Prep Rally

Be prepared for an epic party in the parking lot with these easy ideas from The Kitchen!

Portable Kitchen:

It can be difficult to remember all the little things you might need to successfully cook (and eat!) at a tailgate party. At The Kitchen, we like to pack up all our essentials into a portable kitchen so we're sure to have what we need. We use a 3-drawer plastic container system. In the top drawer, we pack must-have cooking utensils and accessories--tongs, grill starters or lighters, spatulas, kitchen shears, a meat thermometer, a chef's knife and anything else you might need. In the middle drawer, we pack condiments--ketchup, mayo, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, steak sauce--whatever's your fave! In the bottom drawer, we store a small bottle of olive oil, cooking spray and salt and pepper. We load this entire packed container into a larger plastic tub and throw in a lazy Susan, a cutting board, some dish towels and a roll of paper towels.

Once we get to our spot in the parking lot, it's time to set up our kitchen! We turn the plastic container system upright to make sure the drawers all fall upright as well. Then we place the dish towels alongside of the drawers. We top the drawers with a lazy Susan and add the cooking staples from the bottom drawer to the lazy Susan--olive oil, cooking spray, salt and pepper. We then add some frozen icepacks to the now empty bottom drawer to keep the condiments in the middle drawer cool. Then we pull out the cutting board and knife to just in front of the makeshift kitchen for a cutting station. We're all set for a party in the parking lot!

Hand-Washing Station:

Hand washing can be an issue when you're partying in a parking lot, and it's important to keep things clean when you're prepping food. The Kitchen has an easy way of tackling this problem. We saved some empty laundry detergent containers (bigger is better) with spigot dispensers, rinsed them out and filled them with water. Then we used a small bungee cord with hooks to secure a plastic paper towel holder (with paper towels in it) to the detergent container. Just set out a bottle of soap and you have a portable hand-washing station! 

Field of Paper Products:
It's no secret that at the Kitchen, we're big fans of snackadiums (setting up your party food to look like a football stadium), but we're taking our snackadium game to the next level by setting out a field of paper products that's perfect for a party in the parking lot.

To assemble our stadium, we used square green plates arranged in a rectangle (2x2) to create a field. Then we built uprights out of mailing tubes. To do this, we cut down a mailing tube to 2 pieces in a size proportionate to the field. We painted them yellow and used a craft knife to cut out 2 circles on either end of one mailing tube piece that were slightly larger than the base of some yellow party cups, and a third circle in the middle of the opposite side, slightly larger than the end of the other mailing tube piece. We faced the holes at the end upwards and used them to stack yellow party cups to form the upright portion. We then inserted the other piece of mailing tube into the middle cut circle on the opposite side to fully form the upright.

Next, we filled out the end zones by laying down some rectangular green napkins. For our last step, we created spectators by stacking silver party cups in different amounts to form stands that were gradually rising. We then filled them with plastic flatware in 2 different colors to represent 2 different teams. 

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