Get ready for an indoor tailgate party

Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist

I don’t have much of a chance to sit still and watch TV. I hope the players on the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles football teams will take that into consideration if word gets out that I fell sound asleep at the start of the second half of Super Bowl LII. I’ll start out watching the game with the best of intentions but isn’t that what the road to hell is paved with?

Anyway, the game will have to be exciting to say the least to keep me awake. But maybe it will be.

The Patriots are the New York Yankees of the decade. No matter who the Yankees played in baseball’s World Series in the 1950s, you rooted for the other guys. My mother said she was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. Actually, she was a fan of whoever was playing against the Yankees. That’s how it is when you’re so good, no matter who the other guys are, they’re automatic underdogs.

If the ballgame doesn’t keep people awake, I guess the food will have to. Lots of us will be planted in front of a TV on Sunday, Feb. 4 when the Patriots and the Eagles square off in Minneapolis. Here is an indoor tailgate idea to keep the fans awake and asking for more.

Set a table with this Ohio favorite at halftime either homemade or Skyline. (We’ll pretend the Bengals and Browns are playing.)


1 pound ground beef

1 quart water

2 onions, finely chopped

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

5 whole cloves

5 whole allspice berries

1 bay leaf

Place the ground beef in a large pan, cover with about one quart of cold water and bring to a boil, stirring and breaking up the ground beef with a fork to a fine texture. Slowly boil until the meat is thoroughly cooked, about 39 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate in the pan overnight.

The next day, skim the solid fat from the top of the pan. Discard the fat. Place the beef mixture over medium heat. Stir in onions, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, chocolate, chili powder, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, allspice berries and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for three hours. Add water if necessary to prevent the chili from burning.

Serve with al dente spaghetti, shredded cheddar cheese, and finely chopped sweet onion.

Serves five to six.

Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at