Friday5 {Tailgating Essentials}

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It has been an extremely long and painful 240 days (not that I’m counting) since Clowney came close to decapitating a Michigan football to when the Gamecocks finally took the field again last night to prove who the REAL Carolina is! Football season is finally upon us again! HALLELUJAH, PRAISE GOD!

1. Zyliss Paring Knife: This knife is awesome! So awesome that this little guy isn’t reserved just for football season; I keep it in my kitchen drawer year round. This pairing knife is super sharp and can cut pretty much anything. Its small size makes it easy to pack with all of your other tailgating essentials. It comes in a variety of fun colors (perhaps you can find one that matches your teams colors) and has a safety blade cover making it perfect for camping, picnics and tailgates. You can find these at Bed Bath & Beyond or Amazon for around $10 and make great gifts or even stocking stuffers!

2. Chill Out and About Cooling Tray Set: Tailgating in Columbia, SC must be similar to tailgating directly on the Sun or in the depths of Hell. It’s HOT. Make-up running down your face, hair sweat, drenched kind of hot. It’s not enjoyable and certainly does nothing to help your tailgate food that needs to be kept cool. The Chill Out About Cooling Tray Set is a must-have accessory. This simple design uses Tupperware-style containers to keep food at sufficiently low temperatures by filling the main container with ice and then placing the serving containers in the proper openings in the lid, you have a service station that’s just as good as any buffet and twice as easy to clean. This set is perfect for use with cold salads, dips, sauces, fruit, and any other dishes that are best served cold.  The containers are safe for refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher.

3: Rolling Cooler: A cooler on wheels is essential when bebopping from tailgate to tailgate. I think this particular cooler is  the perfect size (big enough to carry many bottles of Andre). It also has wheels and a long handle which make it easy to carry from place to place.  It  includes shoulder straps if you prefer to carry it bookbag style. The inside is fully insulated and it is heat sealed to ensure a leak proof interior lining.  The cooler also provides a zipper pouch in the front, and two mesh pockets on the side to carry SOLO cups, wine bottle opener, etc.  By the looks of it,  apparently my Florida-Gator-of-a-boyfriend even approves!

4. Freedom Grill: This grill certainly will provide your trunk or truck bed the “freedom” to fit more in it. This grill  hooks to any 2” trailer hitch receiver and features a steel arm that swings out when you grill (keeping the fire away from your vehicle) and swings back in and locks securely in place when you go down the road. The company can also personalize your grill so you can rep your favorite team. The grill starts at $250.

5. Tailgate Tent & Appropriate Decor: Again, Columbia, SC is “famously hot” and so a tailgate tent is essential to provide shade. In the south, your tailgate tent is an extension of your home and should be decorated appropriately. It is not uncommon to see decorative rugs, sofas, recliners, and flat screen tv’s. Some go as far as to bring candelabras and floral arrangements to complete the set-up.  I stumbled upon an adorable website, Go Chic, that sells trendy and sassy tailgating accessories. Go Chic sells “Chic Chandeliers” that you can customize to match your school colors. The chandelier easily attaches to your tailgate tent and comes with an extra long cord that plugs into an extension cord. Perfect accessory to ensure your tailgate party lasts late into the night!

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