It’s safe to say July 4, 2020 will be one to remember. All things considered, we think the best place to celebrate this year is right in your own backyard. Some grub on the grill, a chilled summer cocktail, a lawn game or two and a few friends and family are really all you need for a festive Independence Day cookout.
As you plan for the holiday weekend, we’ve got you covered when it comes to the food and drink. Read on for everything you need to know to host a safe and delicious shindig.
It’s not just a catchphrase, so let’s start with some health precautions. According to updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it’s safest to gather outdoors when possible (that’s good news for a backyard BBQ!) These are some other CDC recommendations to keep in mind:
- It may be obvious, but remind guests to stay home if they are showing symptoms or have been exposed to Covid-19 in the last 14 days.
- Keep things socially distant when possible, by properly spacing tables and chairs and planning appropriate activities like corn hole or frisbee, so folks can stay apart.
- Don’t encourage hugs, handshakes, or even elbow bumps. A smile and wave is the way to go, a la British royalty.
- Wear masks when less than six feet apart, or when indoors. Ask guests to bring their own reusable cloth masks for a planet-friendly party.
- Hopefully no one still needs to hear this, but…wash your hands! Especially before serving or eating food. Offer hand washing stations like a bathroom or even an outdoor sink if you have one. Keep plenty of soap available at the sinks, and use single-use paper towels (ideally made from recycled paper) to avoid sharing towels. It would also be helpful to provide cleaning supplies to allow guests to wipe down surfaces in the bathroom. Hand sanitizer is also a good idea.
- Limit contact with the food. This means keeping people out of the kitchen or away from the grill, and identify one person to serve the food, so that everyone isn’t touching the same utensils.
- Wash, clean, and sanitize items before and after the event (this includes serving platters, chair covers, tablecloths, etc.)
- Above all, everyone should evaluate their own risk and comfort levels before attending a gathering.
Now for the fun part! If you’re ready to fire up the grill, here’s a classic and seasonal menu that’s perfect for a summer celebration.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad (recipe from Serious Eats)
Potato Chips and Sour Cream and Onion Dip (recipe from New York Times Cooking)
- Pro tip: Consider pre-portioning the dip into ramekins so guests can grab one instead of dipping.
The Main Event
Blue Cheese Burgers (recipe from Barefoot Contessa)
- Make it your own: Crumble the blue cheese into the beef mixture before forming patties and grilling.
- Shopping suggestion: Grassfed beef is better for you and the planet! Consider buying some from a local farmer.
Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Peppers (recipe from Epicurious)
Old-Fashioned Potato Salad (recipe from Barefoot Contessa)
Summer Blueberry Salad with Toasted Pecans and Feta (recipe from Cooking Light)
Blue and Red Berry Ricotta Galette (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
White Wine Sangria with Summer Fruits (recipe from The Spruce Eats)
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