“Summertime and the living is easy.” That is what the song says and the living should be. I subscribe to several homemaker type publications and just finished perusing the June issues. Everything I read says summer is the easiest time of the year to entertain and feature outdoor entertaining and carefree menus. Very inspiring…. But, Seattle is not a featured location. Weather for outdoor entertaining is not always guaranteed. Still, this is the season for barbecues, picnics, strolling the beach and hanging out at parks and on decks. Plus everyone loves and remembers a picnic-even if it rains.
I kicked off the season with a barbecue for my hubby’s birthday. At our home the birthday person selects what is for dinner. Hubby chose sliders. What fun! I discovered sliders are a wonderful way to have a carefree meal. I went to Bob’s Meats in Columbia City and got an assortment of ground meat in one pound orders. Bob’s had beef, buffalo, lamb, veal, chicken, turkey and a variety of ground sausages. One pound made 8 slider size burgers if you use an ice cream scoop to form them as I did. I seasoned and marinated the meats the night before. I scooped them out of 1 quart storage bags, placed and slightly shaped them on a plate, then transferred to the grill and cooked for about 8-10 minutes, flipping the sliders once. (My family likes meat well done.)
My slider assortment included beef sliders marinated in teriyaki sauce, buffalo sliders seasoned with steak seasoning, Paula Deen’s Basil-Turkey Sliders and country sausage. Sides were potato salad and an assortment of potato chips, but 2 get 2 free at Safeway-so why not. We also celebrated the late spring harvest and had Rhubarb Lemonade and the early summer harvest with strawberry-blueberry shortcakes and fresh whipped cream. We ended having an impromptu birthday party. I had a cousin with a five hour lay-over at Sea-Tac, so I extended last minute invitations to family. The extra folks were not a problem with 32 mini-burgers-from 4 pounds of meat.
The following day I had lunch with a dear friend, who is planning a welcome home party in early July. She loved the idea of sliders, so I thought I would share… Kick off a summer party or invite friends to dinner soon and include sliders in the menu.
Easy Summer Party Menu
• Assorted Sliders (SODO or Tukwila Costco Dinner Rolls for Buns, 24 for $6.99)
• Assorted Cheese Slices-Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Colby and Swiss (Burien Trader Joe’s, $4.99)
• Lettuce, Tomatoes, Pickles, Mayonnaise and Mustard
• Chips and/or Potato Salad
• Iced Tea, Lemonade of Punch
• Strawberry, Blueberry or Raspberry Shortcakes (We used Fisher Scone Mix. You just add water and my daughter placed dough in muffin tins. They were the perfect size to accompany the sliders.)