Post # 258 A Great Barbeque

May 26, 2014 at 12:04 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 258 A Great Barbeque

So, what makes a great barbeque, cookout, picnic, or outdoor eating experience?  Well, there are really only three components to a successful gathering of any kind.  Food, People, and Place.  When you get them right, you can’t help but have a good time.

Having the right people around is always a gamble.  You want to have the right mix.  Recently, I was at a graduation cookout and was introduced to a young woman.  We started talking, laughing, and before long we discovered several common interests.  Then I heard my sister-in-law saying, “I knew all I’d have to do is get you two sitting next to each other.”  That’s the perfect mix of people.  I’ve also been at gatherings where everyone interacted only with those few people they knew and everyone stood around in very small groups and the only thing that could be heard was the metaphorical crickets.  So how do you know who the right people are?  You don’t.  You just have to try and see what develops.

The place can be anywhere.  A back yard, a park, a hired hall.  Whatever you choose, you need to make it as comfortable as possible.  There needs to be convenient and comfortable seating.  There needs to be plenty of room for the number of people and the amount of food.  Above all, there needs to be a fall back place in case of inclement weather.

Finally, the food has to be good stuff.  You have to have a mix of things that all people can enjoy.  Burgers and dogs are a traditional mix during our summer gatherings, but we always have veggie trays and salads for the unknown vegetarians amongst us.  Food can be as elaborate as you want, but remember that as the host, you want to have fun, too.  Don’t make the food so complex that you end up focusing on that and not your guests.  The food should be good, and the lowest common denominator possible.  It doesn’t make sense to serve caviar to a bunch of people who have never had it before.  Snails are out of the question.  Unless, like me, you know how to cook them and really enjoy them.  Most people don’t, so I seldom cook them for gatherings.

Above all, as host, have a good time.  That’s essential.  If something doesn’t work, don’t worry about.  Most people won’t know anyway.  Julia always said “Be fearless!”  If you make a mistake, the only person who will know is you.  If you never admit it, it’s not a mistake.

Enjoy the day!

Memorial Day 2


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