No matter if it is the 4th of July or just another day in the summer, chances are someone in your area is barbequing. Barbequing has become a classic American tradition for families. The reason is apparent as to why, not only does the food that comes from barbequing have a taste that is unmatched by other cooking methods, but barbequing presents a reason for families to gather together. Some of my most memorable experiences happened outdoors at one of my family’s many get-togethers.
Planning A Barbeque
First, no barbeque would be complete without guests and good outdoor weather. Plan ahead of time, checking with your potential guests for scheduling conflicts and issues. Finding a date and time suitable for everyone should not be too hard as long as you have enough advanced notice. Alternatively, be sure to check the weather for that type of year. If you live in a climate that cannot be predicted, you may want to have a backup plan because unusual weather comes. You cannot expect things like rain and thunderstorms ahead of time, but you can make sure that you hold your barbeque during the time of year that will be pleasant to your guests. A barbeque in cold weather may have more negative memories of keeping warm than good memories of family and friends.
Barbequing has been around since early troglodytes figured out that food tasted great after being cooked on an open fire. Perhaps one of the main memories attached to a family barbeque is what was on the menu that day. Barbequing opens a whole array of types of foods available. The variety of foods you serve should largely depend on your crowd, and the event in which you are celebrating. With the wide range of possibilities, you are sure to find at least a few items that will please your crowd.
Make sure that you prepare ahead for your barbeque. 12 to 24 hours before you plan on beginning the party, make sure to thaw, train, and marinate the meat you will be cooking. Once you have the heart stored away, soaking up the marinate, you must start thinking about the types of side dishes you will be having. If you want an altogether traditional barbeque, you may want to stick with standard sizes. Traditional barbeque sides include potatoes and potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw. Your traditional condiment bar should have pickles, relish, and onions. These foods are typically served at barbeques because they are easy to prepare and store until they happen. You may want to cook other items, but any barbeque is complete with just the items listed above.
A themed barbeque may present more opportunities to hold a festive event. With a themed event, you can splurge on the atmosphere and decorations. Matching tablecloths, napkins, and plates can be found at any local store. You can also match your décor to the party. For example, a luau could be creative colored utensils, leis, and Tiki torches, all of which are incredibly cheap. You can even reuse the Tiki torches later!
Your party area should be set up before the guest arrives. It only takes a few minutes to get everything ready, but the reaction you get from your arriving guests may make you feel like you were preparing and decorating all day. Depending on the situation, you may or may not want to have the food already cooking on the grill. The smell will indeed be inviting if you start cooking ahead!