The thermostat may still read summer, but when fall arrives, it’s football season.

Which means putting out a game-day spread that’s easy to make ahead of time so you get to the more serious business of the day.

Admittedly, I never watched much football in America or paid much attention to the football games when I lived in France, either - and by football, of course, I mean soccer, a game that has always seemed more interesting to me simply because of the outfits - so I’m a little in the dark on the game particulars no matter where I am.

In France, as far as I know, le foot never included any sort of pregame tailgate party, or even a gathering of friends for an all-afternoon soiree. In fact, when I went to the movies in Paris, I hardly ever witnessed anyone eating while watching the film. Which is typical. In France, food - and dining together - is an occasion in itself. The only thing I saw people eating on the street was the end of a baguette.

I don’t claim to know much about football, but I love the idea of a party, no matter what the occasion. Melty cheese dip and tortilla chips are fine - and I’ve certainly eaten plenty - but to celebrate this year’s football season, I wanted to come up with a menu that was a bit more meaty, yet as simple to prepare as a microwavable dip. Or just about.

So I thought: pulled-pork sliders, little barbecue-ish sandwiches with sweet jalapeƱo-spiked pickles, and a bacon-potato salad that’s a lot like one my mom used to make. Food that’s as filling as you want it to be, because those games can go on (and on). Plus a dessert that’s fun and not fussy: ice cream sandwiches - easy to make and even easier to eat.

With a spread like this, I could surely become a football fan. Anywhere in the world.

Is it time for kickoff yet?

GAME-DAY SPREAD

Pulled-pork Sliders

Bacon-potato Salad

Ice Cream Sandwiches