Memorial Day Cookout
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Memorial Day Cookout by Cherie Rasmussen

Traditionally, Memorial Day heralds the start of the outdoor cooking season. It is at this time that people head out to buy wood and charcoal, or mull the best grill to use, look for the best cuts of meats, and dream of the perfect cookout.

If you are planning a cookout on Memorial Day and have a largish gathering in mind, it is important to plan in advance so that everything goes well. As they say, the devil is in the details.

When planning for a large gathering, make sure that you prepare something for everyone. Remember that the kids will like their hamburgers, and keep some ready while you are grilling for everyone else. In fact, it helps to have food ready for the kids first, so that they don't get cranky waiting for barbecues to be ready.

For the adults, you could start with some appetizers such as buffalo wings, potato skins, or even mini-pizzas. Moving on to the main dish, kebabs make a great item because you can cook them all at once. You could even try a main dish with a Mexican, Middle Eastern or even an Italian flavor. If you want to stay with the classics, go with bratwursts, hot dogs, and chicken.

If you have decided to stick by a traditional Memorial Day meal, you need to get together the cole slaw or the potato salad for accompaniments. Watch out for vegetarians or vegans on your guest list - ask them for preferences so that they are taken care of.

For drinks, nothing can beat the iced tea or even the iced coffee when it comes to the barbecue. Lemonade does well too, but you could spice it up with fresh chopped mint or even a raspberry. Coordinate your meals with the drinks. Chilled Sangria goes well with grilled foods. Cocktails are sure winners, as is the chilled beer.

For desserts, you could keep it simple with the ice cream, perhaps Italian gelato. If you want to keep it healthy and low calorie, you could go for some grilled or just plain fruits.

Plan games for the kids and the adults. You could organize a game of croquet, bocce ball or even baseball if you can make the space. Importantly, a good barbecue swings only with some good music in the background. Pick out some favorite tunes, or better still, ask your guests to bring along some of their favorite CDs. Add some simple decorations, and you have a great Memorial Day cookout at hand!

About the Author For more information about outdoor grills and cooking accessories visit our website at


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