Happy Father’s Day & Welcome Summer
June 09, 2020
The weekend of June 20th and 21st marks the beginning of summer and Father’s Day. Both are fast approaching, although it seems to me as if spring passed us by while we sheltered in place to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19.
Summer is about living the outdoor life, and grilling is one hallmark of the season which we can enjoy safely with family and friends. Sunshine, delicious food, conviviality, and sharing are all wrapped up in this one great American tradition. So celebrate with Dad, and help prepare him for outdoor entertaining all summer long with our “Fire Up the Grill Kit” and “Cocktail Starters” gift baskets available both online and for pickup curbside or in our stores.
Need Menu Inspiration? Start Here!
Looking for a refreshing addition to your non-alcoholic summer drinks? Check out our large selection of White Balsamic Vinegars, all of which are delicious, healthy, and refreshing when added to sparkling water, tonic, sparkling wines and so much more. Or, try our versatile Balsamic Glazes. Their blend of balsamic, wine, and fruit, make grilled chicken, fish, fruit salad and desserts shine.
For a stand-out dessert, buy or bake a simple pound cake. Slice it lengthwise into three layers. Spread our Traditional Lemon, Cranberry Orange, Orange, or Key Lime Curd between the layers and reassemble. Slice and serve drizzled with Blood Orange Reisling, fresh blueberries and Blueberry Chardonnay Balsamic Glaze, Key Lime Mango Tequila, and Strawberry Zinfandel Balsamic Glaze
over sliced strawberries. Top with whipped cream, and Voila! Enjoy a safe and stress-free Father’s Day celebration by following our tips below:
Tips For Planning Safe Summer Entertaining
Epidemiologists are telling us that the danger of community spread is less likely outside, but that doesn’t mean we can throw all caution to the wind. Please continue to check CDC guidelines as we make our way through summer. With a little planning and some great tips, you can be sure that your summer outdoor get-togethers are safe and fun for everyone.
Social distancing is still very important, so consider the size of your outdoor space. Experts suggest keeping gatherings to no more than ten people, but if your space is small, fewer is safer. Spread out the fun and host several smaller cookouts throughout the summer rather than one big blast. This way you can relax, enjoy your company, and truly reconnect with those you have been missing.
Consider your guest list. Start small and invite friends or family members you know have been as careful as you have about protecting themselves and others. Let everyone know in advance the precautions you are taking and what you expect of them. A cookout with two families might need only a few precautions while a larger gathering will need more.
Masks: Obviously, people can’t wear a mask while eating and drinking. And masks can probably be safely dispensed with if everyone is practicing social distancing. You may, however, want guests to bring a mask to wear as they mingle after eating, or if they need to go inside. If a family gathering includes grandparents or anyone in a high-risk group, you will want to plan a space for them to sit which allows them to be part of the group while maintaining a safe distance. Asking everyone to wear a mask when interacting with them is a thoughtful and great precaution.
- Have hand sanitizers and wipes easily available so guests can clean their hands as they arrive and as needed without having to go inside.
Drinks: Of course, you’ll want a drink cooler outside, but coolers are busy places on hot summer days. With larger groups, you might want to mark a circle around the cooler to remind everyone that only one person at a time can be grabbing a drink. An extra cooler or two for food that needs to be kept cold is also a good idea.
Food: Ask your guests to wipe the outside of their container before setting it on the food table. It’s also best to ask guests to bring something that doesn’t require refrigeration to limit the need to run in and out of the house. If you really need help in the kitchen, try designating one or two people to help.
Tables and Plates: Make social distancing easier by planning several serving areas instead of one large table. Arrange the seating in a way that encourages social distancing. Use disposable plates, and ask guests to use a new plate for second helpings.
Children: I wish we could say children are not at risk, but as health officials learn more about COVID-19, that doesn’t seem to be the case. You don’t want to spoil their fun or yours by policing them constantly; realistically, you know they will forget about safe spacing. Think about the number of children who will be at your gathering and try to plan some quiet activities to keep them engaged. You might even hire a teenage family member to organize and supervise activities and to keep children’s hands cleaned and wiped frequently.
- Are guests going to be outside all of the time, or will they need to come inside to use the restroom? If they are close neighbors, you might ask that they run home for bathroom breaks. If not, have guests wear a mask and use hand sanitizer before entering the house. Remove hand towels and replace them with paper towels for hand drying. Have a special waste can for disposal.
Here’s hoping you enjoy many memorable and safe cookouts this summer. We hope some of these suggestions have been helpful. Check out our website, atasteofolive.com, for excellent summer recipes and specialty products to ensure all of your summer meals are healthy and delicious!