Having a great ‘homegating’ party in the time of COVID-19

Local News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — WFXR is your official local television home of the Virginia Tech Hokies. This week will see the Hokies take on the NC State Wolfpack at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26.

Autumn and tailgating practically go hand-in-hand in a college town like Blacksburg. However, at the beginning of September, Virginia Tech prohibited fall tailgating to slow the spread of COVID-19. The move prohibited tailgating in both university and town parking lots and public spaces across campus.

The decision applied to sporting events such as soccer, volleyball, cross country, and yes, football.

Virginia Tech is asking students, families, and visitors to avoid the three “Cs”: closed spaces, crowds, and close contacts.

However, the ban on public tailgating doesn’t mean the show has to stop there. The university asked fans to “homegate” with family members in order to enjoy games in a safe way.

That got us thinking: how do you have an awesome homegating party in the time of COVID-19?

We decided to do some digging into popular and easy recipes, as well as look for tips to host an event that everyone will remember. Here are some of the recommendations:

  • Prepping is Key. No football player goes out on the field without knowing what a football is, how you score a touchdown, or even basic plays. To have a successful homegating party, you want to make sure everything is ready to go before the big game even starts. That includes picking up groceries from the grocery store, making a menu, and knowing the dietary needs of your party guest.
  • Bring out the fan gear. What’s a homegating party without Hokie Spirit? That includes making sure you have all the hats and shirts that you need for the big game and decorating like a champion.
  • The Food. That’s what most people care about besides who scored the most points! The food is an integral part of the game, and no, we don’t mean just chips and dip or a veggie platter –though these are great items to include!

We picked some easy recipes so that you can focus on the big game and make sure that you, too, get to see the sports team of your choice gets that win. Our first recipe is an easy cheeseburger ring.

You’ll need to stop by the store — prepping is key — to make sure you have these ready to go before you turn the oven on:

  • One pound ground beef
  • One onion, chopped
  • Three tablespoons of ketchup
  • Two tablespoons of mustard
  • One cup of cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • Two (8-ounce) cans of refrigerated crescent rolls

When you’ve got your ingredients ready to go, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then coat a 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray.

Grab a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the beef and onion. Stir it until the beef crumbles and is no longer pink, then drain it.

Next, you’ll add the ketchup, mustard, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. You’ll want to cook this for about one to two minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted. Remove from the heat and set that mixture aside.

The next step is to grab those crescent rolls and unroll them. Place the wide end of triangles in the center of the pizza pan, forming a ring. You can overlap the dough as necessary. Then you can spoon the meat mixture into the center of each triangle. Afterwards, bring the smaller ends of the triangles over the meat, and tuck the ends under.

The last step is to bake your cheeseburger ring for 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden. This meal is best served warm!

Our next easy recipe requires a crockpot. We’re making meatballs! Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need for this meal:

  • Italian breadcrumbs and seasoning
  • Onion
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Ground Beef or Turkey
  • Egg

The first step you need to do is combine the ground beef, seasonings, breadcrumbs, and egg together in a bowl.

Form the meatballs and place them in the bottom of your crockpot.

Top with a sauce of your choice. Cover and let the slow cooker do all the hard work. Again, a simple recipe that lets you feed your guests without missing a game-winning toss. There are so many great things you can have with crockpot meatballs (hoagies, spaghetti or penne pasta, mashed potatoes) but you can also just serve them as an appetizer.

These are just some game-changing recipes and tips that will have your party marking its place in the record books as Best Homegating Party Of The Year.

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