The first unofficial long weekend of summer is just days away, and there are approximately six weeks remaining in the school year. For us, this means it’s almost time for lots of outdoor entertaining. In addition to casual weekend barbecues and outdoor dinners with our extended family, we’re also hosting our annual Canada Day party in celebration our nation’s 150th birthday. In addition, if all goes well there will be another round of cousins’ camp to add to the calendar, too.
Here’s how I’m getting ready for the summer gatherings I’m excited about this year:
- Get the grill ready to go. We’ll be stocking up on charcoal next week, and I’ve been hoarding newsprint for months in order to have a large supply ready for my beloved charcoal chimney.
- I’ve dusted off my water dispenser and plan on filling it up every weekend, keeping it close for those who are thirsty. How do we keep H2O interesting in the warm-weather months? I have a list of68 ways to naturally flavour your water that I keep pinned to the fridge for flavor inspiration.
- Speaking of drinks, I like to keep it simple when we have people over and I streamline my offerings to two things for the adults: cold beer and sangria.
- I’ve replaced the broken bulbs in my outdoor twinkle lights and look forward to hanging them in the coming days. They add a nice glow to those late nights outside after the sun eventually sets. Also: is there anything more hygge?
- Linen napkins are must-have in my book, and we use them every night at dinner. Having said that, I’m certainly not taking my matching clean cloths outdoors for barbecues and backyard eating. Instead, I picked up 20 white and blue cotton tea towels from Ikea (sold in packs of four for $4). They wash well and are perfect for sponging saucy faces.
- Arming myself with a few simple desserts is key when it comes to feeding my friends. Who wants to spend hours standing stoveside when you can be outdoors with your guests. This s’mores cake is always popular at parties, and you can never go wrong with these other no-bake desserts.
- Lastly, everyone overlooks ice, but it’s essential for keeping drinks cool and I estimate about one pound per person for chilling and serving purposes. I don’t have an ice machine built into my fridge but I keep ice cube trays full in the freezer always, and when it comes to the larger get-togethers I always pick up a 40lb. bag from my local party supply store if needed.
Do you have any fun gatherings planned for the coming months? What’s in your warm-weather entertaining arsenal?