Introduction We all know that grilling is a favorite past time for many people, and for good reason. Cooking outside is very relaxing, and the food prepared in this fashion acquires a distinct taste and aroma that cannot be mimicked with other cooking methods. It used to be that grilling and barbecuing was reserved for the summertime before, but no longer. You can now cook delicious, healthy food during the winter as well, using pans created specifically for indoor use.
How Grilling Works A grill is basically a open wire grid that allows heat from gas or smoldering charcoal to permeate the food directly. The grill is generally placed very low and close to the flames, often exposing meat and vegetables to temperatures exceeding 260°C, or 500 °F. Such high temperatures allow for the Maillard reaction to occur, a chemical process that grants barbecued meat its distinctive roast aroma. For indoor barbecuing, you can use a grill pan, which is similar to a frying pan, except that it features a series of elevated ridges that mimics a standard grill. You can use a grill pan on a standard cooking machine. Alternatively, you can a type of pan called a griddle, which features a flat bottom, and is heated from below. In some parts of the world, there are barbecues that apply heat onto the food being cooked from above. In such cases, the cooking process is called broiling, and the implement used to hold the food is called a broiling pan. Like standard grilling, broiling heats and cooks meat or vegetables through thermal radiation, as opposed to direct conduction, as happens with a griddle or grill pan.
Health Benefits of Grilling The most important health benefit of grilling is undoubtedly the fact that meat cooked over charcoal or gas has a very low saturated fat concentration. This happens because the high temperature the meat is exposed to liquefies the fat, allowing it to drip from the meat. You can cook fish, poultry, pork and beef on a barbecue, and still get the same health effect. Cooking meat at very high temperatures can lead to the formation of dangerous chemical compounds on the meat, or in the heat source. This is why marinating is usually recommended for meat that is to be cooked on a grill. In addition to making the meat taste better, this process reduces the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heterocyclic amines that result from barbecuing. Another way to counteract these chemicals is to serve barbecued meat with side dishes or drinks containing a lot of antioxidants, such as teas. Mother Nature has also provided us with a wide range of condiments that can mitigate the effect of high temperature on meat. Using oregano, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, sage, mint, basil or various types of vitamin E in your grilling will further hinder the formation of dangerous compounds. The healthiest way to barbecue is to cook meat or vegetables on a stone grill. Stones can store huge amounts of heat, of up to 450°C, or 842°F. This means that the food you cook on a heated, flat stone will require no oil or other types of fats. Meat will be cooked through the application of massive amounts of dry heat, but it will be able to retain its delicious juices.
Main Types of Grills Over the years, a wide variety of grill types has emerged on the market. Each of these devices has its own advantages and drawbacks, so you will need to research which of these options is best suited for you and your family. The most popular type of grill, both in the United Kingdom and abroad, is the charcoal grill, which uses smoldering charcoal as a heat source. When using this fuel, it is important that they produce no direct flames. You will first have to burn the charcoal, and then allow for the flames to die out on their own. The coals will be left red-hot, and it is only then that you will place the meat on the grill. In many countries, people marinate the meat before placing it over hot charcoal, and sprinkle it with beer whenever new flames spring up due to dripping fat. Charcoal grills also allow you to use damp wood to augment the aroma and taste of your food. People often place small pieces of apple, oak, maple, pecan or hickory wood onto the smoldering coals. This produces a type of smoke that permeates the meat, giving it a stronger, darker, fuller taste. Another popular type of grill is powered by gas. Its main benefit is that it allows you to regulate the amount of heat that will cook your food, thus allowing you greater control over the cooking process. Gas grills cost more to purchase than their charcoal-fueled counterparts, but they can form the perfect kernel for your very own outdoor kitchen. They also tend to feature storage spaces for cooking utensils.
Gas grills come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are usually made out of solid metal. They feature anywhere from 1 to 6 or more burners, meaning that you can barbecue a lot of meat simultaneously. You can fuel a gas grill by either a standard gas cylinder or with a direct gas line, if you install it in a fixed position in your garden. If charcoal or gas grills are not to your liking for some reason, you can opt to purchase an electric grid. This is the best option for people living urban environments, where fire regulations prevent the free use of other types of grills. Electricity can efficiently heat and prepare meat or vegetables, but it will not confer the food the same smoky flavor that an open flame does.
Kid-Friendly Barbecue Recipes Children are notoriously fussy when it comes to eating properly, and they often tend to shun the food you put in front of them. If you want to persuade your kids to eat barbecued meat, then you should definitely check out these recipes that are guaranteed to put a smile on their faces. These foods are very easy to prepare, and also delicious, so you can enjoy a great meal with your family and friends.
Super-Moist Grilled Barbecue Chicken This simple recipe will produce a very moist chicken meat, and the secret to that is brine. You can use brine to treat the meat regardless of whether you have a bone-in, or boneless chicken. Ingredients you will need for the brine: • • • •
8 cups of water 3 tablespoons of sea salt 1 bay leaf 3 peeled garlic cloves
Once you make the brine, place it in a zip-lock bag along with the chicken. Leave the meat in the bag at least two hours – if you are cooking boneless chicken – or overnight, if you are preparing bone-in chicken. Make sure you remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it. When you remove the meat, rinse it thoroughly, and pat it dry before cooking. This recipe requires your grill to be heated at medium temperatures. You should start by grilling the chicken for about 20 minutes, making sure to turn it occasionally. This will crisp and sear the skin, but will not harden the meat. You can then baste the meat in barbecue sauce or other sauces, and add spices and other condiments. Cook for another 15 minutes afterward, and serve with a side-dish of your choosing.
Scrumptious Beef Skewers A quick and easy recipe, the scrumptious beef skewer is a moist and tasty temptation for your children. Preparing the ingredients for this recipe and barbecuing them should take you about 30 minutes. For such a delicious treat, half an hour is a bargain. Ingredients: • • • • • • • •
1 pound fresh ground beef (medium fat content) or turkey 1 tablespoon salt and half a tablespoon pepper 1 teaspoon chilly 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley and cilantro 1 finely-chopped medium onion 1 teaspoon of ground coriander some oil for brushing the meat 10-12 wooden or metal skewers
Metal skewers require no previous treatment, but if you are using wooden sticks, then you will have to dip them in water for about 30 minutes to prevent them from burning up as you cook your food. Use a large bowl to gently mix all of the ingredients together, and then insert them into a food processor until they are cohesive. Use your wet hands to divide the mixture in 10-12 sausage-shaped links, and drape each around a skewer.
Use the oil to brush a grill heated at medium to high temperature. The heat will cause the meat on the skewers to shrink, so you need to compensate for this accordingly when separating the portions. Grill for about 10 to 12 minutes, and serve with greens or rice.
Barbecued Paneer Tikka Kebabs If you are looking for a recipe that shuns meat altogether, then these kebabs should provide you with a tasty alternative. You can convert this recipe into a fully-vegan one by replacing the paneer cheese with tofu or whole button mushrooms. You will also need 1 large, peeled onion, sliced into quarters, a few skewers, and two de-seeded bell peppers. Ingredients for the marinade: • • • • • •
2 tablespoons of tikka spice mix 1 large, crushed clove of garlic 1 tablespoon of fresh, grated ginger 1 tablespoon finely-chopped chilly 1 tablespoon vegetable oil juice and zest from one lemon
Ingredients for the mint sauce: • • • • •
1 cup of yogurt 1 small, crushed clove of garlic 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon mint sauce concentrate some chili sauce
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, and then add the kebab ingredients. Coat the cheese in the marinade, and then put it in the refrigerator for an hour or two, making sure to cover it properly. In the meantime, place the wooden skewers in a bowl of water for a few minutes, to keep them from burning when placed on a grill.
After the ingredients are cooled, place them on skewers, alternating a piece of paneer, a piece of onion and a piece of pepper. Barbecue each skewer for around 10 minutes, turning them occasionally. Serve them with mint sauce and warm pitta bread.
Molasses Marinade for Grilled Pork Chops The easiest way to get children to eat something they ordinarily would not is to make it sweet. This recipe does exactly that, by adding thick, dark molasses to the pork chops sauce. The resulting mixture will create a thin layer of glaze on the meat, making it exquisitely delicious for all ages.
Ingredients for the marinade: • • • • • • •
2 or 3 cups of molasses half a cup packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 ½ teaspoon of allspice 1 ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 teaspoons dried onion salt and pepper
Creating the marinade is very simple. You will have to add all of the ingredients, except the pork chops, to a zip-lock bag, and mix them all together. This should create enough sauce to marinate 6 boneless or bone-in, ¾-inch-thick pork chops, weighing about 4 to 6 ounces each. Leave the meat to marinate for at least two hours, or overnight. Drain the excess marinade sauce, and cook the meat for about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes, peas or french fries.
Sheekh Kebab The sheekh kebab is undoubtedly one of the most popular fast foods in the worlds, and a recipe that is very easy to prepare on the grill any afternoon. These grilled skewers contain beef and a wealth of vegetables, so they are very healthy for both you and your family. The sheekh kebab is the perfect choice for a quick, nourishing meal. Ingredients: • • • • • •
Two pounds of cubed beef 2 teaspoons each of garlic and ginger paste 1 teaspoon each Garam masala and crushed red chilly 2 tablespoons yogurt a quarter cup gram flour oil for the grill and metal or bamboo skewers
The first thing to do is mix all of the ingredients together, and then add the beef. Leave everything to marinate inside of a closed zip-lock bag for 2 to 6 hours, or overnight. Before grilling, dip the bamboo skewers in water for a few minutes, to prevent them from burning. Heat the grill to a medium temperature, and then spread some oil on to prepare it for cooking. In order to prepare the skewers, you will need to alternate chunks of meat with slices or pieces of your favorite vegetables, making sure to place about 6 or 7 pieces of meat on each stick. Grill every skewer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat is thoroughly done. You can spread any excess marinade on the sheekh kebab as you cook it.
Peachy Turkey Burger If you want to make a quick, tasty meal for your little ones, then the peach turkey burger may be exactly what you are looking for. This recipe is complemented by endives, bacon, mixed greens and Gorgonzola salad, to produce a delightful meal for four.
Ingredients for turkey burgers: • • • • • • •
1 pound ground turkey half a red onion, finely chopped half a minced jalapeno 2 minced cloves of garlic half a peach, chopped 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and canola oil salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the salad: • • • • • •
5 ounces of lettuce mix 1 head endive, chopped into pieces 1 cubed, ripe avocado, salted 4 cooked and chopped strips of bacon half a peach, thinly sliced a quarter cup of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
To make the burgers, start by making a saute from the onion, jalapeno and garlic in the canola oil, using low or medium heat. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the onions become translucent. Cool mixture to room temperature for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, mix the ground turkey with soy sauce and the teriyaki sauce in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture and the chopped peach when the saute is cool. Mix gently by hand, taking care to avoid crushing the peaches. Form regular-size patties, and put them on the grill until cooked thoroughly. Turn them over every few minutes. For the salad, you need to start by mixing the lettuces with the chopped endives. Once you are finished, add the avocado, sliced peaches and Gorgonzola, and sprinkle everything with bacon bits. Serve with hot burgers.
Garlic Lemon Rosemary Lamb Fillet This particular recipe is very appealing to children because lamb meat is very easy to decorate into a variety of shapes using just a carving knife. Decorations go a long way towards making a meal more appealing for kids, so you should definitely take a look at this delicious recipe. Ingredients for the lamb fillet: • • • •
a dozen lamb fillets 1 clove of garlic 1 teaspoon each of olive oil and fresh rosemary leaves juice from half a lemon
Ingredients for the salad: • • • • •
tomatoes cucumbers basil balsamic dressing eggplant or capsicum (optional)
To make the fillets, you first need to mix all of the ingredients in a shallow dish, and place the lamb meat within to marinate. Leave it to soak up the juices for at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours. For a medium steak, grill each fillet for about 3 minutes on each side. After removing from the grill, allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before eating. For the salad, simply cut all the vegetables into small pieces and then add balsamic dressing, salt and other condiments to your taste. Serve with the lamb fillets once the latter are rested for a little while.
Outdoor Grilling Safety Since grilling usually involves handling an open flame, there are also fire safety regulations to consider when barbecuing. Though many people think of such legislation as a burden, these rules and norms are actually in place to help you and your family stay safe, and be able to enjoy your grills as often as you like. The thing you should always remember when dealing with fire is that it is one of the most destructive forces in the Universe. This means that you need to treat it respectfully, and never neglect your responsibilities when it comes to keeping things under control. For example, you should always have a fire extinguisher handy when grilling, even if you are using an electric or gas-fueled grill.
○○ Knowing Your Fire Perhaps the most important thing you need to do before you start grilling is learn as much as you can about fire. At its core, fire is a very rapid oxidation reaction that occurs between flammable materials, through the process of combustion. This releases numerous reaction products, the most notable of which are heat, light and smoke. What you should always bear in mind is that the flames are only the visible parts of a fire. Sometime, a fire may rage on even if no visible flames are apparent at a cursory inspection. The easiest way to understand fire is through the tetrahedron, a construct scientists use to explain the four conditions that need to be met for fire to ignite and keep burning: • • • •
Heat Oxygen Fuel Chain reaction
Without any of these elements present in just the right amount, fire will not burn. There are numerous things it can use as fuels, from wood and charcoal to gas and plastic. No matter the material you use as a fuel, fire will always require the presence of oxygen or oxygen-rich chemicals to start a chain reaction. Always remember that combustion is a self-propagating reaction that will continue as long as fuel and oxygen are available.
The handiest way to extinguish fire is to deprive it of oxygen. A force called convection plays a role in forcing the byproducts of combustion upwards, sucking in new oxygen to feed the flames. Without convection, fire quickly surrounds itself with its own byproducts, which eliminate available oxygen and snuff out the flames. Fire extinguishers usually feature a type of foam that covers the flames, preventing new oxygen intake. In case of an emergency, you can achieve roughly the same result by throwing a blanket over open flames. This will disrupt convection, and allow you more time to use water for fire control.
○○ Handling the Food While fire poses a more immediate and serious threat to your barbecue party, food safety is not to be taken lightly. Most people tend to keep their meat by the side of the grill as they cook it, allowing some time for bacteria and other microbes to develop within. In such cases, it is very important that you cook the meat thoroughly, to prevent any type of intoxication. Though small, bacteria are extremely hardy microorganisms, capable of surviving anywhere from the slopes of active volcanoes to the exterior of a space station. They thrive in a wide range of temperatures, and produce a new generation of pathogens every few seconds. This means that the longer you allow your food to stay at room temperature, the higher the risk of getting food poisoning later on.
Some grilling recipes require that you bring meat to room temperature before cooking it. If that is the case, then you need to barbecue the meat thoroughly, ensuring that all bacteria have been killed. Avoid cooking rare or medium rare steaks out of meats that have been at room temperature too long, since the heat used to prepare these foods is not enough to kill all microbes. The safest thing you can do is always keep both raw and cooked meat in the refrigerator when you are not using it. Bacteria can develop below freezing temperatures as well, but the process is significantly slowed down.
○○ Follow Grilling Protocol and Instructions An easy way to avoid any type of mishap when it comes to barbecuing is to always read, memorize, and abide by the instructions that are supplied with your grill. The basic tips listed within these guides showcase the handiest preemptive measures you can take to avoid accidents or injuries. Grills and smokers tend to operate best between specific environmental values, so you need to read the specifications to figure out what those values are before you start using a new grill. Never assume that two grills are identical, and that you can do the same things on both. Each cooking machine comes with its own set of rules, so you need to familiarize yourself with them before you get started. If your grill was not delivered with a set of instructions, you can usually find its technical specifications on the manufacturer’s webpage.
○○ Watch the Smoke Smoke is tightly linked with both fire and barbecues, but it can be very dangerous. It clings on to clothes and hair, and can adversely affect your eyes and lungs. Its effects can be cumulative under certain conditions, meaning that prolonged exposure can cause negative health consequences. When barbecuing, you need to determine the direction of prevailing winds, and set up your tables in the opposite direction.
Smoke contains a host of dangerous chemicals, including PAH and carbon monoxide (CO). The latter is dangerous because it does not have an odor, so it is very easy for CO intoxication to occur. The chemical reduces the amount of oxygen your lungs can extract from the air, leading to shortness of breath, lightheadedness and other physical symptoms. Burning grease from the meat also produces smoke, of a different kind, but still laden with dangerous substances. As much as possible, try to minimize the amount of time your or your family spend inhaling smoke when barbecuing. Remember to always keep the wind at your back while barbecuing your meat and vegetables to prevent prolonged smoke exposure.
○○ Where to Place Your Fire A very easy way to ensure that you keep fire hazard down to a minimum is to take extra care of where you place your grill. Location is very important because it can minimize or increase the risk of setting fire to objects in your garden, such as furniture and wooden garden buildings. Hundreds of timber houses, garages and patios fall victim to misplaced grills every year in the United Kingdom alone, mostly due to improper grill locations. An easy trick to determine the correct position is to imagine the largest possible fire around your grill, and then clearing any combustible materials from that area.
Do not forget that sparks can jump very high or far away, so avoid placing your grill close to hay, dry wood or paint, and any other materials that are prone to igniting very fast. When deciding on a position for the grill, make sure that the seating arrangements you make do not require your family, friends or guests to walk too closely to any hot surface. If small children are playing nearby, you need to ensure that they will never start running around the grill, since this can easily lead to accidents. It is best if you can create separate areas for cooking, seating and playing. That way, both you and your guests will know these boundaries, and any existant fire or accident hazards will be reduced.
○○ Dealing with Grease Flare-ups Always remember that the fuel your grill uses is not the only source of flammable materials when barbecuing. The food you are cooking can also produce ignitable substances, such as grease and fat. Flareups are a very common problem when grilling, and they can lead to accidents and injuries. A sudden flare can singe your eyebrows and scorch your skin, so make sure you always keep a safe distance from the grill. An easy way to do this is to place and turn the meat or vegetables using long prongs and other cooking utensils. Avoid leaning in over the grill for any reason. While flare-ups are relatively short-lived, drops of grease can erupt from meat and land on your skin, producing blisters and mild burns that will require medical attention. In addition to the health hazards it poses, grease can also be very dangerous because it can ignite to cause so-called grease fires. These fires can burn uncontrollably, and are very difficult to extinguish. The easiest way to address this issue is to clean any grease that may have dripped from your grill on the components below. Even after a handful of usages, a grill can accumulate several pounds of hardened grease. Removing it is neither clean, nor pleasant, but absolutely necessary. Avoid making the common mistake of overlooking to clean the smokers on your grill, as they can become overrun with grease – and therefore a fire hazard – as well.
○○ Gas Grill Safety Gas grills are usually fueled by either liquid petroleum (LP) or propane gas. Both of these substances are highly flammable, so you need to make sure that your grill is always in good working order before you fire it up. Statistics show that most accidents related to gas grill usage occur either when the grill has been turned on after a prolonged period of remaining idle, or just after the gas cylinder has been changed. Useful gas container safety tips for avoiding accidents and injury: • Always store them in an upright position • Spare containers are to be stored outside, away from the grill • Containers should be transported in an upright position • Containers should never be kept in a hot car or car trunk • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to the letter when connecting and disconnecting gas containers from your grill If you are interested in further minimizing the risk of accidents or injuries when using an electric grill, then you may want to consider installing one or more of three additional safety features: a device to limit gas flow when a hose ruptures, a device for shutting off the grill, and a device that shuts off gas transfer between the container and the grill if the connections are not fully leak proof.
In addition, you can perform a number of safety checks on gas grills before you use them. Start by checking the connecting tubes for any signs of blockage from insects, food grease or spiders. The latter love to make their nests in garden barbecues and these nests can easily clog gas pipes. Such blockages can be removed with a wire or pipe cleaner. Gas hoses are among the most vulnerable grill components, so they require extra care. Check them regularly for holes, leaks, brittleness and cracking, and make sure that there are never any sharp corners or bends along the way. Your goal is to streamline the transfer of gas as much as possible. Replace gas hoses whenever you find scratches or nicks It is also very important to safeguard gas hoses from hot grease and hot surfaces. If you cannot bend them so that they stay out of the way, purchase a heat shield to protect them. Never turn on the grill if you smell gas; rather turn off the gas supply and find the source of the leak. Do not smoke, light matches or create open flames next to a leaky grill, under any circumstance. You should always place your grill outdoor, never inside the house. It is recommended that you keep the grill at least 3 meters, or 10 feet, away from your home or any garden building. Do not place it under a patio or gazebo, inside a garage, or beneath any type of decoration or roof that can catch fire. When you detect damage to the gas valve or the containers, do not attempt to repair them yourself. Instead, call for a professional appliances repair person.
○○ Charcoal Grill Safety Safely operating a charcoal grill is very easy, provided that you follow a few simple steps. The most important of these is never to use a charcoal grill indoors. Burning coals release important amounts of carbon monoxide, a substance that is both colorless and odorless. Statistics show that indoor usage of charcoal grills lead to about 30 deaths each year. You should never use charcoal grills inside vehicles, campers or tents either, even if it may seem that you have provided sufficient ventilation for the fire. CO is a very dangerous substance, and should be treated as such. Always fire up charcoal grills exclusively outside, in well-ventilated, open spaces, such as the middle of your garden. Charcoal can release CO even a few hours after you have finished using the grill, so avoid storing a freshly-used grill indoors. If you have to, make sure that all the charcoal is completely extinguished. Remember that an open flame is just the visible part of a fire. If you are grilling under heavy wind, make sure that the sparks from the fire do not land on any flammable materials. The area immediately around the grill should be kept free of tables, guests, children, pets, garden furniture, garden buildings and so on.
○○ Save Alcohol for After Grilling Alcohol intoxication is one of the leading causes of accidents worldwide, and not just for those related to fire. Experts recommend that people in charge of grills finish operating the cooking machines before starting to consume alcohol. This will help prevent any accidents or injuries, and will contribute to keeping your family and friends safer.
Family Gathering and Reunion Planning Setting up a family gathering or reunion can be a hectic business, especially if you are the person chosen to handle the arrangements. However, there is no reason to waver in your resolve, since this guide is meant to help you make a reunion plan, tackle all issues that may come up, and organize a beautiful event everyone will remember.
○○ Gage Interest in the Event The first and most important thing to do is figure out whether or not people are interested in your even, and if they would want to participate. This may seem a moot point at first, but you would be surprised at just how many gatherings or reunions fall through because no one is actually interested in joining. Call some of your closest relatives to gage their interest in the event.
○○ Ask for Help with Planning Activities As soon as you determine that people are interested in the reunion you are trying to organize, it is time to ask them for help. You can make your own job easier by creating a few committees to help with the planning. Ask your relatives about the areas they would like to help you with. A committee might be put in charge of planning activities, while another could handle arranging the site. Others could handle organizing games, a menu, clean-up and so on.
○○ Choose the Time and Place One of the most important decisions you will have to make (and get everyone to agree on) is when to hold the gathering. Out-of-town relatives can make this process a rather complicated one, but there is no easy way around it. Hear everyone out, and then try to find common grounds. If most can attend the family reunion over a certain weekend, try to persuade those who cannot to come. In order to avoid this type of situation, consider letting everyone know of your intentions to organize such an event well in advance, perhaps even a few months. This will allow your relatives and other attendees to clear their schedules and organize their vacations around your event, so they can attend. It is best to host a family reunion over a prolonged, three-day weekend. Finding a right place for the reunion is just as important as deciding on a date. While some families prefer to organize such gatherings at hotels or resorts, others tend to do them at home, especially if the organizers have a large garden for throwing a party. You can easily put a reunion together around a barbecue if you want to.
○○ Make a Checklist An easy way to keep everything in order and under control is to create a checklist for the event as soon as you possibly can, preferably during the planning stages. You can accompany this list with a timeline that describes when each step of the organizational process should be completed. Make sure not to place too many restrictions on the timetable, since this will make the event very stressful for both yourself and your committees.
○○ Establish a Budget Before you get too carried away with spending, it is very important to create a fixed budget for your event. Try to stick with it as much as possible, and avoid finding justifications for going over it. The optimum scenario would be to have all attending family members pitch in to bear the costs, especially if you are planning a more sophisticated event. No one should expect you to bear all costs for organizing a medium to large reunion.
○○ Decide on a Theme Selecting a theme for your family reunion is an optional step. However, doing so could serve as another reason for more of your family members to attend the event. If not for their beauty, themes are useful because they can create a sense of belonging, which is ultimately what family reunions are all about. Make sure to involve as many relatives as possible when you select a theme.
○○ Create a Menu A good menu can mean the difference between a successful reunion and a flop. There are several ways you can go about feeding your guests. You can have a dinner where everyone has to bring food, and then make a menu out of what is available. Alternatively, you could provide the food, or organize a barbecue party in your garden An important thing to remember is to enquire or remember any potential allergies that your relatives may have. Avoid serving dishes that contain those substances or foods, as you do not want your carefully-planned reunion to turn into a rush to the hospital. Allergic reactions can degenerate into anaphylactic shocks under the right conditions, and that is a gate best left unopened at any time.
○○ Plan Interesting Activities If the venue you have selected for the family reunion allows for it, you should take into account planning a series of interesting activities to keep your guests entertained. You can organize a series of friendly competitions, or craft contests, or something of this sort. The goal is not to create animosity, but have everyone get along splendidly. Another reason for planning activities is to keep the little ones entertained. It is best to provide children with physical activities, so that grown-ups can talk late into the night. Bored kids do not make for pleasant company, as they can get up to mischief if left unsupervised.
○○ Accommodations If you decide to host a family reunion at your own home, make sure you have sufficient room to accommodate all of your guests. It would not do to have some family members sleeping at your house, while others have to incur additional expenses to rent a hotel room. Make sure to treat everyone fairly, so that no discussions or family gossip can arise from your event later on.
○○ Photograph All the Beautiful Moments Finally, you should have a camera on hand at the event, so that you can capture and immortalize all the pleasant moments you and your family spend together. A nice thing to do would be to have a few frames ready, so that you can give each family member a photo memorabilia of the event when the reunion is over. This will help them remember the good times for years to come, and will make for a pleasant surprise.
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