.
Blue Cheese Dip (From Allen’s great-aunt who attended Clemson)
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
6 ounce crumbled blue cheese
Stir all ingredients together. Keep covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Makes 1½ cup. Serve with fresh vegetables.
Clemson Caviar 3 cans black eyed peas
2 cans black beans
2 cans Mexican corn
3 cups yellow and red peppers, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup sugar
1/8 cup olive oil
½ cup cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves chopped
4 teaspoons hot sauce
Drain and rinse peas, beans and corn. Chop and combine vegetables. Combine ingredients for marinade.
Microwave marinade for 30 seconds to dissolve sugar. Mix marinade and vegetables overnight. Serve with chips.
Melissa’s Homemade Biscuits (for use with Ham)
“I dare you to find a better a ingredient biscuit recipe. This one is a 10.” — Melissa Allen.
4 cup White Lily Self-Rising Flour*
3 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix ingredients together in large bowl with your hands and form into a ball.
Turn onto floured surface. Roll to about ½ inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter or juice glass.
Bake on greased cookie sheet for 8 minutes at 500 degrees.
Make ham-biscuits by slicing biscuit and adding ham. Serve with favorite condiments.
* Use other brand at your own risk!