|be the perfect host/ess||.||
When it's ninety degrees out and the sun's a-blazing, the last thing any sane person wants to do is spend the whole day sweating away in the kitchen over some hopelessly complex 10-course meal. Nope, summer's meant for relaxation -- and that goes for the host/ess as well as the guests. Summer entertaining's all about maximum fun at minimum effort. Which is why the good old-fashioned barbecue is such a perfect summer tradition.
Whether you're looking to make use of your apartment balcony, show off your nice green lawn, or hang out by the pool (lucky you!), the barbecue's a great way to get the party out of the stuffy indoors and into the fresh outdoor air. Hosting your very first cookout? Check out our guide on planning and hosting a perfect barbecue…
Whatever you decide for the timing
of your gathering, make sure that when you send out your invites, you indicate
when guests can start showing up and when you expect to serve food. As barbecues
tend to be low-key affairs, you'll probably find that people will come and
go as they please; giving them a rough idea of what's going on when will
help guests plan their schedules accordingly.