Are you ready for some football?
I have always heard that in most parts of the country football is a pastime, but in the South, it is a religion. Football practice has already begun and players from elementary to high school are preparing to hit the gridiron. We all await that first game of the season.
I can’t even imagine how many football games I have been to in my lifetime. My husband and I started dating when he was in the 10th grade at Cruger-Tchula Academy, and I went to all of his Friday night football games. He played football at Mississippi State, and I went to all of those as well. After we moved home, he coached part time at Pillow Academy and Cruger-Tchula until he began coaching fulltime in 1997. I can count on one hand how many games I have missed since he started coaching.
Then there was my son, Steven. He started playing football in the fifth grade and played until he was a senior in high school. I never missed any of those games either. Now I am tired just thinking about it. We recently had some friends whose grandson was badly injured in a football scrimmage. I remember thinking about how that is every football player’s mom’s worst nightmare — no matter what age.
When Steven started playing high school football, he let me know that if something happened and he got hurt, that I was NOT to come on the football field. He reassured me that his daddy was coaching on the sidelines and not to worry. I laughed and told him that his daddy got hurt when Mississippi State played in Memphis, and they took him to the locker room to check out his injury. The Memphis State security didn’t stop me from going in the locker room, and I rode in the ambulance to Baptist Hospital, too. The driver told me I couldn’t ride in the back, but I rode in the front with the driver. That was an experience for another article! Steven didn’t seem too relieved, and I made no promises.
One night, Steven caught a pass and was headed to the end zone and tackled on the 5-yard line. He didn’t get up for what seemed like an eternity. The refs called to the sideline for the coaches, and I exited the bleachers. I stood at the wire but was ready at a moment’s notice. After a few minutes, he got up and headed to the sidelines. I noticed that the referees were laughing and talking to the coaches while they were laughing as well. Coach gave me the OK sign. Assured that he was not badly hurt, I headed back to my seat.
After the game, Steve and the refs were talking, and he told me that they wanted to meet me. They were still laughing. After Steven was hurt — had his “bell rung” as they say — he was trying to stand up. The referees told him to stay down for a minute to make sure nothing was wrong. His reply was, “No sir, you don’t understand. If I am down here for very long, my mama is going to run out on this field, and I will die of embarrassment.” The refs response was, “But your dad is on the sideline as your coach.” Steven’s reply, “Sir, that doesn’t matter. You don’t know my mama.”
He was right.
Hope your favorite teams have a great season. Enjoy today’s recipes. Thanks for reading.
MONTEREY JACK SALSA
1 can (4-ounce) chopped chilies
1 can (4-ounce) chopped black olives
4 green onions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded
½ cup Italian salad dressing
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Serve with Scoops.
(Easily doubled for a tailgate crowd. Folks love it!)
1-2 pounds small new potatoes
2 (16-ounce) bottles Italian salad dressing
Garlic salt, to taste
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1 package ranch buttermilk dressing mix
Seasoning salt, to taste
Red Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon chives
1 package dry Italian salad dressing mix
Boil potatoes until done and leave in skins. Place in a deep pan for marinating. Marinate overnight in the marinade. Remove from marinade and place in a baking pan. Sprinkle again with garlic salt. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Dip: Prepare ranch dressing as directed on package. Add garlic salt, seasoned salt, red pepper, chives and package of Italian dressing mix. Serve potatoes with dip that has been prepared in advance and refrigerated.
(Potatoes may be served at room temperature or chilled. If small potatoes are not available, use slightly larger and can be cut in half. This is great for “something different.”)
EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 stick oleo
½ cup shortening
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup boiling water
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the oleo, shortening, cocoa and water and bring to a boil. Mix flour and sugar together and pour hot cocoa mixture over it. Put soda in buttermilk and mix well; add to mixture. Add eggs and vanilla. Batter will be thin. Pour into a greased and floured 11-by-16-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Ice with the following frosting while cake is still hot.
¾ stick oleo
4 tablespoons cocoa
5-6 tablespoons Pet milk
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
Combine oleo, cocoa, milk and heat. Add powdered sugar a little at a time and beat well. Add vanilla — and nuts if using. Frost cake while still warm and still in the pan. Let cool and cut into squares.
(This is a delicious chocolate cake that can be cut into any size square. Perfect for tailgating and freezes beautifully.)