A weekend of Virginia Tech football brought about some reflection on my marriage, local food culture, and turkey legs.
When John and I first started dating it was mid-December of 2004. We liked each other immediately and did what any newly love-struck young people do: we spent a lot of time with each other.
Of course, I should have understood John's (rather blunt) foreshadowing. You see, about two weeks into this relationship I was told, "You're lucky football season is over."
And then came September of 2005, which marked ten months of Tiffany and John and the beginning of a new Virginia Tech Football season. As a Midwestern girl transplanted on the East Coast, I was very naive. "What exactly is a Hokie?" I asked.
To this day, I still have not been given a very solid answer to this question. In short, the explanation is that the word hokie appeared in a song dedicated to the University many many years ago, and was later adopted as the mascot. In case you are wondering, the mascot pretty much looks like a sassy orange and maroon colored turkey- which made me giggle a little bit in the beginning. Of course, any wondering I do about the validity of a turkey as a mascot brings about a whole chorus of John's friends discussing how ridiculous leprechauns are (I am a Notre Dame fan).
I've come to learn that this Hokie culture is an amazing thing. For example, one of John's good friends has a two-year old son. When he was just a year old(and barely talking) he could respond to questions like "What does the Hokie Bird say?" (warble, warble, warble) This toddler even knew how to say "VT!" and to throw his arms up in the air when Virginia Tech made a touchdown.
I've also learned that there is such a thing as a Hokie Pokie Elmo doll. Hokie Pokie Elmo joins us whenever we watch a Virginia Tech game on television. And, in case you are wondering. . . the Hokie Pokie is danced at every Virginia Tech home game during third quarter. You have to appreciate a team whose fans are willing to jump up and down to Metallica as their team enters the field, but then three quarters later is also willing to do the Hokie Pokie.
Okay, so let's get down to business. This is a blog about food. Usually this is a blog about locally grown foods, often organic and healthy. You're probably used to seeing gorgeous and colorful photos of the farmer's market, as well as some pretty good looking creations from my kitchen.
Brace yourself: you are in for some very classy photos of our weekend tailgate. (Please take note of the amount of preparation that went into this tailgate- and then take note that I spent my entire Saturday with all boys.) I'd also like to clarify that this is something I refer to as local food culture: in other words, eating turkey legs is an experience unique to Virginia Tech football.
So, here we have it: This is Jones- the grill master. His recipe was pretty simple. He basically doused the legs in garlic salt and lemon pepper. This step took place many many times, whenever the legs were rotated. The legs stayed on the grill for about an hour, and Jones would often close the grill's vents to allow the turkey legs to smoke.
Plastic forks are the new vogue grilling tools.
But just look at the end result. . . delicious.
And, as you can see, I've learned to fully embrace Virginia Tech culture. After all, I haven't met a Hokie I didn't like (and those turkey legs were really good).