Family, friends and fireworks all are a part of fun summer memories. This year, the Star Spangled holiday falls on a Friday, making it a long weekend for most people. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan for a great BBQ. Here are a few simple tips you need for a successful and fun get together:
- People. Invite friends, neighbors, co-workers and family early before other plans evolve for them. Create your own invitations to mail or eliminate the need for paper and postage by using other on-line sites to create a fun e-vite.
- BBQ Tools. A wire brush and scraper to clean the grill, oven mitts, skewers if you plan on making shish kabobs, and disposable pans to make clean up easier are just some of the essential tools you may need for BBQ success. When cooking meat, you will also need a meat thermometer to ensure it has been cooked thoroughly.
- Safety. Grills are hot and grilling tools can be sharp. If there are children around, be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep them from running near the grilling area.
- Food. It wouldn’t be a BBQ if you didn’t have the all-American menu: burgers, hot dogs, chicken, watermelon, potato salad and pasta salad. You can find a variety of recipes online for side dishes or salads that will enhance your menu. Be sure to offer a variety of cold drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic – and end the BBQ with something for your guests' sweet teeth.
- Pest Control. Where there is food, there are usually bugs if you are eating outdoors. Ants, flies, and bees can all be attracted to your meal, while mosquitoes can be the worst of the uninvited guests. There are several natural repellents that you can use such as citronella, marigolds and garlic; as well as store bought repellents. Be well armed to keep these pests away from your guests.
- Activities. Keep the fun and games simple and relaxed, such as croquet, badminton, and bocce ball. If there are kids in attendance, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and a sprinkler for them to run through are always a hit.
- Fireworks. Since setting off your own fireworks is probably not legal and of course very dangerous, check your local listings for fireworks displays in your area. Local newspapers and news channels usually carry a complete listing for your reference.