Memorial Day is about remembering those who have died while in the armed forces and it’s also the unofficial kick off to summer. With expectations of a sun-spun afternoon and an enchanted early evening, there’s no better time to remember and to celebrate with family and friends. Here are our top tips for an outdoor cook-out that no one will soon forget.
The food: Late May is a glorious time to indulge in food and fun, al fresco style. Start with burgers topped with blue cheese crumbles or coleslaw. Classic potato salad and other seasonal sides are always a crowd pleaser, as are fresh fruits such as vine-ripened strawberries or grapes. Round out the menu with some farmers market vegetables and, of course, something sweet. Red velvet cupcakes or an old-fashioned blueberry crumble will keep your guests in a patriotic frame of mind.
Don’t feel like cooking for a crowd? Order pizza from Papa John’s. AAA members save 25 percent on their order, so you can easily feed the whole crowd for the big weekend.
The frills: In keeping with the Memorial Day theme, you’ll need some patriotic decorations. Set vintage blue dishes and crockery (or even paper plates, for easy cleanup) atop a red-and-white checked tablecloth. Line your patio or deck with pots of red and white flowers festooned with American flags, and line the driveway with luminarias done up in red and blue paint. And stars of all kinds are a must (think garlands, swags and yard accents).
To maintain good cheer throughout the evening, follow basic safety tips around the grill and/or swimming pool, if applicable, and make sure your insurance is up to date. Your AAA agent can talk you through your coverage options.