The Etiquette Scholar blog answering you dining etiquette questions.
Barbeques and Picnics
A barbecue is one of the easiest parties to prepare for.
planning a barbeque
- Make sure the lighting is adequate for an evening barbeque. Both for the chef and the guests.
- Floodlights lighting surrounding trees provide a nice effect
- The Barbeque Menu.
- If you serve steak, provide guests with knives and sturdy plastic plates or china.
- Other dishes, such as potato salad, coleslaw, or baked beans, can be prepared in advance and kept indoors until served.
- Beer, any soft drink, and wine.
- In hot weather, provide iced tea, iced coffee, and/or sangria.
- Keep pots of coffee hot on the grill.
- Cocktails may be served.
- Elaborate hors d'oeuvres are not necessary. Nuts or potato chips are sufficient.
- If you're serving hamburgers or hot dogs, provide a side table with a variety of condiments.
Picnics can be delightful or go horribly wrong.
Consider your guest list carefully. Select your company from friends who really enjoy picnics and won't mind eating outdoors.
Serve the food without much delay. Within an hour of your guests' arrival (unless you have planned a specific activity beforehand).
the picnic menu
- The best kinds of picnics are the simplest, with the one main requirement being that the food be fresh and of good quality.
- A loaf of bread, a piece of cheese, a container of marinated olives, and a bottle of wine. If the cheese and wine are good and the bread fresh, this menu is delicious and nourishing, requires no preparation, and is relatively inexpensive.
- If you choose you may add fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwiches, for example, or an olive and sun-dried-tomato pasta.
- Plates for a picnic that includes hot foods should be more substantial than uncoated paper.
- Plastic bowls or cups are more leak proof and easier to hold than paper cups.
- Pack coffee or tea in a thermos and carry a cooler full of beer and soft drinks. (fring extra freezer packs or ice)
It is not necessary to have a tailgate to have a tailgate party. Use the back of a sports utility vehicle or bring along a folding table. The only other piece of equipment you may need is a grill. You don't even need a football game; consider a tailgate party before a concert or during a day at the races. Or, if you are making a long trip, you can find a nice place to pull over to the side of the road.
- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
If you find any typographical errors, inaccuracies, or inconsistencies, or if you just have something to add, please email us.