There’s nothing I love more then entertaining friends and family. I’ve been missing everyone so much. BUT there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. While we don’t want to get too lax and complacent, rules are easing and we are able to gather in limited sized groups to socialize. That’s all I need to hear and I’m planning for summer party season now! We still need to take precautions so here are some hosting ideas for a safe and stylish little backyard soirée.
- Plan a seating plan according to who your guests are. Obviously sit down dinners aren’t advisable. Set up a casual seating area with everyone facing each other. Couples or groups from the same household can sit close but make sure there is a 6 foot distance between guests where necessary.
- Have your peeps enter through the backyard if possible, so there’s less surfaces touched
- Set up a hand sanitizing station set up near the entrance to the yard or the house in case they need to go inside. Even your sanitizing station can be cute. I bought a premium bottle made by a local distillery and just poured some into a plastic dispenser. You could also put out some Napkins and wipes.
- A garbage bin is must. Try and tuck it away but make sure it’s easily accessible for your guests to dispose of plates and cups if necessary.
- Whether you’re serving cocktails, wine or beer, have everything lined up and easily accessible. Pour the wine for your guests so the bottle isn’t being handled.
- Beer bottles should be twist off unless you have a cooler/bucket with an attached opener . Have extra cups/glasses (I think disposable is the way to go) easily available
- If you use a cooler or ice bucket have the bottles standing upright
- Have single water bottles and a non alcoholic bevy choice available
- An alternative is using pretty beverage dispensers for a self serve station. Not ideal, but It could be a safe option if the spout lever is wiped down each time.
- Keep serving utensils out of the equation, unless you as the host are using them to plate.
- Whether you use disposable dishes or not is completely up to you. Let your menu dictate what will be best
- Use paper serviettes
- When planning your menu consider items that can easily be grabbed. In my last post ( Mini Italian Picnic), a tip I had was to avoid condiments all together. If you are serving burgers for example, make a signature burger that’s already dressed like a Bacon Double Cheese Burger with Jalapeño Aioli (recipe coming in a future blog post).
- Skewers, sticks and picks.Wood or bamboo are a perfect way to serve savoury or sweet things like fruit, chicken, beef or pork brochettes, and antipasto. Wooden picks make bites or smaller appetizers easy to pick up. Sliders, meatballs, cheese
- Take out boxes. I use these all the time for client parties. Look for 8 oz. size for appetizers or 16 oz for a more substantial portion. Make sure you get food grade boxes which are also lined so you can fill them with anything from salad to spaghetti. Your guests will LOVE this presentation
- Instead of a crudités platter serve individual portions in cute mason jars. Dip goes at the bottom. Brilliant
- I hate to say this because cheese and meat platters are a party staple, but I would suggest avoiding grazing type cheese and charcuterie platters where everyone grabs from it. Instead make up a little appie plate for each guest. Cheese, charcuterie or even a selection of warm hors d’oeuvres would be amazing.
- For dessert offer a selection of individual sweets or make something fun like Mini Strawberry Tiramisus.
- If you are having people over let’s assume you are feeling great and are 100% healthy. However, this is the time to amp up and take extra precautions. Look at it as if you were running a restaurant.
- Sanitize all work surfaces, sinks and utensils before you start your food prep and during.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly, especially if you leave the kitchen or touch unsanitized surfaces.
- Wear food grade gloves when handling anything that will not be cooked/heated.
Designate a washroom for guests to use. Remove all cloth towels and replace with disposable hand towels. Have your soap pump filled and make sure there are sanitizing wipes handy
Enjoy reconnecting with friends and family❤️
Do you have any pandemic friendly party tips? I’d love to hear!