• With the start of barbeque season, here are two tips straight from my local butcher about grilling meat: First, let meats come to room temperature before cooking. It allows the meat to cook more evenly, and you won’t end up with a cold center and a burnt outside. Secondly, when your meat comes off the grill, give it time to rest before serving. This allows the juiced to redistribute throughout the cut of meat, and you’ll end up with juicy goodness in every bite. — JoAnn
• “Bring a distinctive towel to a pool party so that you will know where your towel is. You can make an extra-large towel by sewing two smaller towels together, too.” — U.A. in New York
• “For a really fun take on kebabs, use fruit instead of meat. The kids especially love fruit on a stick. If you have some neat cookie cutters, use them to cut watermelon into different shapes.” — M.M. in Michigan
• The best outdoor tablecloths, especially on a windy day, are fitted single sheets. Simply fit the sheet over a standard picnic table, and it’s in place and ready. The elastic at the corners keeps it from flying away. You can look at thrift and discount stores for fun patterns or just plain colors!
• To keep ants from invading your patio, draw a thick line of chalk (sidewalk chalk works great!) as a boundary. Ants don’t like to cross a chalk line and will leave your patio party alone.
(c) 2021 King Features