How to Celebrate and Not Let the Food Spoil

I live in the Pacific Northwest where we’ve had a record-setting spring and summer so far … very mild with plenty of rain.

Mild is perfect for summer entertaining.

We don’t deal with the heat as much as the mid-west and south, but I will say we do, and eventually will have, 100+ days!

A reader recently wrote:
The thing that stresses me out with summer cooking is the heat! I am always worried about food spoiling!

Here’s what I learned to do years ago, on this very hot holiday when we entertained …

How to beat the heat and not let the food spoil:

1. BUFFET STYLE: Clear a bar, sideboard, or dining table INSIDE the house on which to serve your 4th of July feast.
BENEFIT: No bugs and you don’t have to worry about the food spoiling.

2. TABLES: Use Dollar Store tablecloths on tables and mix-match chairs in your back yard, patio, or front porch area.
BENEFIT: Use what you have without stressing over everything having to be perfect.

3. DRINKS: Fill an old cooler with ice and store drinks in a covered area.
BENEFIT: Keeps the company outside and not having to keep running inside for drinks.

4. FOOD: After the company is served, even if food was served inside, cover all and put away.
BENEFIT: No spoilage. For a long event, any leftovers could be gotten out again later.

My friend had a great idea to appoint a friend or child or relative to help you be mindful of the food (and bugs, spoilage, etc). I like that – a food watcher! (I’d be snitching constantly). :)

And for the warmer climates (than Oregon) I’d say avoid foods that spoil easily and stick with frozen desserts that are perfect for summer!!!

If you happen to make my homemade ice cream (recipe in my book!) make sure and remove the paddle right away, and then you can let the ice cream sit on the ice until it’s time to serve!

Homemade ice cream is so perfect for the 4th of July!

How do you deal with the heat and food being left out too long for holiday celebrations?

Happy July everyone! I want to thank my top 3 referral friends who sent their readers over to RE in June:
Bakerella
The Nester
Kimba

Here are some great 4th of July recipes ideas that many of my friends have posted on their blogs. Amy lists them, HERE.

6 comments on “How to Celebrate and Not Let the Food Spoil”

  1. As a fellow PNW person (SW Washington), so true about the weather. I think we always try to keep the food inside because of bugs and such. I also keep one of those great metal water dispensers full of ice water outside for everyone on those really hot days.

  2. Sandy~ I enjoyed your June posts SO much! Thank you for taking the time to share with us and to encourage us to serve others in our home. I had a large group of young adults over for dinner Thursday night, and kept reminding myself of many things you shared on your blog. You helped me entertain and enjoy every minute of it! Much less stress!!!

    Thank you and God bless you~
    Jennifer Walker

  3. Absolutely! Homemade ice cream is what the 4th was made for. (Well that & barbecuing, but apparently the state of NJ tends to disagree & won’t let you grill much of anywhere.) We’re making homemade strawberry ice cream one last time before packing the ice cream maker up for our move to Florida, where they hopefully will let us barbecue!

  4. I always try to fix things that can just stay out. While I do most of the cooking for the 4th, we celebrate with friends at their pool. I just feel better knowing that I can keep everything outside without messing their kitchen up as well. We cover the table with an old sheet (just like grandmother did years ago at Sunday lunch) and let everyone graze throughout the day.

    Have a very Happy 4th!

  5. I like your idea of keeping the buffet table inside. If I’m worried about the heat I usually try to avoid foods that spoil or melt quickly. I have some of those umbrella like gauze things you put over food to avoid bugs, especially useful for things like fruit salads.

    Darla

  6. This is a worry sometimes because I don’t want to pack stuff up right away and make people think they can’t have more but I don’t want to forget about it either. I guess a food watcher is a good idea. I’m sure my 9 year old would do it. Ha! Ha!
    Thanks for the tips my friend.

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