“Eating Out”

outdoor-entertaining2wIt’s hard to imagine with the cold weather we’re encountering right now, but we are probably only weeks away from the perfect time to eat and entertain outside. Here are a few suggestions to make “eating out” easier and more fun.

Choose comfortable outdoor furniture: Today’s outdoor fabrics lend themselves to plush cushions and pillows in bright colors. These new manmade materials can tolerate sun, moisture and dust and many just hose clean. That means that your outdoor dining chairs can be just as comfortable as those you have inside. Take a look at the furniture in the photo above. It’s hard to believe but those cushions can handle the great outdoors.

Prepare for the dust: We live in the desert and you can anticipate needing to wipe the dust off tables and chairs before you use them. To make your life easier, scout out some plastic or canvas covers for your furniture. You still may have some housekeeping, but it will be greatly reduced.

Invest in some stackable, lightweight plastic dishes and glasses. Bringing food and supplies in and out from the kitchen is easier if you can carry more at one time. Plastic also allows you to enlist younger children to help without having to worry about mishaps. And if you have a pool in your backyard, plastic is much safer.

Carry food in and out on trays, or have people serve themselves in the kitchen and bus their own plates back. Schlepping food back and forth should not be the job of just one person. Make a plan that will work best for the group and get people to stick to it. That way everyone can have a good time.