Since Americans in the South began roasting pigs publicly, Barbecues have been a staple of North American living. For many, grilling becomes a routine mealtime activity, while for the most devoted grillers, summer is ruled by massive barbecue parties. But grillers do not have to choose between boring repetition and outrageous get-togethers: every barbecue can and should be an exciting family event. Here are five ways to make your regular evening barbecue a unique experience:
Who said you have to stick to meat? Much can be done with bread and fruits over an open flame. To make this a fun activity with your kids, use cookie cutters to make the bread and fruit into shapes. You can decide on themes like “animals” and “letters” or ask that each shape be different from the others! Then, let your kids decide which toppings they would like to put on. Add cheese, onion, and various spices to bread, cinnamon, and honey to fruit.
Try foil-wrapped surprise meals. Place different combinations of chicken, fish, and vegetables with sauces and spices in foil packets. These cook in less than 20 minutes, leading to no-mess, lip-smacking results. Children will love the surprise element and can easily switch packets. You can even ask your family for combo suggestions before the barbecue or draw ingredient names out of a hat to create new meal ideas.
A little variety goes a long way. If you tend to stick to the same old beef burgers and pork wieners, why not try grilled pizza or salmon steaks? Similarly, try to mix it up with condiments and seasoning. Sick of ketchup? Try salsa instead. Look online, where you’ll find hundreds of easy recipes for barbecue rubs. These give your food that extra pizzazz and prevent the mess and drip that comes with barbecue sauces.
Barbecues don’t have to be rushed. Barbecue devotees will tell you that today’s quick broiling is an insult to the term, which should represent a process of slow cooking on low heat. You can find many slow cooker recipes online, and the wait is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with your family and friends. Entertaining backyard activities include creating an outdoor canvas to paint on or playing backyard bowling with household items.
Mom said not to play with your food, but there’s always an exception! Barbecue games are great fun and tasty at the same time. In the game Glutton, each player gets a certain amount of mashed potatoes, macaroni, cheese, or any other side dish. Various kitchen utensils are put in a box, and the players blindly pick a few. On the go, they begin eating their plate with the items they have taken out. The first to finish their food wins the prize!
Finally, don’t fret! Far too many people get lost in the details of planning the perfect barbecue party and forget to enjoy the social atmosphere and delicious food. So kick back, bask in the relaxing sun and prepare for a summer of unforgettable barbecues!