Yesterday Michigan played Michigan State at home and our tailgate theme was bacon. I decided in keeping with the theme that I would make a Maple-Apple-Bacon Cake that I have made a few times before using a wonderful recipe I found on the NPR website. I know that the bacon in the cake sounds a little strange but it really is quite delicious.
I did a few things slightly differently, however. Instead of baking it in an 8" square pan I split the batter between two 8" round pans. Also, instead of the maple glaze I made a maple cream cheese frosting.
To assemble the cake I leveled the top of one of the cakes and placed it onto my cake stand. I used a pastry bag to top the cake with the maple icing, smoothing it out with a knife. I then placed the second layer on top and added my decorations.
To make the Michigan bunting I made a design of yellow letters on a blue background in PowerPoint and then printed it out. I cut out the flags, folded them over and attached them to a string with a little tape, just like I did with my birthday bunting card. I tied the ends of the string to two 1/4" round dowels and stuck them in the cake.
The "Go Blue!" and "Beat Sparty!" flags were made in the same way (i.e. designed in PowerPoint, printed and then cut out) and then I wrapped them around long skewers and added them to the cake.
The cake got a lot of rave reviews from people, many of whom did not even realize there was bacon in it until I told them. It was polished off and selfishly I was a little disappointed that there was none left over for me to take home.
Continuing on with the bacon theme, Frank made several bacon explosions and a porchetta while other contributions included pea meal Canadian bacon from the Canadian contingent of the tailgate as well as sausage wrapped in bacon and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon. Needless to say it wasn't the healthiest tailgate but everything was delicious.
The weather also held up. Last week was cold, windy, rainy and miserable but this week it was overcast, but not too chilly and the sun even popped out a few times. The game had a 3:30 p.m. kickoff and Frank likes to be at the tailgate at 7:30 a.m. so decent weather is key to having a good time.
The skies stayed cloudy for most of the game, but luckily there was no wind or rain and I was comfortable bundled up for the game.
The game itself was a nail biter with five lead changes. In the last few minutes it looked like Michigan had blown their chances to win but with five seconds left, Brendan Gibbons kicked a field goal to win the game 12-10. Free yellow pom-poms had been passed out at the game and everyone in the stadium went nuts waving them. Michigan State had won the four previous games between the two schools so it was great to beat them.
The win marked another big milestone for Michigan, namely the program's 900th win making it the first NCAA college football team to do so. Having the win occur at home and over Michigan State made it especially sweet. After the game the scoreboard played a show highlighting the 100th, 200th, and so on victories culminating with the 900th that had happened that day.
On another football front, my alma mater, Duke, beat North Carolina yesterday bringing their record this year to 6-2. Not only is it nice to beat our arch rivals, but this makes the team bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. In recent decades Duke notoriously does not have a strong football program so this is pretty huge. Frank asked me who I would root for if Michigan and Duke played in a bowl game. I told him that my Michigan fandom comes with a Duke exemption and that I will always cheer for Duke over all others. A girl has to do what a girl has to do. Go Duke Blue Devils! and Go Michigan Wolverines! (when they are not playing Duke!)