Categories: Entertaining Tips
Summertime is fantastic for getting friends and family together for fun in the sun. While we don’t have to worry about plowing snow or icy paths, summer does bring its own set of challenges to the party-throwing world.
Linda Sample, owner of A Thyme to Cook, offers up some Do’s and Don’ts for summer time entertaining in your home.
Here are some tips that you definitely want to DO, to keep your guests happy, the food fresh and your sanity intact.
1. Think air conditioning!
An uncomfortable guest is an unhappy guest. In the old days a bowl of ice in front of a fan worked just fine.
2. We are surrounded with bountiful flavor – USE IT!
Nothing like a fresh tomato salad with a squeeze of citrus and fresh herbs. No fancy spices or sauces needed.
Nothing can compare to the flavor of farm-fresh eggs. You don’t have to make a mayo-laden salad, think more along the lines of a really good EV olive oil and herbs snipped from the garden.
4. Forget about the sauces, creams, and other add-ons.
Summer food is among the most flavorful of the year. One of our primary focuses here at ATTC – when you have a quality flavor to begin with, you don’t need to ‘doctor’ it up.
5. SMALL bites
Sandwiches and Salads. People are typically not as hungry and it takes less to fill up when it’s so hot out.
6. Have tons of water on hand.
Flavored, infused, carbonated or still – water will always be the most refreshing! Leave the soda at Costco.
7. BUG SPRAY!
7. Have some bug spray on hand, your guests will thank you for it. Try this all-natural ‘concoction’ that our own Brian Mullen uses and REALLY does work: Combine 3 cups of Epsom salts, 1 large bottle of ‘el-cheapo’ blue mouthwash and 1 stale beer. Combine in a bucket and put in a spray bottle to spray around your yard – NOT ON YOUR BODY! You’ll be surprised how well it works.
On the other hand – there are many things you DON’T want to do in the summer!
1. Don’t go crazy with the menu.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by being too adventurous! You will be an anxious wreck and unable to enjoy your company.
2. Put down the hedge clippers.
Don’t kill yourself with uber cleaning of the house or yard. Your guests don’t care – they just want to hang out with you.
3. Don’t grill.
It may sound crazy to suggest not grilling in the summer, but why spend a hot day standing near something with the heat of the sun? It takes you away from your guests and masterful grilling really is an art. Not everything should be “really really really well done”. If you want grilled good, grill in advance and serve it later.
4. Don’t serve anything heavy or creamy.
Even ice cream isn’t a great idea for a summer party. It is not all that refreshing and only leads to thirst, a need for a nap, and the inevitable melted cone in your outdoor carpet.
5. Don’t party at High Noon.
Don’t have your guests over in the prime heat of the day (12pm – 3pm). You’re setting yourself up for discomfort and it’s just too doggone hard to cool off.