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Summer entertaining 101

Summertime entertaining 101

The sun is beating down and the kids are splashing in the pool, the last thing you want to do is slave away in a hot kitchen, prepping dinner for the guests coming over tonight. Here are the basics you need to know to host during summer without breaking a sweat!

By Jana du Plessis

1. Pack it up
Forget the glass bowls and heavy cutlery, Wrap dishes such as sandwiches and wraps in wax paper, and secure each one with a piece of twine for a bit of rustic flair. And don’t be afraid to use pretty plastic containers for salads or dips. Not only will you avoid the possibility of breaking glass, but the party will be portable. Hello, beachside picnic!

2. Reuse fabrics
A picnic blanket is the best way to keep grass away from food, and stains away from clothes. Instead of going out of buy an expensive one that will just get messy from spills and being on the ground, use an old tablecloth that may have discoloured slightly or doesn’t quite fit your table or decor anymore. It’s a cheap and quirky way to lay out your picnic.

3. Ditch the heat
Keep cool by staying away from grilling or roasting foods. Use a vegetable peeler to cut thin ribbons from veg like cucumber, asparagus, carrots and baby marrow. Drizzle them with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and seasoning for a fresh take on salad.

4. Bring and share
Take the load off your shoulders by inviting guests to each bring a dish. Let them know which course you’d like them to bring, and if it must be sweet or savoury, meaty or vegetarian. You can fill out the rest of the menu with side dishes, snacks and desserts if need be.

5. Buffet-style
A summer party is a relaxing affair, so don’t make too much of it. Go for buffet-style dishes where everyone can help themselves. All you need to do is clear all the empty bowls and serving platters when the meal is done. Easy as pie!

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