Summer is the time for BBQ’s and relaxing with your family and friends. Whether it is at the cottage or in the backyard, 6 people to 60 people, let us help you with planning it right.
So things to think about, the obvious food and drinks; space and decor; chairs and tables; paper or china; sun; shade, and BUGS! Start your planning about 4 weeks out…menu, shopping list, invites, plan out seating– have a chair for every person, even if it is your plastic stackable lawn chairs, you can dress them up with seat cushions. Think about a level location for the food buffet, and bar – being central to all guests, why not use a chalkboard to list bar offerings.
Plan for fun colourful tablecloths, and lighting will be important once the sun starts to disappear and will add a whole other dimension to the festivities. Place battery operated camping lanterns under your tables to illuminate.
Ok bugs….Pesky mosquitoes or standard flies, they can be annoying. Whether you use the traditional methods of Raid products, coils and citronella candles, or you are a lover of Pinterest and all its natural around the house suggestions, you can certainly combat the problem by being prepared and starting in advance to combat the issue. Citronella comes in forms of lanterns, candles, and tiki torches and they all add to the décor of your backyard bbq, while keeping bugs away.
Combating summer heat – you can supply adorable paper handheld fans for each guest, or include some fun games like water balloons and water guns to “cool” down in the heat of the day. If you have a pool or are on the lake, well perfect, make sure invites say to bring a swimsuit. And keep everyone well hydrated, refreshing pitchers of flavoured water with add-ins like berries, cucumber, citrus, or herbs make a lovely setup for guests to enjoy. Maybe an ice pops break would be a welcome cooling treat also.
When stocking your freezer for the festivities, plan on about 2lbs of ice per person.
So we all love paper plates and plastic cups for the ease of cleanup, but if you would like to stay “greener” I say go for china, even if you go to your local Rental store, it can cost as little as $2.00 per person for a plate, knife, fork, linen napkin. And you can send everything back DIRTY! How terrific, save the landfill from more unwanted throw aways, and have guests use sturdy utensils and china, and not spend hours washing dishes! Wrap your cutlery in a linen napkin, supply some wet wipes on the side, and your bbq buffet will look great. Another option would be to invest in some fun colourful acrylic ware, basically indestructible and light weight, available at a multitude of stores, can use over and over, and you can make the kids wash.
Food – Remember to plan and prepare it in advance, including your shopping lists, orders with the delicatessen and bakery. Some menu items may be able to be made and frozen till the day of. Plan on a cup and half of salads per person, enjoy a variety, and make in advance and just pull from the fridge. Remember the little details, like sauces and marinades, pickles and nuts and chips, and don’t forget about food allergies or other dietary requirements. Don’t get stuck behind the grill, bbq’s are about relaxing and socializing with friends, so anything that can be cooked ahead of time and just reheated on the grill is ok! Skewers are a great bite size fun meal to bbq, with lots of meat, and vegetable options to please everyone’s palates. Easily prepped the day before, even partly cooked and then lightly grill the day of.
Summer playlist! Music is important to not forget, again you can have this done weeks in advance. Typically 115 songs will get you through 7 hours, no repeats – a must! Happy entertaining!
Here is a message and favorite recipe from one of our staff volunteers, Karyn. Try it out this weekend and let us know what you think.
“We had these beef ribs for dinner last night. They were delish. We’ll use that marinade on steaks in the future.
Angela VanWingerden is a focused logistics dynamo with nearly 20 years of experience in the events industry. Since obtaining her BA of Commerce in Hospitality from the University of Guelph in 1998, she has built an impressive portfolio of weddings, corporate events and fundraisers for hundreds of satisfied clients. Angela enjoys the entire event planning process from chaos to order and back again. An avid trouble-shooter, Angela has her finger on the pulse of every event she manages. When on-site, she constantly monitors every element of the event to ensure client satisfaction. Angela works closely with staff and volunteers to ensure that they know what their duties are and she provides oversight at the event itself to ensure that all responsibilities and expectations are met. When she isn’t designing and coordinating awe-inspiring events, Angela loves spending time with her family.