You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

5 things to bring to a July 4th BBQ (besides beer)


What do you bring to a July 4th barbecue besides beer?

On this holiday dedicated to truth, justice and the American way, it is only right and proper to cook some meat outdoors.

But if you’re not throwing the party, you are probably not cooking the meat. (If you ARE throwing the party, don’t forget to include ribs, or you may end up like Sad Grandpa.)

It’s helpful to know if you’re going to a barbecue or a cookout. Michael Harriot offered some NSFW tips on the differences.

In either case, here are a few things to know about July 4 etiquette:

Mac and Cheese

It goes without saying that you’re going to bring a side-dish, or you won’t get invited back, so we’re not going to focus on those. But here are a few tips: Try not to bring the same dish everyone else is bringing. Competition will heaviest in the macaroni and cheese field.

There are two ways to make your mac and cheese stand out.

One: Bacon. This recipe from our intrepid food writers suggests bacon or pancetta, plus other gourmet options like mascarpone.

Two: Heat. If your picnic locale has electricity, you can plug in a crock-pot and keep that mac and cheese bubbling. Make sure to use a slow-cooker recipe.

RELATED: A guide to July Fourth fireworks 

Punch

You can bring beer, but how much more inventive is a pitcher of rum punch? The punch can be made more or less potent, depending on the audience, and this recipe (as suggested by Primer Magazine), hews to the critical elements of a successful tropical drink, “1 part sour, 2 parts sweet; 3 parts strong and 4 parts weak.”

Alternatively, our drinking expert, Bob Townsend suggests a whiskey punch with rum, oleo-saccharum and other exotic ingredients.

Music

Scientific research suggests that a mixtape spiked with Frankie Beverly and Maze will make hamburgers taste better.

Since the concept of “the mixtape” now means streaming tunes on your smartphone, you can volunteer your Spotify subscription, in case the host runs out of ideas. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a battery-powered bluetooth speaker in the trunk, in case the host completely spaces out and forgets the music all together.

At a recent cookout we rocked it old school, using an iPod loaded with 2,000 tunes and a 1/8 inch connector to a Sony jambox. No bluetooth required.

Guitar

Remember that music can cause conflict, when a connoisseur wants to switch from Frankie Beverly to Frank Sinatra. Self-generated music (i.e. when you bring out your acoustic guitar and start strumming “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore”) can also be welcomed or abhorred.

But if you can play, and you can sing, and you can remember the lyrics to songs by John Prine, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and other proven campfire-friendly artists, then you could contribute something valuable to the event. (Check with your host.)

Your own cooler

With ice in it. So you can keep your punch and other backup items cold. Such as a lemon icebox cake

Or a packet of garden burgers, in case a vegetarian shows up. Or your own beer. Just in case.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Privileged child steals for the thrill
Privileged child steals for the thrill

Q: We’ve just been informed that our 7-year-old son has been effectively “expelled” from the private school he attended last year because of repeated instances of stealing small items from classmates and, on one occasion, from the teacher’s desk. We’re rather shocked because our son was the highest-performing student in...
Anxiety and depression do not define who we are
Anxiety and depression do not define who we are

Hi. My name is Patricia and I am a recovering anxious Christian. I hid behind the smile and said everything was great, even though my world was falling apart. I lied to myself that I could handle one more item on my to-do list, even though I knew I was about to hit a wall and crash. And I believed that my anxious days were behind me, only to find out...
Faith calendar
Faith calendar

Back-to-school and health fair: Students of all ages and parents from the West End will have access to gently used uniforms and books, free haircuts, informational breakout sessions, health and wellness resources, children’s activities and more during a back-to-school and health fair. Supplies will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve...
Valerie Hoff sues 11Alive over recent termination for social media N-word usage
Valerie Hoff sues 11Alive over recent termination for social media N-word usage

Valerie Hoff worked at 11Alive for 18 years. CREDIT: publicity photo This was posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Valerie Hoff, a former veteran 11Alive reporter, has sued the NBC affiliate for what she deemed “breach of contract” after she was forced...
Bossip TV show on WE-TV shooting in Atlanta for summer test run
Bossip TV show on WE-TV shooting in Atlanta for summer test run

The Bossip on WE crew. (Left-right) comedy contributor Ronnie Jordan, associate editor Alex Ford, Mara “The Hip Hop Socialite,” comedy contributor Tyler, associate editor Danielle “Dani” Canada, managing editor Janee Bolden, associate editor Jason Lee) CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com This was posted...
More Stories