It’s Canada’s national day and most businesses and government offices are closed, so Canadians can be with family, celebrate the uniqueness of their culture and fire up the old backyard grill! far be it from me to make specific suggestions as to your personal Holiday Grill Feast Menu…
Whether you’re grilling for 10 or 1,000, the same basic rules apply.
Rule Number One is: Do as much ahead as possible so you can enjoy the party, too!
But I do have some general suggestions that could help you save time and aggravation when the dinner bell rings.
Have a separate Kids’ menu. This is rule number one for most experienced Grill Party givers. But for those who haven’t had to deal with kids before, you’ll find that making them a separate platter of Burgers and Hot Dogs is probably the best thing you can do to keep them happy. And make sure they have their own fixin’s table. There will be a mess and you need not expose your grown-up guests to that. They probably get enough of that at home, already!
Save the Brats and the Breasts and the Ribeyes for the grownups, who’ll fully appreciate them. Which is not to say you shouldn’t mix up some nice, big, fat, spicy Burgers for the grown-ups, too! make sure you get deluxe buns for the Grown-up Sausages and Burgers, large enough to hold the meat but not so large that the meat disappears inside the bread!
Keep track of the open time on your salads, condiments and toppings. They must not be left out at room (much less outdoor summer) temperatures for more than 45 minutes for safety reasons. Put out only as much of each item as you think will be consumed within 30 minutes. You can always put out more. Also, never add fresh food to old food that’s been out for any length of time. Rotate the containers out, back to the kitchen, when you rotate in new food items in fresh containers. If possible, keep cold foods and condiments in a covered high-sided pan or roaster, or plastic tub with a layer of ice in the bottom of it. This approach will keep them fresher, too.
Use disposable plates and utensils. High-end compressed-fibre plates are rigid enough to hold any kind of food and without flopping or soaking through. They’re also recyclable. Plastic cutlery is all recyclable, now, too. This will save you a lot of time on the cleanup and end the bad old days of searching through the garbage for that missing fork.
Make sure you have all your preparation done before you light the Grill. Unless you have a Sous Chef or some Prep Cook talent on hand. Make ahead anything you can make ahead and get all the cutting up and mixing done before hand, too. This way, you’ll have time to enjoy your own party, socialize with your guests and avoid running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
ALWAYS make sure you have enough fuel – be it charcoal, Wood, gas or whatever – on hand. Check a day or two before your event. Leave it to the last minute and you may find it hard to get fuel. Like today: Virtually everything is closed for the holiday!
And that’s about it…
Have a great Canada Day!
~ Maggie J.