Almost Summer: Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day always feels like the first day of summer, though summer is still technically a month away.  In recent years we spent the three-day weekend in Arrowhead but this year Big N and I decided to throw a BBQ pool party at the house.  I haven’t been jazzed to spend much time in the kitchen since I’ve been consumed with being pregnant of late, but throwing a barbecue seemed like the perfect motivation to ring in warmer weather with family, friends, and our Grand Turbo grill.  We pulled out all the stops by heating the pool and setting up tables for dining al fresco.

I spent Saturday and all day Sunday cooking for our 20+ expected guests.  My menu showcased barbecue favorites such as tri-tip (made with my secret dry rub) and pulled pork sandwiches topped with tangy cole slaw, along with spicy molasses baked beans (from scratch, no Bush’s here), twice baked potatoes, asparagus with red wine caper vinaigrette, and curried deviled eggs.  Though my guests praised the tastiness of these classics, the favorites of the party were my desserts: sweet bing cherry pie served ala mode with homemade toasted almond ice cream, and my blueberry/raspberry cheesecake tart. 

This was the first time in my history of entertaining that everything I made was completely consumed.  Normally I make enough to feed a small kibbutz and count on having leftovers.  What I didn’t expect was that my guests would return for seconds and thirds until every serving dish was picked clean.  High praise indeed.  While my food was certainly well-received and I felt gratified despite my sore feet by the end of the day, the true hit of the party was the cutest guest, my 9-month old nephew Daniel.  Daniel spent most of the party giggling on cue as he took turns bouncing on the knees of various attendees. memorial-day-bbq-19-of-23

The weather cooperated, the music created a jovial mood, the kids enjoyed splashing around in the pool, and my food came out as planned.  I couldn’t ask for a better day, though in the end I was happy I had the foresight to plan the barbecue on Sunday.  Big N and I spent the actual Memorial holiday giving thanks to our soldiers who fought for our freedom and giving thanks that we had a day to recuperate.

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