In honor of our three day weekend, I thought I’d give some light, humorous advice today. While Memorial Day is technically a time for the country to remember our troops and all they’ve done to defend our country, it’s also the time that marks the beginning of the cookout/barbecue season. This weekend, grills will be fired up, the smell of chicken, burgers and steak will fill the air and all your friends and family along with their uninvited guests will gather together for fellowship.
Now I don’t think anyone has anything completely negative to say about cookouts but we all know about those unspoken/defined rules that many barbeque attendees break. Well, I’m taking it upon myself to let my readers know the proper etiquette to follow at a cookout.
Here are my top ten guidelines/rules for cookout conduct:
- At least be invited to the cook out you’re going too. If you’ve been invited to a cook out or any function for that matter and you want to bring someone, at least give the host a heads-up.
- If you CANNOT COOK or lack even basic culinary skills, don’t volunteer to bring and or prepare food. You’re feelings may be a little hurt when your food dish is the only one that hasn’t been touched or worse, tasted and “talked about”.
- When serving alcohol, please be mindful of your guest list. If you know some of your family members like to hug the bottle, don’t have it readily available and fully stocked. I’d suggest only purchasing a limited amount of alcoholic beverages. That way once it’s gone, it’s gone and hopefully you can avoid any drunken scenes or rants that are induced by intoxication.
- To the “Grill Master”- please, please, please don’t serve anyone undone or pink meat. The meat is the best part and if you screw that up, you and your guests might as well pack up and go to a restaurant because no one will get full off of potato salad and baked beans.
- To the seconds, thirds and fourths helping people: Don’t make it your mission to eat everything in sight. There is usually an abundance of food at cookouts so at least let everyone eat once before you go back and clear-out the table.
- I’m only saying this because I’ve witnessed it first-hand. If you bring your own tupperware to barbeques, stop that. It’s embarrassing.
- If you have family members who steal, make sure you put your valuables away or either lock the doors of rooms in your house. I know you love your cousin Jimmy and he loves you too but he also loves to steal.
- Have a variety of foods on the menu, not just what you like. If you’re inviting people to your home, you have to cater to them not just you. Also, a cook-out is not always the best time to experiment or try something new. If you haven’t tried it before or you have and it was still nasty, don’t give it a second chance on the day you have people over.
- Make sure your house and or back/front yard is clean. People may only be coming into the kitchen and bathroom (and Please give those what I like to call a “company cleaning”, meaning more vigorous than your usual routine) but your house still needs to look presentable.
- Finally, have fun! Play games, sing songs, look at old photo albums, reminiscence and just enjoy the fellowship. There’s bound to be a few head butts at any family function but don’t let that ruin your good time.
I hope this post made you smile a bit. Do you have a better tip that I didn’t address here? What’s the worst pet-peeve you have about family/friend gatherings such as this?
Happy Memorial Day!