4th of July BBQ Tips

By: Michael Matson

The first American holiday of summer is finally here! People are excited, ready to celebrate and eat barbequed treats. And there's no need to worry about whether your BBQ bash will leave your guests raving. Just check out our five tips to help ensure success.

1. The traditional red-and-white checkered tablecloth looks great on any picnic table. To kick it up a notch for the holiday, sprinkle some blue confetti on top of the table, tape blue bows to the legs, and mix and match plates to add unexpected bursts of color.

2. No table is complete without a festive, celebratory centerpiece. You can create something delicious using blueberries, strawberries and cream or decorative with Roman candles, torches and sparklers. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

3. If your decorating scheme includes displaying an American flag or two, make sure to follow proper flag etiquette (failure to do so is punishable by federal law). Never use an American flag as a napkin or handkerchief. Don’t serve dinner on it. Don’t use it as a decoration. Don’t burn it. And definitely do not flag dance with it!

4. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and babyback ribs are BBQ staples on Independence Day. But you can also keep your health-conscious guests happy by Shish Kebabing with tofu and vegetables, salmon, and ground chicken. This will add more variety to the fixings, and your friends will be thankful for your thoughtfulness.

5. Everyone will be waiting to see the red, white and blue desserts. Don’t disappoint them. Strawberry shortcake on a hot summer day is always a crowd—pleaser. Blueberry upside down cake is sinfully delicious. A rhubarb, blueberry and whipped cream parfait has been known to blow minds. And red velvet cupcakes topped with white frosting and blueberries will have your guests coming back for seconds, so make sure you bake plenty.

Have a safe and sane 4th of July!