The Joy of Cooking in July

Food seems to be the theme of July with the month being designated as National Culinary Month, Grilling Month and Picnic Month. Besides the month being celebrated, certain days are set aside to celebrate specific foods like fried chicken, Slurpees, chili dogs, and ice cream.

Whether you choose to do your cooking inside or outside on the grill, at home or on the go being organized will ease your prep time and help make it an enjoyable experience.

These events should be fun, but if you have to hunt for needed equipment or forget to take an important item along with you it can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth for the next time. Invest some time now to gather, sort and prepare your supplies so you will be ready to experience the joy of food in July.

 On the Grill:

  • Keep all your grilling tools, like tongs, spatula, together in one location. Store them in a nearby drawer, in a bin you can carry to your grilling location or perhaps you can hang them on your grill. If your grill has metal doors consider using magnet hooks or trays to hold your tools, gloves, and meat thermometers.
  • Often there are sauces, rubs, or topping that need to be added during the cooking process. Using a tray to carry these multiple items to and from your grill can decrease the stress of running back and forth to retrieve these crucial items.
  • Establish a routine of cleaning and checking your grill for gas leaks so it will be ready when its time to grill. If you need a reminder to do this mark it on your calendar.
  • Don’t forget to keep an extra propane tank and a fire extinguisher handy.

On the Go:

  • Keep your basic picnic supplies like plates, silverware, glasses, and napkins together in a basket and ready to go. You can store a blanket or tablecloth in the same location, so it is easy to grab when you take the basket.
  • Simplify your food selection. Although there are many wonderful foods that can be enjoyed on a picnic realize that everything you serve needs to be packed, transported, and stored safely.
  • Bring enough ice or cold packs to keep perishable foods cold. Meats, eggs, and salads should be kept at 40 degrees. A full cooler will stay cool longer than one that is not full.
  • Pack some plastic bags for trash or for bringing back dirty dishes. This will help keep your picnic basket clean.
  • Take plenty of hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, or water for hand washing. It is also a good idea to have extra water along to clean eating surfaces like tables.
  • Don’t forget to include a first aid kit, sunscreen and bug repellent.

No matter how you cook or where you eat, planning ahead and having your supplies ready to go will make it a wonderful and tasty time. Enjoy!

2021 Beth Giles

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