Joe Drozda and Bob Bley are writing the third edition of The Tailgater’s Handbook which will be published in 2014. Drozda is considered the “Father of American Tailgating” by many including The Wall Street Journal. Drozda and Bley both grew up in NW Indiana and attended Indiana University together.
Finally, the Super bowl is here and guests are coming over for what should be an all-time great social gathering. Everything is planned. There’s the big championship game, but more importantly the foods are going to be memorable. Your buffet line even has little cards set out where the foods your friends are bringing will be placed to gain the main eye appeal. This day is going to be perfect. Finally, you can relax.
Wait a minute, is that the phone, or a referee’s whistle? Oh no, a friend tells you that she has become victim of NW Indiana weather and is too ill to come. Of course she and her husband’s absence will leave an empty feeling in your gathering. Worse yet, their absence will leave a couple of empty spots on your buffet table. Now things aren’t so perfect, and it’s too late to prepare something else to fill the void, right?
Not to worry. Here are some easy quick ideas that can fill the holes in your buffet table. Best of all, you can make a quick trip to the market and buy these items, put them out and people will eat and enjoy them. And your buffet won’t miss a beat, or “hut” and no one is going to throw a penalty flag.
My first suggestion is Johnsonville® Summer Sausage. We put out slices of this spicy treat at a huge Christmas party buffet that had Turkey, Ham, cakes, cookies, candy, wings and more. It was funny. Everyone ate the sausage first; even the health nuts that were present were seen making numerous trips to the sausage. Later we put a small bowl of FRENCH'S® Spicy Brown Mustard out and the group ate three long rolls of the sausage and a half bottle of the mustard. As cousin Eddie would say, “It was gooood!”
Another gap-filler is a plate of great cheeses. Try sliced Parmesan pieces from a wedge. This cheese, as a snack, has a powerful taste and will have everyone asking, “What kind of cheese is this?”
Lastly, have a silver/pewter bowl of salted Cashews. This gourmet nut will please. Buy two big sacks of these at the bulk food aisle so that you have enough to refill the bowl, many times.
Remember, it’s never too late to fill a void in the buffet line with something the guests will enjoy.