Baltimore football fans love the holidays as it’s the perfect excuse to get creative with over-the-top apparel and decorations, all with a Ravens twist. Besides, there’s nothing better than devouring customary holiday treats and drinks with good company.
Keep your holiday tailgating crew spirited by trying some of these joy-filled ideas that combine the best of both worlds – Christmas and a great football game.
While there are hundreds of holiday recipes to choose from, these are some of the most popular among Baltimore fans:
- Baked egg and cheese casserole with red and green peppers – For the early-to-rise tailgaters, this easy-to-make casserole dish has all the festive colors of the holidays while meeting the hearty requirements of a full day of football fun. White onions may also be added in keeping with the holiday colors. Of course, transporting or serving from a Ravens dish will ensure even better results.
- Christmas Eve oyster stew – A tradition for many Maryland households, this easy-to-make soup can feed the masses at a tailgating party while also keeping hands and stomachs warm. Break out the Ravens mugs or bowls as there’s no better time of year to use this priceless drink ware.
- Christmas lobster and crab chowder – A delicious variation from the oyster stew tradition, this chowder is typically made from a base of 2 cans clam chowder, 2 cans potato soup, 2 cups milk, 2 cups chicken broth, 1-2 pints of half and half (or for a thicker substitute try heavy whipping cream), 1 cup water, 1 stick butter and 2 tablespoons of dry sherry. For Baltimore tailgaters however, the most important ingredients are crabmeat and lobster, about 2 cups of each or more as desired. To help make the dish go farther, you can also add vegetables like potatoes, carrots, celery and onions. For added spice and flavor, try garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and, of course, Old Bay. Old Bay should be used for seasoning both while making the dish and for sprinkling on top once poured into a bowl.
- Ravens football cookies or cupcakes – The Christmas season is made for creative desserts so get festive and share team spirit by using purple frosting (simply add food dye to white icing) topped with black, white and orange sprinkles to make your very own Baltimore-style treat. Another stress-free option is using football-shaped cookie cutters, which can provide an added flair to those old-fashioned tree and angel sugar cookies.
There’s something about enjoying a hot drink on a cold day that makes fans count their blessings. Any warm drink works from hot, spiced cider and hot cocoa to a hot toddy. And of course, no holiday celebration is complete without egg nog. A popular, traditional German beverage this time of year for Baltimore fans is mulled wine (or Glühwein – literally meaning “glow wine”) made from hot or warm red wine with various spices added to taste, which could include ginger, cloves and cinnamon, as well as lemon juice and sugar.
Whether your tailgate party is held in a lot or home, there are plenty of Ravens holiday-themed items to choose from that will show off your team pride. Most fans are familiar with the Ravens ornaments, tree skirts and stockings, however purple Santa hats, fake purple trees or wreaths and purple and white Christmas lights can take the end of the sports season to a whole new level.
Don’t forget about tinsel and beaded strings, which not only tie up quickly to any tailgate tent, but also are cheap and easy to find this time of year. And remember, if you can’t find it in purple, there is nothing that a can of spray paint won’t fix.
With January just around the corner, temperatures continue to drop in Baltimore so tailgaters must be prepared with their warmest tailgating gear. Hats, scarves, gloves, coats, hooded sweatshirts, sweatpants, leg warmers, long socks and even boots can all sport a Ravens decal. Beaded necklaces, some with ornament-shaped balls, also become more popular this time of year and can get any fan feeling like their jingling as much as one of Santa’s reindeer.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and as always, Happy Tailgating!
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her on Twitter at @KtBlue16 and online at Examiner.com