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Gearing Up For Summer Entertaining

Summer’s a-coming! Time to shed the puffer jackets, hot cocoa and electric blankets in favour of sunnies, ice creams and beach days.

Here at Henderson’s, we live for the warm months. Long evenings spent outdoors around the BBQ are our bread and butter (and bacon!). We’re all about community, so we’re always keen to use some hot weather as an excuse to get our loved ones together.

But there’s nothing more embarrassing than people turning up for a shindig, and realising you’re not quite ready. A dirty BBQ, manic mozzies or warm beer can all quickly kill the buzz of your celebrations.

Before you start handing out the invites to your next summer soiree, go through our handy checklist to make sure you’re all geared up for entertaining.

Get the Barbie Ready for Business

The humble BBQ goes hand in hand with a Kiwi Summer.

Chances are, your BBQ has been feeling unloved over winter. This means that mould, rust and critters can all make themselves at home in your grill.

Whether you’re planning to Masterchef a gourmet salmon or just popping some sausages on the grill, it’s a great idea to make sure your BBQ is clean, fired up and ready to go before your guests are at the door! With a touch of elbow grease, it should be pretty easy to get the BBQ back in action and ready for another Summer session.

Make sure you tick these things off your list:

1. Check your gas bottle and connections

2. Give the grill a good spring clean. A warm, soapy solution and a dish brush and cloth should do the trick! You should also give the insides of the grates a good scrape down to get rid of any grease and clean out the grease trap.

3. Burn the BBQ hot for 20 minutes with nothing on it.

4. Season the grill then run the BBQ on high again for about 15 minutes.

Organise the Kitchen

You can’t have a BBQ without some drinks, salads, desserts and platters. The more, the merrier!

These yummy sides usually come out of your kitchen – so it helps if you’ve got your kitchen in some semblance of order.

Make sure you have items like serving spoons, plates, platters, BBQ tongs and everything else ready to go and in easy-to-find places. You can also stock up on tin foil, reusable containers, beeswax wrap and all the other bits and pieces you’ll need to store your food.

Clean Up the Outdoors

Spring cleaning season is here! This means it’s time to pull out the water blaster, mow the lawns, unclog the gutters and weed the garden before your guests arrive.

Summer is for sitting on the deck and enjoying balmy warm evenings… not for sitting on your deck noticing all the dirt and an unkempt yard.

While your guests may not care whether your outdoor area looks spick and span, we guarantee that having it clean will make you feel better.

Get Sun and Bug Smart

Most Kiwis have experienced sunburn or a bug bite sometime in their lives. We love the great outdoors, which means Kiwi skin attracts a fair amount of UV rays and nasty mozzies – no bueno.

Before you start gearing up for an afternoon in the sunshine, make sure you and the family are prepared for everything summer will throw at you – and then some!

Some of our summer must-haves include:

  • Sunscreen

  • Shade – hats, umbrellas or even shade sails are all great options

  • Bug repellent

  • Citronella candles

  • Plenty of water

  • After-sun lotion – for those times when you weren’t quite ready for the sun

Stock Up on Essentials and Have Your Go-To’s Ready

Some of the best summer entertaining is unplanned. Your folks pop by for a quick drink and you’re all still together enjoying yarns ten hours later!

We always like to plan for the unplanned ‘cos having no food in the house sucks for everyone. Your guests either go hungry, or you have to dash out to grab some grub.

Instead, we like to stock up on the essentials so there’s always something quick that can be thrown together.

  • Summer platters are a great option because you can include whatever you have handy in the kitchen. Sliced salami, some chopped veges, nuts, hummus, fruit, cheese – whatever is going can be thrown onto a board and rolled out as an afternoon grazing platter.

  • Breakfast for dinner is another delicious option to keep the masses fed. Grab some Henderson’s bacon, some hash browns and some eggs and fry them up on your BBQ for a dinner the whole fam will enjoy.

  • Don’t forget drinks too! These DIY ice cubes are a great way to jazz up your plain water.

Invite Your Friends & Fam

Finally, the best thing you can do to prep for summer entertaining is to get some people over.

Summers are best enjoyed together – so send out some invitations and gear up for a good time.

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