How to Throw the Best-Ever BBQ

barbeque food smallSummer is finally here, so you’ll want to take advantage of the steamy romance-inducing nights and free-for-all vacation mentality.

Forget the same old steaks and beer. We’ve got four wacky but easy-to-execute ideas to help you throw the most fabulous happening of the summer. Let’s get into how to throw the best-ever bbq.

Six Degrees of Barbeque

You know how you always invite the same 17 people to all your parties? Bring some new blood to the old gang. With Parties Once Removed, everybody you invite brings someone that nobody else in the group knows. Think of it as six degrees of separation, only backwards. Voila! A party full of brand new people who already get along great with your closest friends.

Dive-In Movies

Borrow your condo complex’s or community center pool, set up a projector on the side of a building, and screen your favorite water-themed movie. Dress the tables with beach towels. Serve cocktails and food related to the flick, like shark kabobs or boiled shrimp labeled “bait.” Pass out the floaties, loungers and noodles, stake out a prime spot in the deep end, and soak up the compliments. As an added bonus, you get to see everybody you invite in a bathing suit, so don’t forget the cutie from work.

Luau

OK, I admit, this is not an original idea. However, it is a surefire way to have a great party, so as your Cruise Director, I am obligated to include it. Beach parties of any type are a fantastic way to get people together in the summertime (even those with an imaginary beach, or a bucket of sand standing in effigy).

Everybody owns at least one tacky tropical shirt, and it’s easy to let your hair down when “informal” is code for “barefoot.” Hand out leis at the door, throw some oysters on the grill, put a couple tons of shrimp in a pot on the stove, whip up some potato salad and slice the watermelon.

Throw in a keg of beer and a couple of blenders full of margaritas, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous beach bash. A little Beach Boys/Bob Marley/Don Ho soundtrack, and some Tiki torches for ambience, and you’ll have a party that people will be talking about until after the snow hits.

Go Retro

There are a slew of fabulous and funny new entertaining books from Collector’s Press, including Retro Fiesta, Retro Beach Bash and Retro Barbeque that offer step-by-step instructions for duplicating the kinds of parties grandma used to throw, back in the day when granny still liked to get down and get funky with her bad self.

Each party-planning book has a theme, and gives suggestions from table-coverings and music to cocktails to Deviled Egg variations. (Good gracious, what’s a party without Deviled Eggs?) The recipes are fantastic and the theme-crazy ideas are corny but fun. The books are also crammed with retro illustrations and quaint tips: My favorite?

The “Bean Tutorial” which offers suggestions on “To Soak, or Not to Soak, That is the Question.” I’m pretty sure each book contains a theme-appropriate Jell-o mold as well: This stuff is just fun waiting to happen.

According to Linda Everett, author of Retro Barbeque, “A good marinade can make that bargain cut of beef chuck or shoulder steak into a tender, memorable meal. This is especially handy when you’re trying to feed a crowd without going bankrupt.”

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By Lisa Daily

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