As we quickly move into a 3-day weekend, most people are finalizing with friends or family what they will be doing, who’s going where and what food will they be barbecuing. Memorial Day weekend is the start of many more family picnics or barbecues to come this year. When someone mentions picnic, it carries a special memory for everyone, whether it be as as a child remembering their happy adventures riding in a car to a special destination and the the end of that ride sitting at a long table with a checkered tablecloth staring at all the different foods that were so appetizing on a hot day or the feel of soft grass touching their feet as they run around the park. It can often be the celebration of family members from all over meeting at a lake for a family reunion picnic.
Every year we see more and more family and friends gathering at the public parks and lakes celebrating. What used to be the typical sandwich, chips and drink picnic we used to have in the past has become a great elaborate meal with ribs, steaks, chicken, hot dogs, potato salad and so much more.
Wherever you and your family decide to have your barbecue picnic, it is the advance preparation that will make it a success. (My post on Eccentric WAHM, Backyard Barbecue Basics , shares with you what basic BBQ tools are helpful in making your BBQ sizzle.)
Here are a few proven family barbecue picnic rules to remember:
Make your potato salad or pasta salad and chill thoroughly; take in a container like a chilzanne bowl to keep it chilled. Your pasta salad could also be packed in ziploc bags! Take your collapsible bowl, and assemble it there.
If you don’t want to buy your ice, collect ice cubes in advance. Store them in the freezer. Take them in plastic bags to prevent the foods you place in the cooler getting soggy.
Keep your hot things hot and cold things cold!
Lots of families decide to spend their 3-day holiday camping. Remember to take plenty of heavy duty aluminum foil on your camping trips. You can make so many things from aluminum foil, including sauce pans, lids, bowls, and even water bowls for your pets!
Use powdered milk for cooking on camping trips, as it is easier to store, lighter to carry and cheaper than regular. Make sure to take lots of water with you, especially if there is not a store within miles from your camp site.
Getting your on-the-road oatmeal is fast if you turn regular oatmeal in a blender before leaving home. Blending makes the oatmeal the same as “instant.”
When getting ready for a camping trip, fill large coffee cans with chili, stew or soup, and freeze. It adds to the coldness of the food in the cooler, plus you can set it at the edge of the campfire to heat, right in the can! Serve up in bowls and then dispose of the can. No big pots to wash and worry about!
For a quick meal while camping, brown ground beef, add sloppy Joe sauce, and freeze it in a freezer bag. Throw it in the cooler (it will help keep other food cool too) and then warm it up in a pan over a fire or on a grill. Can also be done with taco meat; just bring along your shells or tortillas and other desired toppings!
To cook hamburgers more evenly and avoid the syndrome of well done edges and rare centers, make a tiny hole (about the size that your index finger could fit through) in the middle of your burgers. During grilling, the hole in the middle will disappear but the center will be cooked the same as the edges!
Add a few ice cubes to aluminum foil packet dinners or vegetables to prevent them from burning and keep them moist!
Using a few corn chips as fire-starters is economical and efficient. Simply light them with a match and toss a few on the campfire or barbecue! Works great!
Family Fun…..Great Memories………
The combination of family, friends and good food in a relaxed atmosphere will create a holiday occasion long remembered. What family memories will you create this holiday weekend?
As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.com.
Visit my new Kitchen Store for some of my recommened appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning.
Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.