The cold winter months often leave us yearning for the summer. As we sit cooped up in our houses, wrapped up warm against the biting cold, it’s hard not to dream of hot summer days and mild, bright evenings.
Summer is often over before we know it, so it’s important to make the most of the good weather while it lasts. Eating outside, or dining al fresco as it’s commonly known can be the perfect way to celebrate the summer and get some much-needed fresh air and sunshine. We’ve put together a guide with four top tips for dining al fresco. Check it out below.
Cook The Right Food
Technically speaking, any food can be eaten al fresco. However, there are certain dishes that lend themselves to outdoor dining, and you’ll want to prepare and cook meals that reflect the freshness and freedom that al fresco dining is all about.
Food that can be eaten by hand is perfect for an outdoor meal. Space can be a premium when eating outside, so you want to limit the need for lots of cutlery, serving bowls, and side plates. Think about things like burgers, sandwiches, and meat on the bone.
If you have options for cooking outside, such as a Pizza Oven from Ooni, this is a perfect excuse to get out there and enjoy some al fresco dining. Cooking outside means you can avoid making regular trips to and from the kitchen, allowing you to truly relax and bask in the sun.
Get Everything You Need
To have the best possible al fresco dining experience, you’re going to need to plan and prepare in advance. Don’t just think about the food, while it’s certainly important, there are a number of other factors you’ll need to consider.
First, think about the seating arrangements. How many people are going to be there? You’ll need to make sure you have enough seats for everyone, and spare chairs are always handy in case you have any unexpected guests.
Make sure your table is properly set up as well. You’ll need enough plates, knives, and forks for everyone, as well as cups and glasses for drinks. By ensuring you have everything you need ready to go, you’ll avoid having to make any last-minute dashes indoors and interrupting your al fresco dining experience.
Be Wary Of The Sun
Who doesn’t love the sunshine? There are few things more enjoyable than spending time outdoors in the summer, relaxing in the heat of the sunlight. While sunlight is good for us and can help our bodies generate essential Vitamin D, prolonged exposure can be extremely dangerous and can lead to a number of potentially serious health conditions.
Make sure you and your guests take regular breaks in the shade. This can help prevent overheating and developing conditions like heat stroke. If you can, invest in an umbrella or a parasol. This can be positioned above the table to protect you and your guests from the sun while you eat.
Always remember to wear sunblock too. The sun’s rays can be incredibly damaging to our skin, causing sunburn, blemishes, or worse. Apply sunblock liberally and reapply it throughout the day to keep your skin safe and healthy.
Think About The Bugs
It’s not just humans who love the sun. The summer months bring out a whole host of wildlife, some of which can prove to be a pest during your al fresco lunch or dinner. Nothing can derail an outdoor meal faster than a wasp attack, so it’s vital that you take steps to protect yourself and your guests from these irksome insect invaders.
Once you have served up your delicious delicacies, keep any leftovers covered. This will prevent the scent being detected by wasps and should keep them away from the table.
If you want extra protection, there are certain smells and scents that can effectively deter these stinging yellow menaces. Burn citronella candles, wasps hate these and will stay well clear. You could also use natural solutions such as thyme, rosemary, or mint. Keeping pots of these fresh herbs around your table will keep the wasps at bay.
If despite your best efforts, the wasps descend on your outdoor meal, the best thing to do is to remain calm. Swatting and waving your arms can aggravate them and could end up in someone getting stung. Instead, remain as still and as calm as possible. As long as your food is covered, the wasps will soon realize there’s nothing to eat and will leave by themselves.
Get ready for summer by planning the perfect al fresco dining experience for you and your loved ones. Think about what food to prepare, make sure you’ve got everything you need, be careful in the sun, and take steps to defend yourselves against wasps.