Football season is in full swing! As mentioned in my last blog, it’s also a time to get together with neighbors, friends, and family. Many games will be enjoyed with food, whether beforehand with a tailgate party, or at home with a barbeque. And as anyone who has helped with a tailgating party or a barbeque will tell you a little preparation will go a long way. If I could talk to my younger self, here are a few tips I would give:
Get and use a grooved cutting board.
Whether you’re slicing a watermelon or cutting chicken breasts, it tends to be a wet and messy situation. If you’re cutting something especially juicy, cleanup could possibly include not only the counter, but also any cabinets under where you’re cutting, and even, in the worst of cases, the floor! A grooved cutting board will catch the juices, helping reduce the time and effort needed for clean up.
I always thought my parents were being picky when they insisted on using coasters on the coffee table at home. But now that I’m older, I understand that cups can, and often do, leave wet rings wherever they have been set down. Over the years I have seen tables where coasters have not been used. Many were stained or were blistering from where the wet rings caused damage to the wood. Plus, if the table where food is being set is dirty it may leave a bad impression.
Customize or personalize your dishes.
We’ve all almost taken the wrong pan or dish at the end of a potluck or get together. I personally almost took home the wrong cake pan, as my sister and I had the same pan. Marking your serving dish or serving utensils as yours can help assure that nobody will leave with your stuff. Sometimes the personalization may become a topic of discussion!
Take advantage of multi-use items.
When preparing food, having to move food from one bowl or cutting board to another can be tiring, not to mention messy. I have seen a nice cutting board being used as a serving tray. The first time I saw that I was so impressed! The Hostess served the meats and cheeses on the same cutting board she had cut them on. It showed me that sometimes we don’t need to use 2 pans or plates when one could be used with the same result.
These are just a few preparation ideas I have seen and have used in my own game day preparation. Do you have any hints or tricks that you use to help prepare for your tailgating party or barbeque? Let us know in the comments!