Archive: Backyard Cooking

Fourth of July Checklist

With the anticipation of fireworks, parades and red-white-and-blue jello desserts, we can get sidetracked while planning a holiday cookout, fiesta, barbecue -- whatever you may call it. Details are tough when pulling off a celebration of the outdoor variety, to boot. Below is a list of 10 things to remember amid all the hubbub. And please, share your tips in the comments area below. 1. It's hot out there. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the mid 90s. That means the "keep-cold-food-cold and hot-things-hot" rule is of particular importance. The last thing you want to interrupt your fireworks show is a visit to the emergency room for food poisoning. Simply put, if you're at home, keep meat in the fridge until ready to use and keep prepared food indoors (preferably with the A/C on), even when it's time to serve up. Arrange your spread buffet-style on the kitchen table...

By Kim ODonnel | July 3, 2006; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Let's Eat Out (side)

After several days of pounding rain, Washington is getting a break with true-blue skies and sun. (I guess that means I'm off the hook from making mud pies.) As soon as those porch chairs finish draining, I think it's time to venture out into the dry outdoors. Although the ground may be a muddy mess for the next few days, a picnic is an effective way to embrace the weather change. But, as my colleage and shopping diva extraordinaire Janet Bennett points out, "Unless you're really sophisticated and have an old Persian carpet lying around, you're going to need something to keep your fanny dry." She recommends a look around at the oilcloth tablecloths made by designer Cath Kidston. Locally, Go Mama Go sells oilcloth by the yard for $10, so you can cut what you think you'll need. If you've got a crowd coming this weekend, have a look...

By Kim ODonnel | June 28, 2006; 01:55 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

BBQ: What's the Secret to Your Sauce?

I am a Yankee girl. My family is from up North, too. When Fourth of July would come 'round, we'd eat burgers and dogs, corn on the cob and potato salad. And if we were good, we'd have "Wooder ice" for dessert. The word for such a feast was a "cook out, " which was also used as a verb, as in "We're going to cook out tonight." The word "barbecue" was not part of the vernacular, with one exception - when my Dad was feeling adventurous and bought a bottle of Kraft barbecue sauce to brush on chicken breasts. I'm not complaining, really. But coming from up North, we got the short end of the stick when it came to matters of the grill. In this case, I suppose ignorance is bliss as I had no idea what I was missing. Wasn't chicken on the grill supposed to charred...

By Kim ODonnel | June 28, 2006; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)


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