Barbecue, BBQ, cookout, picnic—whatever you call your backyard shindigs, they’re an essential part of each summer. While these get-togethers are meant to be laid back, we all know that hosting can be anything but relaxing. Luckily, with a few smart tricks, you can spend more time hanging out with friends and less time stressing about hosting duties. Keep reading for a few of our favorites:
Get the Kids Involved
It's always helpful to have an extra hand! If your little one is able to, have them help out with some of your party prep. Shucking corn for grilled sweet corn and assembling kabobs are perfect activities for tiny hands.
Have Local Groceries Delivered
Cross one trip off of your to-do list by getting your groceries delivered right to your door. Alpenrose weekly grocery delivers fresh, local milk, dairy products, staples and local specialty groceries across the greater Portland area. If you’re a last-minute planner, you can even change your order up until 2pm the day before your scheduled delivery!
Keep Food Cool with DIY Ice Trays
Hot summer days are perfect for backyard parties—except when you're trying to keep food cold. Make your own ice trays by taking a few aluminum serving trays, filling them with an inch of water and freezing them. Set food on top of the frozen trays for mess-free chilled food!
Lay It All Out
Hosting can sometimes feel like a game of 21 questions from guests. Make entertaining easier on yourself by laying out commonly forgotten items on a central table (think bug spray, sunblock and sunglasses) and by putting large trash and recycling bins somewhere they can be easily spotted.
Simplify Meal Time with Labels
A few notecards and a marker can make self-serve meals much easier. Label each dish with the name and any common dietary restrictions—if it’s vegetarian, contains nuts or is gluten-free, for example. Put out additional notecards and markers for guests to do the same with the food they bring!