With the weather finally beginning to warm up and the safest places to meet up with friends and family still being outdoors, you’re probably more than ready to break out the backyard table and share a meal with the family in the fresh, warm air. However, dining al fresco can also offer its share of difficulties, which is why we are pleased to bring dining al fresco tips to help you get the most of your upcoming outdoor dining.
- Have a solid table. You’d think this would be pretty obvious, but some people are so excited to get into the outdoor dining that they forget a table. While holding your plate in your hands and trying to eat is appealing, it’s just so much easier to have a table to set the food on and not have to worry about dropping your dinner down to Fido.
- Have a good selection of items for the grill. We know you’ve been waiting all winter long to get the grill heated up and going again, and now that the snow has melted, the grill master can awaken! Shop in our market and get everything you need for delicious weeknight dinners with the family enjoying the weather, and weekend barbecues with your friends over. From chicken to fish, there’s an endless supply of options available. Even bring date night in with some delicious steaks!
- Prepare for bugs. While you and your family may love the warmer weather and enjoy spending time outside, bugs come back from their winter vacation with a vengeance, and they will try to enjoy your dinner as much as you will. Some good ways to ensure these pesky pests don’t get in the way of your delicious meal:
- Eating on the screen porch. We know you can’t grill on the screen porch, but you can certainly set up the table and enjoy your meal on the porch if you have space. This will make you far more comfortable and not have to worry about swatting flies away while you are dining. You can transport your food inside or to the porch for safekeeping while you all eat, and you won’t have to worry about flies getting in your delicious meal.
- Have food covers available. If you want to go for the full outdoors experience, you’ll need to be prepared for bugs to invade your meal as soon as you’re done cooking it. Once everything is off the grill and prepared on the table, cover it with either plastic sealed lids or even aluminum foil to keep things warm and bug-free.
- Prepare the food inside. It may be easier to keep all of the food inside in the kitchen, and simply prepare the plates for everyone ahead of time. This will help to keep from food getting hot or cold and ensure that everyone can sit down and enjoy their meal together.
- Set up the backyard area for dining. The last thing you want to do is be unprepared for dining outdoors and have to set up everything after your meal has been on the grill. That’s a great recipe for having a cold dinner. Instead, take care of the preparations ahead of time. Put a tablecloth on the table if it sits outside, set out some plates on the table, have your drinks ready nearby in a cooler or already in a pitcher on the table, put your cutlery outside along with napkins and any condiments you may need so you don’t have to constantly keep going back and forth, and finally, have seats for everyone dining. When you’re all prepared for your outdoor meal ahead of time, you’ll be more able to enjoy your fresh off the grill meal.
- Set up for social distancing if hosting other households. While this is something newer that we’ve had to deal with, when you do choose to have friends and other households over for a barbecue, make sure that you are set up with the households socially distanced during mealtime. Having two tables at least 6 feet apart is an option, as is having blankets spaced out 6 feet apart for families or for individuals to sit on the grass and enjoy their meal. This can be a fun picnic-style meal where everyone can gather safely, and then you all can enjoy chatting and catching up, without concern of catching or spreading the virus.
We hope that these dining al fresco tips will help you to make the most of your backyard when the weather warms up and you can get outside more and more.