Here are a few emergency items you'll be glad you thought to bring outside. If you grill a lot, consider storing these in a handy go-kit.
Quite simply, you need many folding chairs - Ikea makes these which are great - and at least 2 tables - one for food, one for drinks. You need a garbage can. And unless you want to chase people out of your yard and run around packing things up as the dusk thickens, consider investing in some lighting.
Strings of paper lanterns are elegant and so popular right now. However, they require an electrical outlet, and I don't know how fancypants your backyard is. Sun jars are a cool alternative - they store up solar energy all day, and glow on into the evening. The most low-tech option is placing votives in waxed paper bags. Weight the bags down first and don't be stingy with the kitty litter; little airborne bags of flame are considered a declaration of war in most countries.
Ok, on to the fun stuff!
|If I had put a tablecloth on this, you never would |
have known it was a crappy old stereo box.
In addition to burgers and dogs and sausages, reserve a little grill space for veggie burgers and buns. Set up a tray of sliced cheese, veggies and condiments - think beyond the usual ketchup and mustard and try some sauces with a little kick, savory flavor, or creamy deliciousness - like the guacamole recipe below.
For dessert, nothing could be simpler than a big ol' watermelon - don't forget to bring the knife. If you've got little ones coming, bake up a tray of brownies straight from the box, and buy a can of Pillsbury Easy-Frost icing - we are living in the future, and it is glorious.
Try these recipes for sides if you want to win hostess of the year:
Featured cocktail: Joey's sangria
Click here for the recipe!