What do you think of when you hear the words 4th of July party? Do you think about grilling, drinking, setting off fireworks illegally, hanging out at the beach, spending time with family, spending time with friends or all of the above? My guess would be that you’re probably thinking about all of the above activities. After all, the 4th of July is one of the biggest party days of the summer. I don’t really have any party recipes for you today, just a few suggestions to make your party throwing, or party attending, a bit easier and a little less stressful.
I throw a few parties every year, not a 4th of July party though, and they range in size from 6 people to about 60 people. Having had most of the bad experiences over the years, I like to spread some of my hard earned knowledge with others so that they don’t have to experience the same disasters as I have or at least be able to survive them knowing that they are not alone.
When you are the one throwing the party:
- Hire a caterer for the food. If you can’t do that, keep it simple and have food that can be served (and eaten) at room temperature. There is no surer way to exhaust yourself and to make sure you have a miserable time at your own party than by trying to serve warm appetizers, hot main courses and chilled desserts. And if the stress of throwing a party makes you drink, you’re going to end up serving raw meat and burnt desserts.
- If you’re serving cocktails, either designate someone as a bartender, or to really make things easy on yourself, only serve one or two cocktails that you can make up in batches. A couple of my favorites are a key lime martini and blueberry lemonade. Both of these can be made up in large pitchers and stored in the refrigerator until needed. Then when you need the pitcher, simply set it out in a tub of ice. Let everyone serve themselves. Beer, water and soft drinks are all stored in an ice filled cooler or large plastic bin. No bartender necessary. Oh, and one of my other favorite cocktails for the holiday party is my mojito jelly shot.
- Whatever you’re serving for main dishes should all be prepared the same way, to keep you from running from one place to another while preparing the food. Either make it all on the grill (highly recommended) or all on the stove top or oven. Want to make things even easier on yourself? Make up a giant pot/pan of slow cooked meat and serve it with tortillas and buns with all the toppings. Then people can make up whatever they want out of it (this also allows those that are gluten free, vegetarian or are watching their carbs to eat from the same menu and not have be making up a bunch of different things for people to eat). A couple of my favorite slow cooked meats for parties are: pulled pork and beef machaca.
When you are attending a 4th of July party:
- Park a little bit further away from the party, it will be easier to get out when you need to leave. This is especially helpful if you are trying to make an early getaway from the party because you’re not having fun, an ex is there or some guy/girl is chasing you around like you are covered in chocolate and they want to eat you whole.
- Get yourself immersed in conversation with a group of people you know you like, so you don’t get cornered by those idiots that are always at your friend’s party that you can’t stand.
- If you like any of those dips (as in snacks, not people) that your friend always puts out at her/his parties, get there early and scoop some out on to your plate and don’t go back for more. This has nothing to do with watching your waistline, it has everything to do with those slobs who insist on double dipping. After hour 1 of the party, that bowl of dip becomes a cesspool of other people’s DNA.
- Get your drink on early so that you have time to sober up before you leave and can drink plenty of water so you don’t have a hangover the next day that’s as raging as the party was.
Last but not least is a fun little party game that Craig and I play when we go to casual parties, this is especially fun for summer get togethers like a 4th of July party. It’s called find the partier. Every party has at least one of these types of people in attendance, you just need to find them and point them out to whomever you may be playing the game with. It’s kind of like that game you played when you were on a car trip as a kid. You know, find the license plate from a certain state. But this one is a lot more fun (and you can make it into a drinking game). Below are the party guests we look for.
I know I didn’t even come close to all the different “types” of people you find at a party. Which one’s am I missing, or which types of people do you find most annoying or comical at a party?Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.