Backyard Barbecue with Friends?  Yes You Can – Sort of…

This whole physical distancing thing has put a big damper on the usual way we get together with family and friends.

But May is National Hamburger Month.  And Memorial Day weekend is the official start of Summer.  At least we think so.

How can you share burgers and your favorite sides with friends and still stay 6 feet apart?   It takes a little extra planning but it is possible.

Choose a location – Be sure your location (your back or front yard or available park) is large enough to accommodate the number of guests or family units you are inviting.   Each quar-pod (meaning the people with whom you are  not distancing) should plan on bringing their own setup.  That is, food, drinks, lawn chairs, blankets, plates, utensils.  Pretty much everything they would need to have the picnic by themselves.

Check with public parks to find out if  they are open and what facilities are available.  For many parks restrooms are closed and playground are off limits.

Plan the area – Designate areas for each quar – pod. For maximum safety, each quar – pod should be able to see and talk to each other, but not interact person to person.  Check out this group picnic blanket from Fast Company.  Social distance picnic “blanket”   Enlarge as needed.

No Buffets – Part of the fun of family and friend gatherings is to share favorite dishes.  But shoulder to shoulder sharing serving utensils on a buffet line is asking for trouble.  Instead portion out your favorite dish in disposable containers to be distributed to each quar – pod. 

Of course, an easy way to do that, is to order a hot entrée or salad from Gersky’s.  Click here: Gersky options for your picnic   We will  be happy to portion it into as many containers as you need. 

But what about the burgers? – This is not the time to show off.  In the past you may have brought elaborate grills and smokers.   Remember, this is not a tailgate party for 100 people.  Instead bring a small gas or charcoal hibachi type grill.  If bringing charcoal, have a way to safely dispose of the hot ashes.        

Inform everyone to pack their own picnic tool box – In addition to the usual bug spray and sun screen, be sure to bring masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves. And of course, garbage bags.

What about games? – Leave the group sports games at home.  Instead try games like the app Heads Up! Hold your phone to your forehead and the screen will show a “name.”  Guess who you are from your friend’s clues.  Or Psych! where you attempt to outwit your friends.  This site Hallway Games describes games that can be played in the hallway of an apartment building.  Most can be easily adapted to an outdoor setting.   Or try a classic card game app like Uno.

Have fun!  And let us know your experiences with your physical distance picnics.

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