As the weather gets warmer, many people start to think about hosting a Saturday barbie with family and friends. If you’re planning on hosting such an event, you’ll need to ensure you have enough food to feed everyone. A three-course meal is a perfect way to do this.
The first course should be light, such as snacks and finger foods. For the main course, grilled meats are always a popular choice. And for dessert, something sweet and refreshing like fruit salad or ice cream is always a hit.
1. Decide who to invite
The first step in planning any party is to decide who to invite. If you’re only inviting close family and friends, you probably don’t need to worry about catering for special dietary requirements. However, if you’re inviting a mix of people, it’s always a good idea to have some vegetarian and vegan options available.
2. Make a shopping list
Once you know how many people you’ll feed, it’s time to make a shopping list. You’ll need to buy enough food for the first course, the main course, and dessert for a three-course meal. Don’t forget to buy drinks as well.
Many online resources can help you plan your shop if you’re unsure what to buy.
3. Shop for your ingredients
With your list, it’s time to buy the necessary ingredients. If you’re short on time, you can always buy pre-made salads or soups. However, it’s not as difficult as it might seem if you want to make everything from scratch. You can even shop and buy ingredients online.
4. Pre-cook or prepare some of the food
If you want to make things easier on yourself on the day of the event, it’s a good idea to pre-cook or prepares some of the food in advance. It could include making salads, sauces, or desserts.
You can also buy some food items ready-made from the supermarket. For example, instead of making your fruit salad, you could buy a pre-made one.
5. Set up the grill
If you’re planning on serving grilled meats as your main course, now is the time to set up the grill. If you’re using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to light it in advance so it’s ready for you to start cooking.
If you’re using a gas grill, ensure you have enough propane or natural gas. You don’t want to run out of fuel halfway through cooking.
6. Set up your table
Now is the time to set up your table. If you’re using a buffet style, ensure enough space for all the food. If you’re serving plated meals, set a place for each person at the table.
Don’t forget to set out cutlery, plates, and glasses too.
7. Welcome your guests
As your guests start to arrive, welcome them and take their coats. Offer them a drink, and catch up with them while the main meal is being grilled. The men will most likely gather and socialise around the grill, while the woman gather in the kitchen or around the table.
It’s one of the reasons why hosting a barbeque is such a great event: everybody can relax and mingle wherever they’re more comfortable.
8. Keep your first course casual
Finger foods placed at various gathering points are an excellent way to keep your guests happy while waiting for the main meal. You can place some at the entrance, on the table, and next to the grill.
You can consider making small platters with a variety of savoury tartlets, or salted crackers served with a ‘build-it-yourself’ variety of cheeses and cold meats as toppings. You don’t want your guests to feel full after snacking, but still satisfied with a tasty assortment of flavours to keep the hunger at bay.
Fresh summer starters: For a refreshing and light appetiser, try a summery fruit salad. Combine your favourite seasonal fruits with a drizzle of honey or lime juice. Add some chopped fresh mint for extra flavour.
9. Start grilling and serve the main meal
After serving and enjoying the starters, it’s time to start grilling the main course. You may need to cook in batches if you’re cooking for a large group. It can also be an excellent time for the men in the house to catch up and bond while cooking.
As the meats are cooking, you can start to prepare the sides. If you’re serving a salad, you can chop the vegetables and make the dressing in advance.
When everything is ready, it’s time to serve the main meal. Ensure each person has a drink and something to eat before sitting down to enjoy the food.
Main Course: Grilled meats are always a hit at a barbie – pre-marinate your chicken, steak, or pork in your favourite sauce or marinade. Then fire up the grill and cook to perfection. Serve with grilled vegetables and some hearty sides like potato salad or coleslaw.
10. Serve dessert and coffee
After everyone has finished their main meal, it’s time for dessert. If you’ve made something in advance, such as a cake or pie, now is the time to bring it out. If you buy nangs online from NangWizard they will be delivered fresh and ready to use.
Dessert: End your meal on a sweet note with a classic Aussie pavlova – top a bed of meringue with whipped nangs cream and fresh berries. You can also serve ice cream or fruit salad. Don’t forget to make coffee or tea to accompany the dessert.
11. Cleaning up is not for guests
Once everyone has finished their food, it’s time to start clearing the table. Depending on how well you know the guests, they can help if they offer. But, when you host a party, it is not polite to burden your friends with the clean up.
Clear the dirty clutter to a part in your kitchen or scullery where it is out of sight, and enjoy the final conversations with your guests. It’s better not to start packing your dishwasher and scrubbing table tops while your guests are still relaxing over their coffee. They will either feel they have to help, or feel that you are pushing your barbie to end. Neither is a good way to end a great day.