Are you planning ahead for summer grilling season? Do you want to ensure that all your neighbors feel free to drop in without an invitation? Try these six tips to bring all your neighbors to your next barbecue.
Meet and Greet
Making a connection with a neighbor can be as simple as a short conversation while you’re out with the stroller or walking the dog, or taking a meal to a new neighbor. Ideal summer covered dish meals included grilled vegetable kebabs, burgers and hot dogs. Don’t forget tasty homemade vegetable dips or salsa.
Keep Your Yard Attractive
Mow your yard regularly, sweep your sidewalk and keep outside decorations seasonal but subdued. Make it a daily chore for the kids to pick up their outdoor toys. Grill out regularly with your family. This gives you practice in trying different dishes and tells your neighbors that you enjoy entertaining and eating outside.
Get the Bugs Out of Your Yard
Bug zappers aren’t attractive when you’re trying to eat. But there are a lot of different, subtle ways to discourage mosquitoes in your yard or around your patio. Flies and mosquitoes can easily be deterred by the scent of rosemary, peppermint, basil and thyme. Simple solution, plant a herb garden around your eating area outside. And think of all the benefits, no pesky bugs, a natural solution, looks beautiful, and you will have fresh herbs to incorporate in your cooking adventures. Just be sure to leave some on the plants for the bugs.
Light Up the Night
Outside lighting doesn’t have to be expensive or even professionally installed. You can buy solar lights from your local farm supply or lawn and garden store. Use solar lights to light your walkways and mark the perimeter of your patio or the stairs up to your deck.
Anticipate Different Dietary Needs
When you’re throwing an open outdoor barbecue, it’s entirely possible that potential guests may be diabetic, vegetarian, on a gluten-free diet or on the wagon. Provide at least one dish to meet every need and be sure to have non-alcoholic beer and sparkling grape juice on hand. Don’t be afraid to grill traditional meat entrees and provide beer and wine as well. There are so many different options and different recipes you can test out. You can even save money by buying meat online in bulk and in different cuts. Then you will have it on hand for an impromptu get together. You can easily satisfy all your guests with just a few dishes.
Dropping in and Saying Goodbye
Your guests shouldn’t feel any pressure about dealing with their dirty dishes before they leave. Put out two or three garbage cans with bags so that guests can easily clean up after themselves. That way your guests don’t feel obliged to load your dishwasher and you have less to do after the party.
When your neighbors know that your summer barbecues are casual and easy-going, you won’t have to invite them. They’ll show up as soon as you put the meat and veggies on your grill.