Kitchen Curious: A recipe for easy, peas-y tailgating

My family was never much into tailgating. An early ’90s photo of my dad chomping on an apple prior to a U.S. Air Force Academy football game against a Western Athletic Conference rival pretty much sums it up.

A few years later, I had the opportunity to be a better tailgater at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. But by then, I had a toddler on my lap, and was more interested in watching Tom Brady and Charles Woodson than in consuming wings.

My, how times have changed.

These days, I live next to a fellow whose lawn is filled with inflatable mascots for every team in the SEC. My thoughts drift not to who is playing whom this week, but to what’s on the food spread at that house come Saturday. And can I come over?

One thing’s for sure: The spread doesn’t have to be stuffy. That’s why I like the recipe for Carolina Caviar published in “Southern Snacks,” a new cookbook by Perre Coleman Magness. It’s a no-frills, fill-‘er-up dish bulked up with black-eyed peas, seasoned with onion and a variety of chopped peppers, then left to marinate in a bacon vinaigrette. Scoop it all up with salty corn chips. Easy peas-y. My one feeling about the recipe: It needs the so-called optional salt. I did two, three- finger pinches from my salt jar. That did the trick.

I may be late in embracing tailgate culture, but I do embrace one of its basic tenets: keep it simple. Save your energy for screaming at the TV, for arguing about a ref’s flubbed call, the bad coaching, the almost catch, the score, the standings and for next week, when it all goes down again. This recipe, friends, is neutral game.

<<Click here to see the full recipe on mobile 

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