Kicking Off Summer in Retro Style
The official start of summer is right around the corner, but plenty of us have already been firing up the grill and taking to the back porch or patio in the afternoon. Soon, though, we’ll be inviting over friends and family for a day of outdoor fun and food. And this retro style patio tableware, grilling accessories and décor are sure to make the day as memorable as it is fun.
From the traditional oilcloth tablecloth, to wooden salad bowls (read the history of those here), creating a nostalgic atmosphere is pretty simple. Classic squeeze bottles for mustard and ketchup are less messy than flip-tops, and using deli baskets (or woven baskets) in lieu of paper plates saves on waste. Just line them with inexpensive deli paper.
If you prefer plates, though, opt for ones made of melamine that look like the paper plates and hot dog trays Mom used way back when. Of course, you could forego dinnerware altogether and wrap the burgers in checkered paper liners, which make a bold statement for vintage style celebrations.
Of course, don’t forget to outfit the griller! Whether it’s Dad or Aunt Susie, a functional apron is a must, as are the basic utensils (flipper, tongs, sauce brush…).
Typical beverages for cookouts are sodas, iced tea and lemonade. But you can make a splash by creating a signature cooler drink. Experiment with fresh lemonade infused with berries, or limeade with mint.
For adults, you’ll find a slew of tiki cocktail recipes right at this blog.
By the way, did you know there are hundreds of recipes for iced tea? From simple sun tea (where you put the pitcher of water and tea bags in the sun for 3 to 5 hours), to brewed tea, the best tip for sweetening is to add the sugar when it’s hot. This way the sugars “melt” with the tea, and dissolved entirely. Use the same process when flavoring with lemon or raspberries. Serve that icy cold beverage up in a wide-mouthed, glass chiller pitcher and your guests will thank you.
Last, but certainly not least, if you’re hosting a family BBQ, be sure to create some fun for the kids. The classic Slip N Slide is a great way for them to beat the heat, and classic games will keep them busy while Moms and Dads take a much needed break.