Memorial Day Weekend is coming up quick and we don’t know anyone who isn’t going to spend the holiday at a classic Memorial Day backyard BBQ. Friends and family are an essential part of having a great cookout event and bringing people together, but after the invitations go out, there’s a bit of planning that has to happen behind the scenes. Here are a few tips to help you throw a great holiday party.
Often a BBQ party means feeding a small fleet of hungry people. Even if you ask your guests to contribute dishes to the meal, you’ll want to have the basics covered. When we plan BBQs at my house, we tend to go heavy on crowd-pleasing options – burgers, sausages and corn might as well be required by law.
At the same time, we love trying new things –like grilled grapefruit or stone fired pizzas. As a rule, if we’re trying something new, we don’t let it take over the menu, we just make enough for everyone to try a portion and it adds character to a meal. We also make sure to have an option or two that can accommodate special dietary needs so our gluten-free, diabetic, and vegan friends don’t feel left out.
Snacks and treats don’t have to be complicated, choose a variety of simple sides that you can get readymade or make ahead of time. Not every food has to be a signature dish, and you can always delegate more time-consuming foods to guests who want to contribute.
Grill’s Night Out
On the run-up to Memorial Day don’t get caught in a lurch, make sure you have what you need to keep your grilling hot. If you cook with propane it always pays to have an extra full canister on hand. Similarly, double check that you have plenty of charcoal or wood to fuel a grill or smoker for the whole of your Memorial Day event.
Consider the size of your grill and how it will best accommodate the number of guests you plan on having. It might be time for an upgrade to a larger grilling surface to better accommodate your party. Propane grills have decided advantages over charcoal models, including the ability to create different, consistent heat levels for different types of food.
It’s best to go into grilling with a plan. That means knowing what you want to cook and roughly how long it will need to be on the heat. Dense foods like fresh sausage, steak, large pieces of chicken and corn will need significantly longer cook times than more delicate foodstuffs like shrimp and asparagus. Many grill companies have online grilling resources so you can get a sense of approximately how long you’ll need to cook what you plan to serve.
Light the Way
Take stock of your outdoor setup, cleaning up any hazards and making sure your yard is well lit. Many BBQs start in the daytime, but last well into the evening and you want your guests to have a great time without getting hurt. Low maintenance solar lights are widely available and can help you and your guests stay on the right path.
Games People Play
While you might be obsessed with delivering the perfect rack of ribs to your hungry guests, you also want to be sure there’s plenty of activities to keep everyone engaged. Here in Arizona, a cool pool is the universal crowd pleaser for great fun and games. Be sure your guests know to bring their swimwear and have plenty of towels on hand.
If you don’t have a pool, that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to have fun! Make sure you have a few activities readily available for your guests – outdoor fun like horseshoes or bocce ball are great group games. For kids, jump ropes, water balloons and soccer balls can provide tons of fun. Around the house, a deck of cards comes in handy for entertaining as well.
Keep It Cool
Memorial Day is the first big celebration of the Summer Season, and one thing you’ll want to keep in mind is how you’ll keep cool. The answer couldn’t be easier than custom sunscreens from CC Sunscreens. CC Sunscreens keep your home comfortable and reduce your energy spending year-round with stylish, affordable sun blocking.