When I moved to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle, I was happy about the wealth of division I football in the area. Sure, none of the teams in the area are national powerhouses (although UNC and NC State both broke into the top 25 rankings before slipping out) but they are big universities with big university atmosphere and stadiums.
You can imagine my excitement as the date to the NC State / Boston College game drew closer. The previous week I witnessed my first big college football game at NC State’s Carter-Finley stadium where the Wolf pack blew a huge lead, their undefeated record and top 25 ranking against Virginia Tech.
My anticipation was heightened because I had been mentally preparing what to cook for the tailgate (for days leading up to the big event). The plan was to make Moink Balls, ribs, sausage kabobs, and fresh guacamole all while consuming beer and jello shots through plastic syringes. Due to meticulous planning and preparation the car was packed and ready to go early Saturday morning. When our friends Tec and Emily arrived we hit the road towards Carter-Finley Stadium.
When we arrived at the stadium, my eagerness led me to nearly mow down a State Trooper after asking him where I could park. In my opinion of the incident he was half to blame for sending me mixed signals, Serena would disagree and lay most of the blame on my childlike enthusiasm and impatience.
It was a perfect sunny day and after immersing ourselves in way too much food and drink, we migrated towards the stadium in a sea of red and white. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric as state put the smack down on the golden eagles.
I am starting to think Serena is a jumbo-tron magnet as this is the second sporting event that she has made it on the big screen(and I ended up being that guy trying to squeeze into the picture looking the wrong way). This time her two-minute dance in the aisle to the marching band in her Halloween mask (it was way before Halloween) during a timeout was enough to solicit the camera’s attention. When we walked through the parking lot at half-time I can’t tell you how many times we heard “hey it’s the girl who was dancing on the jumbo-tron”.
We had a great day at the stadium combining two of my favorite things, tailgating and football. Nothing beats the warm sun on your face, a cold beer in your hand, while the intoxicating smell of grilled meats emits from grills near and far. The weather is getting cooler and while I am not sure how many more good tailgate we will get in it won’t stop us from making a tailgate atmosphere at our place on the weekends.
Below is the recipe for Moink Balls for you try at your next tailgate:
1 package of raw bacon
1lb ground beef
1lb ground pork
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tbls worchestershire sauce
1 tbls dried parsley
1 tbls dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
your favorite bbq sauce
Combine all ingredients (except bacon) in a bowl and mix well.
Pack 1/4 cup of meat mixture into measuring cup then roll into a ball. Wrap with a slice of bacon, put a toothpick through bacon to secure the bacon and repeat until all the mixture is used.
Cook for approximately 10 minutes on a hot grill. Rotate the ball to allow all sides of the bacon to become crispy.
**TIP: Have a hot zone and a cool zone to allow balls to go if the bacon grease is causing large flare ups. Also keep a spray bottle with water to help control flare ups, the fire will get as excited about the bacon as you**
Brush with BBQ sauce and serve