Keep It Simple

Darling, I just love what you've done with the patio.

After you’ve blown your savings building an outdoor living room that can only be used in the summer, you’ll definitely want to hang out in it as much as possible. That means barbecues, deck parties and keggers are in store.

This kind of entertaining requires the least amount of skill or labour – it’s summertime fun food! This is the kind of spread you make in between water polo matches and games of euchre. We’re talking about easy to prepare potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, burgers, sausages, corn on the cob…..and the easiest of all – shish kebabs.

photo courtesy of Chris Arkwright

All you need is a stick, some veggies and some seasoning and you’re pretty much done. They are so easy to assemble you can get the kids to do it while you mix up some more strawberry daquiris. As long as everything is prepared in advance the kids can just go to it and have them ready for the grill in no time.

Soak your skewers in water while you’re prepping, this will give them time to hydrate so they don’t hit the heat and burst into flames. Cut red onion, red and yellow pepper, zucchini, summer squash, pattypans and portobello mushroom into even sized pieces so that everything cooks at the same time. Put all your cut vegetables in a bowl with some minced garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili flakes and a little red wine vinegar or lemon juice. Remember those potted herbs around the canasta table? They aren’t just for decor, snip some rosemary or thyme and throw that into the mix. Add cherry tomatoes, toss everything and let marinade while you do your nails by the pool.

You can also add beef, chicken, wild boar, bison, trout or tofu to these skewers. If you want to get really fancy check out Chris’ Killer Kebabs recipe.

Serve these with some of the aforementioned salads. Add a few cold beers and a jello shooter or two and you’ve got dinner. Stack the Melmac in the outdoor dishwasher, cleverly located beside the outdoor wet bar just to the left of the outdoor home theatre. Light a few sparklers and celebrate another easy, breezy summer party.

Anyone for canasta?

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