Outdoor Entertaining 2009
It’s the first day of May, which means the season for outdoor entertaining has begun. Get that grill out (if it’s not already) and put it to work. Grab some friends, acquaintances, random strangers, whoever’s around, and get this party started. Pick a reason to celebrate! Any reason! That you still have a job! That you don’t have a job! Cinco de Mayo! That you don’t have hamthrax! That you do have hamthrax, but that you’ll be totally fine if you just go to the doctor! That this is going to be the last mention of hamthrax in this post!!! That the exclamation points will be tapering off any second now!! Celebrate! Let’s go.
What’s so great about entertaining outdoors, you ask? What, are you kidding me? Have you been outside to smell that fresh air? I detect lilacs and oxygen. It smells sooooo much better than the inside of my house right now. Sure, there are bugs. But you can, like, put out candles and shit for that. I know the pollen is bothering a lot of folks at the moment. Go take a Claritin. Now get your asses outside and don’t forget the cool beverages.
Oooooooo. The perfect drink to ease into al fresco entertaining mode is over at Matt Bites: beautifully colored aguas frescas. It’s fruit-sweetened water that’s light and hydrating. Try cucumber-lemongrass, pineapple-ginger, or strawberry-thyme. Yes, please.
For appetizer fare, deviled eggs are making a comeback (did they ever go out of style?), so show your local egg farmer some love with these versions:
Classic deviled eggs from Pro Bono Baker.
Avocado and cilantro deviled eggs from Rookie Cookie.
Spicy hummus, blue cheese ‘n’ chive, and two other tasty versions from Inn Cuisine.
If you’re inclined to grill some steaks, why not whip up a simple herb butter with tender, young tarragon and chives to dress them up? Or toast some country bread over the coals and serve topped with herbed yogurt cheese from Fast Grow the Weeds.
For dessert, think simple. You don’t need to make things complicated until July, at least, when you’ll be whipping up homemade ice cream sandwiches like the ones at Spicy Ice Cream. For now, though, rhubarb fool from Real Epicurean is all you need. Just sweetened rhubarb with whipped cream out on the porch with the breezes and the kids off doing something somewhere else while the adults laugh about whatever. I may never go back inside again.
Tammy Donroe can also be found documenting the messy collision between food and life on her blog, Food on the Food.