story by Dale Cullins
Editor’s note: Welcome to the second season of Tusk to Tail, a special “web reality” presentation of the tailgating experience as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together for more than a decade. Members of the Tusk to Tail Team are Sean Casey, Jack Clark, Dale Cullins, Greg Houser, Craig May, David Rice and Mark Wagner. Tusk to Tail is managed by The City Wire and is sponsored by Powerhouse Seafood and Grill Restaurant.
Link here to the Tusk to Tail introduction for the 2013 season.
Follow the crew on Twitter — @TuskToTail
Finally! Not only does Razorback nation get to enjoy an evening kickoff this Saturday against the Auburn Tigers, but we also get an Arkansas football Saturday with no threat of rain on the horizon.
It has been hard enough to endure the product the Hogs are taking to the field this season. Factor in planning for wet tailgates, though easier with our expanded tents, but enough to still cause logistical challenges for those of us trying to pull off pop-up parties without a hitch.
Tusk to Tail plans to start loading up at my house at 7:30 Saturday morning, meeting the rest of the guys at 8 a.m. at the ice machine. That should have us pouring our first John Daly cocktail in the inappropriately named Victory Village by 9 a.m.
ESPN 2 picked up this game for a 5 p.m. kickoff, so Auburn will be our second longest tailgate of the season. Around dusk we plan to pull the sides on the 20x20 foot portion of the tent. We will then turn on the portable patio heater, and let those who stay behind enjoy the warmth. What’s a little carbon monoxide between friends?
We will also throw some LED rope lighting up in the top of the tent to add some ambiance and help with take down later after the game.
Late in the season like this, most of us have eaten as much chicken and barbecue as we normally do in a year. To offset that, we are going all out with a “south of the border” menu this weekend. A full buffet of six crock pots filled with various types of chili will greet our guests. Chili recipes ranging from ground beef, ground turkey and ground chicken have been promised.
I will cater in grilled fajita chicken meat and ground beef for a simple taco bar, and we will have a full range of traditional dips and sides to include cheese dip, guacamole, cream cheese/chili dip and 7-layer dip. Numerous dessert items brought by Tusk to Tail’s members and guests are hopefully not the only sweet ending our fans see all day.
With so many crock pots, buffet warmers, a microwave, two big screen televisions, amps, and lighting, we will be pulling out all five Honda generators to power it all. That is 10,000 watts of max power and with the proper distribution of our appliances, you will hardly be able to hear any of them. Let us just hope the Hogs give us lots of reasons to be heard across the street at the stadium on Saturday.
I wanted to share with you my favorite chili recipe that my wife Kara makes for our family:
1-16 oz. can of tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion (frozen is okay)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (frozen is okay)
2 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic from a jar
1 pound of ground turkey meat (93% lean)
1 can of baked beans (undrained)
1 can of dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can of garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can of yellow hominy (rinsed and drained)
2 cans of rotel chili fixin’s (undrained)
1-24 oz. jar of salsa (mild to medium)
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
In a large pot add the turkey, onion, bell pepper, and garlic until the turkey is browned. Stir in all other ingredients. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, reduce and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with grated cheddar cheese, fresh jalapeno, sour cream and tortilla strips. Makes approximately 10 servings, and only 400 calories per serving before the cheese, sour cream and chips.