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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Fun with a Spit Roast Barbecue Party

Can't claim credit for this cooking, my friend...
Can't claim credit for this cooking, my friend Paul was responsible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Nora Seabolt

Even in the country, the delicious aroma of a barbecue travels across the area and announces that the season has officially started. Whether you have a deck or patio, celebrate good weather with outside events. Whether you use a traditional red and white checkered tablecloth or placemats, nothing will distract from the delicious food set out on the table. Just start the spit roast cooking and prepare the other foods while the grill tends to the meat. It is too hot for roasting meat in the kitchen, so the BBQ is the perfect choice for cooking.

Clean the grill from top to bottom using water and safe solutions. Dry each part after rinsing it well. If the roast has ties already in place, leave them alone since they hold the roast together while turning. Add fresh herbs and spices by rubbing them into the meat and place minced garlic and onion in the center to flavor from the inside out. Use your favorite prepared marinade or use an interesting recipe to make one from scratch. Adding salt after cooking helps prevent the roast from drying out.

Plan the menu by asking ahead of time about food allergies, likes and dislikes. Adults usually want a more balanced meal, so prepare steaks or roast beef along with the side dishes. Both chicken and potatoes are perfect when prepared on the grill. Cook up a spit roast or a couple of chickens and prepare coleslaw or potato salad while enjoying the beautiful outdoors on a pleasant afternoon. Small tables around the patio and the picnic table set give plenty of room for people to sit. The BBQ is the equivalent of the company water cooler, where guests gather to talk and listen.

It is very convenient to put the prepared lettuce, tomatoes, onions and sauces out for guests to add as desired. Slice mushrooms and tomatoes ahead of time. Prepare things like cheese slices and bacon early in the day to give more time to visit with guests. Then reheat anything by placing it on the grill or in the microwave before putting it on the table where guests can reach and add it to their plate. Place a piece of cheese on the patty once it is off the grill as a treat. Cover it with the bun to encourage melting.

An advantage of solar lights is the gleam does not interfere with the starlight from above. Lights help guests to see steps and walkways. Different styles of lighting add highlights or soft glow to featured items in the yard. Low voltage outdoor lighting is another way to brighten the area with style. Both economical and eco-friendly, people will relax more with the glow chasing away the dark of night and adding to safety from tripping or falling.

Organize the barbecue by using toss-away plastic flatware and paper plates, napkins, and cups. The guests will readily place their trash in a convenient trash bin lined with a plastic bag. Hang weights to avoid having the tablecloth, plates and food ending up blown off the table by the breeze. One method of getting help with cleanup is to invite guests to pack up food they want to take home. Family and friends will enjoy the meal and the conversation.

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