Are you, like millions of Americans, planning a Fourth of July get-together? Even with record heat hitting much of the country, people coast-to-coast will be pulling out boats and barbecues out and inviting friends and family over. Everyone loves a good, old-fashioned outdoor cook-out and every year Independence Day northerners and southerners alike make it the most popular day for barbecuing in the U.S.A. This may come as no surprise to many of you, but do you know how many hot dogs you can expect each of your guests to eat or the best way to set up a buffet? Here, then, are some tips to make your Red, White and Blue party the best on the block:
Plan on each of your guests eating two hot dogs a piece.
Each of your guests will use an estimated four “Red Solo Cups” and two paper plates.
Drink-wise, for a two hour party, estimate one bottle of wine for every two guests and two bottles or servings of beer per person for the first hour. In general, plan on two drinks per guest during the first hour of your party, and one each hour after that.
Be sure to have plenty of bottled water on hand…you can never have too much.
If your cook-out consists of a buffet, consider the following ideas:
Mark the beginning of the line/table obvious by placing a tall stack of plates at it.
Make the buffet servable from two sides to keep the traffic flow going.
Don’t forget plenty of empty saucers/spoon rests for the guests to use after serving themselves.
Make the serving bowls and trays both attractive and accessible by placing them at various heights.
Place cards are always a nice touch, especially on dishes that aren’t easily identifiable like dips or cheeses.
Place food that you have the least amount of at the end of the buffet. Guests are less tempted to serve much of these items as their plates are have filled up.
Place napkins and serving utensils at the very end of the buffet line so guests don’t have to fidget with them while serving themselves.
A good and simple rule is to return an empty dish with something delicious inside. In other words, if someone brings a covered dish to your party, when you return it, do so with a casserole or apple crunch dessert inside.
If you don’t know what to bring as a hostess gift to a party you are attending, consider a bottle of wine, festive or theme-related coasters, cocktail napkins, a nice bottle of olive oil, a scented candle, or decorative tea towels.
Have fun planning!