Organising your first BBQ!

4 Jun

This June was my husbands 30th Birthday and stupidly I thought I know, I’ll organise a semi surprise BBQ for him. He knew family were coming but didn’t know friends were also invited. And so began the food and booze shopping.

Food suggestions:

Look for sausages in the end of the day reduced basket. These can be frozen ahead of the day and defrosted the night before and save you a bundle!

Make a big bowl of chilli. Its cheap, filling and goes with burgers or hot dogs!

Make a big bowl of mac and cheese, the extra choice will make people want to fill up on sides rather than copious amounts of expensive meat.

Ask others to provide salad side dishes taking a burden off of you.

BBQ chocolate stuffed bananas for a cheap easy pudding that uses the leftover heat of the BBQ.


1st Problem: Numbers! I knew family numbers however with friends I had some certains and others “maybe” or cancelling a few hours before so buying food and booze was a task made more difficult with the other half telling me I was buying far too much..if only he knew! Try and make facebook replies into text or phone call replies, they are more likely to stick!

2nd Problem: Seats. I have two small benches and 4 seats in the house and as it was a sunny day we needed to be in the garden. With 30 odd people due, 10 seats was not enough. Enter the inlaws bringing a supply of extra chairs galore! Never be afraid to ask others for help in your organising, they may even come up with stuff you never thought you’d need!

This was also handy as I live nowhere near a Card Factory which is the god send for cheap decorations which for a 30th you obviously need. Banners and bunting and confetti, buy it all! But if you have a family member ask them to buy for you, then it is a good excuse to visit them to collect the items.

3rd Problem: People. People will be stupidly hungry and panic that you will not feed them if you are just an hour late. Don’t take this personally. Even when they eat the amazing homemade brioche burger buns with salad. Never waste the good bread with salad!

People also mean well but kindly ask them not to crowd your kitchen. This will avoid burns from handling oven food.

Handy tip: Start off burgers in the oven then just finish off on the grill to speed everything up and ensure you have no raw food.

Sausages: Just do them on a griddle on the hob. Again this speeds everything up if you only have a small BBQ.

Always overprovide food and booze! If at the end of the day you have leftovers do not see this as a bad thing. See this as an excuse to have BBQ leftovers for the next day or two. Delicious BBQ leftovers. In sandwiches or soups or stews. However the hell you want them, eat those leftovers up!

If like me you have on going jokes between yourself and the birthday boy/girl and decide to incorporate them into decorations do not be surprised when asked “Why are there pictures of Robert Downy Jr all over your house?” enjoy the injoke, and just tell everyone to hide them somewhere in the house for the birthday boy to find later.

Above all, try and relax, chat to your guests and dont worry about anything. It will either all come together or it wont and if it doesn’t you should have listend to the above point of having too much booze and just drink that.
If you have a pet, be sure to clean upstairs as well as downstairs. Guests will go a wondering to find your pretty kitteh or dog and you dont want them finding yesterdays pants by the side of the bed. But be warned your cat will be extra needy following this influx of pettings and attention from 30 new people.  


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