Top Ten Things to Bring to a Barbecue
In honor of Memorial Day I thought it’d be appropriate to list my top ten things to bring to a barbecue. Everyone goes to at least one Memorial Day weekend and sometimes they don’t know what to bring. That’s where I come in!
1. A bottle of alcohol or wine
They always say it’s 5’oclock somewhere! You can never have too much alcohol. I’m not saying to go out and get belligerently drunk and embarrass yourself in front of your friends and family, but at a big barbecue a few drinks per person can really add up; so the more the better. Remember, drink responsibly!
2. A dessert
Another thing you can never have enough of. Forget dinner, let’s get to dessert! Of course the dessert you bring doesn’t have to look like the one featured, but bring something simple and delicious, like apple pie. A traditional dessert that everyone’s bound to love. Don’t like apple pie? Go for a chocolate cake or ice cream, someone’s sweet tooth is bound to like what you bring.
Barbecues aren’t just about hanging out with friends and family, they’re also a place for people to show off their best and most creative recipes. Appetizers are the perfect things for just that. These small delicious platters are the perfect size to have more than one, and yet keep you craving the main meal. So get out your cookbooks and put on your aprons, because everyone will want to try your appetizers!
Although the hosts of the barbecue will most likely already have this crucial supply, do a little to help them out. Maybe they underestimated the amount of people showing up, or maybe a bunch of people misplaced their cups and need new ones. You can never have too many cups, and if you do, I’m sure the hosts will use them all at some point. But let’s face it, no one will only use one cup during the night, especially if they decide to have different drinks. Putting water in a cup that had soda just won’t taste very refreshing.
For those of you who think that there will be enough cups, bring a bag or two of ice. That stuff melts fast, especially in the hot weather, and no one wants to drink warm water or soda. It’s a guarantee that you’ll be a party saver when bringing more ice. Party Plus: no one has to run out when everyone realizes that the ice supply has been depleted!
6. Your Appetite
Going along with the desserts and appetizers is your appetite. Make sure not to eat too much earlier on in the day, otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the amazing food at the barbecue, which will probably offend some people. Cousin Sheila will probably think you don’t like her pigs in a blanket or that you think her Oreo pudding isn’t good, but in reality you’re not eating because you’re too full from earlier on in the day. So let’s all save cousin Sheila the pain and go hungry. In the wise words of IHOP, “Go Hungry, Leave Happy!”
7. A Good Playlist
One of the best things to go along with a party full of family and friends is great music. Thanks to the glorious world of iPods everyone and anyone can make a playlist of their favorite music. So bring out your best tunes and become the DJ because any party can use tons of music. When the kids start playing their rap music and all of the parents get annoyed, jump in and put on some old school rock and roll. That’ll be sure to get their spirits up, and someone’s bound to embarrass their kids by playing the air guitar.
8. Bug Spray
Summer, a time of warm weather, the sun, many parties outside, and of course mosquitoes. Make sure you pack some bug spray so you don’t wake up with those itchy, red bug bites all over your arms and legs the next morning. Plus, share with friends. I’m sure they’ll realize you’re the smart one for bringing bug spray in the first place!
Not only does Memorial Day weekend mean barbecues, but it also means the start to sunny days and summer. Bring some sunscreen to share with everyone so they don’t have embarrassing farmer’s tans; and yes you can get sunburned through the clouds. So be prepared, and help out those pale people in need (like me). Better to be pale then a funky shade of red!
10. A Good Mood
Finally, be in a good mood. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer, so put on your party hat (not literally, unless you actually have a party hat) and have a good time! It’s Memorial Day weekend so have some fun, before you have to back to work during the week. Most of all be the life of the party, that way no one will ever forget you. Party Plus: your friends will be longing to invite you to their future get-togethers.
Well, there you have it; my top ten things to bring to a barbecue. Bring any and all of these things this weekend and you’re bound to have nothing less then a great time!
–Sari Cohen, Summer 2011 Intern