Last week, I hosted my annual Canada Day party. Despite the dark, threatening skies that hung overhead, we managed to miss the rain for the 12th year in a row, meaning we successfully barbecued our burgers just as we planned.
A few years ago, we gave up trying to impress our guests with a variety of grilled meats and have been serving burgers and hot dogs at this party ever since. We fancy things up just a little by putting out a mighty fine condiments bar, but otherwise we keep it all as simple as possible because when you’re feeding 25 people, half of whom are kids, there is no time for complicated menus.
Which brings me to the side dishes. For me, these are the most work, and this year I just didn’t have the time to make a variety of salads to serve alongside our grillables, so I dialled everything back to very basic and set out platters of watermelon and corn on the cobb, plus a basket of individual bags of chips.
I have to say, the chips were the stars of the dinner. Mostly because I mixed five different Canadian-inspired flavours into each bag, encouraging guests to guess which ones they were eating, but everyone also LOVED having a perfectly portioned serving of potato chips to put on their plate. French fries and burgers are a natural pairing and I think potato chips just might be the next best thing based on the reaction these portable packages received. You can use any flavour you fancy, or simple go with something plain, and ordinary brown paper sandwich bags are the perfect no-fuss serving vessel to put them in.
To make the bags, I cut away a third of each sandwich bag and rolled down the top to create a sturdy cuff around the top. Then I gave the kids the task of filling each one almost to the top. We stacked them in a large wicker basket and set them out on the buffet table along with everything else we had for dinner.