I have a riddle for you.
What happens when you combine one crazy extended family, an 11 a.m. Badger game, bagels and lox, coffee, mimosas, and a whole lot of red clothing?
You guessed it: a brunch-themed tailgate.
The great American pastime that goes hand-in-hand with football season is, of course, the ever-popular tailgate.
I understand the appeal and am all about eating great food before great games but, honestly, the standard tailgate menu has never been well tailored to mornings.
Don’t get me wrong -- I will always love a good brat- but that’s not usually what I’m craving at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
Enter the brunch-themed tailgate. Life as we know it is forever altered.
Every fall, my entire extended family has a Badger tailgate. Between several aunts and uncles, a set of grandparents, a multitude of cousins and one very adorable dog conveniently named Bucky, this tailgate is always a spectacle on a Saturday morning.
Come hell or high water (aka rain or shine), we gather, enjoy each other’s company and most importantly, eat.
Now my family is full of food-lovers, so the menu is always something to talk about.
This year, however, the tailgate was especially remarkable.This year, the annual family tailgate was brunch-themed.
The family brunch tailgate had a strong foundation of beer and brats, but from there, branched into an elaborate web of brunchful foods.
Bagels and lox made a notable appearance; this is a quintessential brunch food.
There were also doughnuts of many varieties, French toast sandwiches with ham and cheese, assorted pastries, egg bakes, a “build-your-own” Bloody Mary bar (don’t even get me started), mimosas, coffee and more.
Folks, this was a tailgate that surpassed any Brunch’d Together expectations, and I was so proud to call the masterminds behind this feast of a tailgate my very own family.
The tailgate brought an unexpected spark of energy into the otherwise relaxed vibe of brunch, and I was completely for it.
Unlike anything I’ve recently reviewed or taken part in, this brunch was loud and a little hectic and somewhat random.
In addition to family, current roommates and old roommates, students and alumni, neighbors and visiting friends, a couple random people that we later discovered no one knew, all were welcome at this brunchful table.
Now remember, this goes against my very first statement and cardinal rule of brunch -- that it is meant to be shared with a couple of close friends.
But, you know what? I loved every minute of it.
There we were, crowded together on a Saturday morning before a Badger victory, filling up on French toast and Bloody Marys, chatting with family we’ve known forever and strangers we only just met. But in that short span of time, we were all Badgers, and we were all Brunch’d Together.
To have your own brunch-themed tailgate, don’t be intimidated and don’t hesitate to break with convention.
Be ready to try new things, bring a griddle along with your grill and like all good and successful tailgates, invite everyone you know.
It may just be your best tailgate and brunch yet. I know for a fact it was mine.