By Doc Lawrence
A native of Nashville, Spence was referring to the Union army retreat the after the first battle of Bull Run. “Accompanied by their beautiful women, Congressmen set up colorful tents for a fancy hillside picnic to observe the assumed destruction of General Lee’s army. Unaware of the looming defeat, party wagons-the forerunners of today’s caterers- arrived loaded with picnic baskets of gourmet food, and bottles of fine French Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. Because of the sudden panic to reach Washington’s fortified safety, the unpacked goodies were abandoned. Unloading everything from the rear of the wagons, jubilant Southern soldiers celebrated with a feast and told about the experience after the war.” Thus, says the ebullient Mr. Spence, “both the name and the tradition of tailgatin’ was born.”
Earl and Dottie Maynard are here in the lot beside the stadium with their friends and enjoying fried chicken (“Dottie’s secret recipe batter,” says Earl), grilled hanger steak along with boiled shrimp, creamed corn, sliced Grainger tomatoes and some lovely mandarin orange cake. This was served with many beverages including Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider that had a fresh sweet apple flavor and with Tennessee food became a marriage made in heaven.
The bottle of “Jack” was going down fast with each cocktail mixed by Earl.
On this day, I concluded that boxed wine deserves a place at tailgating. They are unbreakable, easy to dispose and offer surprising quality. CalNaturale is made from organically grown grapes and comes in one-liter portable containers. The Cabernet Sauvignon made some nice sangria.
NOTE:Jefferson, the revolutionary gardener, is the subject of a new book, See: