This post is less about the food and more about my love for all-things U of M… and hatred for all things Notre Dame. You’ve been warned….
Last weekend, Little Lucy and I road-tripped from Pittsburgh to Michigan so I could visit my family, but also attend the Michigan/Notre Dame game. For those of you who are unfamiliar with college football, not only are Michigan and Notre Dame epic rivals, but this year the rivalry was amplified because the setting was the very first night game at The Big House.
While both teams have struggled with poor records in the last few years (I blame Michigan’s failure on the Coach Whose-Name-We-Shall-Not Speak….), this game still earned nationwide attention as a BIG GAME. Even ESPN’s College Gameday recognized it as the biggest game of the week and set up their weekly show discussing college football on U of M’s campus.
Yes, a bigger game than even Penn State/Alabama, Jeff (if you watched this one, you’ll know that it was a total bust for Penn State, waaaah waaaah).
Since the game start time wasn’t until 8pm, this left ample time to get some quality tailgating in. This sparked the age old question that has plagued tailgaters for years – What kind of food can you bring to a tailgate that will (a) still taste good sitting out all day, (b) doesn’t have to take up a lot of space, (c) doesn’t need an oven or stove to be heated, (d) and keeps with the spirit of “tailgate food.”
I was not the host of this tailgate and I knew that things like burgers and brats would be taken over by the people bringing the tents and grill. I decided that blondies would be simple to make/take and would hold up most of the day if kept in the shade. If you’ve never had a blondie, it’s essentially a happy union between a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie.
Blondie Result: I was told that they were completely edible and decent! I can’t say for sure because I never actually had the chance to try one, but one fellow tailgater who I had never met before that day did come up to me to praise them and tell me that he had actually had three of them. Three! How bad could they be?
The tailgate provided an opportunity to see a lot of my college buddies that are only able to get together a few times a year, but always at least once or twice for college football season.
Game time eventually rolled around it came time to make our way to the stadium. The energy was electric and you could feel the excitement in the air with an NCAA-record crowd of 114,804 fans. After a touching dedication to Desmond Howard, Michigan Legend, the game got underway.
Michigan took an early beating and by halftime a lot of us had lost hope for any kind of decent turn around. As the second half rolled around, the beating continued, yet the Michigan Faithful held on to belief that Michigan could pull it around with dynamic quarterback Denard Robinson, and new coach, Brady Hoke, leading the way. Both teams were plagued by turnovers, which certainly made for some incredibly exciting football!
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, things were looking pretty pathetic for Michigan who only had 7 points on the board, rivaled to Notre Dame’s 24. And yet, a glimmer of hope appeared in the fourth quarter… Michigan proceeded to score touch down after touchdown, each time with Notre Dame answering with touch downs of their own.
Michigan scored to take the lead with 1:21 left on the clock, praying that they could hold on to this lead to make it to the end of the game with the win. As luck would have it, U of M’s defense imploded on the next few plays and Notre Dame was AGAIN able to answer back and take the lead with a touchdown, leaving 30 seconds on the clock.
To prove that miracles really do happen, Robinson took the offense 80 yards in less than 30 seconds. Roy Roundtree was able to score with seconds on the clock leading Michigan to the victory and a final score of 35-31!
To say that this was the most thrilling football game I have ever been to is an understatement. The entire crowd was awed by the incredible turn around and refused to leave the stadium, even 20 minutes after the end of the game. No one wanted the party and celebration to end! I’m reminded of those Buffalo Wild Wings commercials where the loyal fans state “we’re just not ready to go yet…”
All in all, it was one for the record books. I’ll never forget it.
Oh, yeah, you might want the Blondie recipe. They’re super easy…Here it is:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter or vegetable oil. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in a medium-size bowl until light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition until partially blended, 5 seconds. Scrape the bowl. Then beat until the batter is blended, 20 seconds.
With the mixer on low-speed, add the flour mixture and beat until almost blended, 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl.
Add the chocolate chips and mix on low-speed until they are blended in, about 5 seconds. Stir the batter several times with a rubber spatula and spread it evenly in the pan.
Bake on the center rack of the oven until the top has puffed and is just set, and is a golden color, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow to cool for 1 hour before cutting into 16 squares.
- 1 1/2 cups minus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Generous 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon (lightly packed) light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips