Look. We don’t get much sun here in Ireland, so it makes sense that we’re not the most prepared when it comes to dining outside. Most of us make do with a singed barbeque and some shop bought coleslaw in the frantic rush to get outside and eat. But. There is help and advice at hand. Follow our 7 commandments of outdoor eating and make eating al fresco fun, every time
Choose food that tastes better at room temperature
That way, you will never be worrying about guests being on time, or serving things piping hot. When everything’s at room temperature, you can relax and enjoy the meal.
Prepare pitchers of drinks in advance
Nobody wants to be up and down serving drinks instead of enjoying the sunshine. Fill a jug with a cocktail and another with lemonade and watch guests help themselves.
Choose three salads and leave it at that
A simple green salad, a carb loaded one and something interesting like a parmesan, pear and rocket salad is all you need, every time.
If barbequing for a crowd, do most of the cooking in advance
Start most of your stuff in the oven, and finish on the barbie just before eating. That way you won’t be juggling a million different things instead of enjoying a meal with family and friends.
Don’t be fussy with tableware
Cover tables with newspaper and use brightly coloured plastics for easy clean up and a kitchsy feel.
Light the atmosphere
Citronella candles have a dual purpose of creating atmosphere and keeping flying beasts away. We are never without them.
If it is hot, be careful. Keep creamy dressings and raw meat refrigerated until before serving. Make sure meat is cooked through and keep marinades for raw meat separate from cooked meat.