So, I am inviting about 20 people to gather on our brand new deck sometime in late July to celebrate several renovations and my retirement. I know some of these folks forever, some are new friends.
There are the usual assortment of food restrictions, with some vegetarians and a known allergy to mushrooms. I usually plan a range of dishes so this doesn't bother me, everyone should be able to find plenty to eat.
I was thinking of smoking pork shoulder on my wood grill (I I have to do about ten shoulders for two family reunions later in the month anyway) to serve with rolls and several BBQ sauce options.
With it, baked beans, both vegetarian and with salt pork. And a barley casserole with mushrooms for the non-allergic.
Thinking of a potato salad tasting, with three versions. German, served warm, bacon, onion and vinegar dressing. Italian, with a light viniagrette, black olives, red peppers, scallions, served room temperature. And a cold classic salad with peeled potatoes, a little onion and chopped celery, parsley, mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest. I make all of these frequently and like them all, and I think offering a choice would be amusing.
The local corn should be in, so I would have mounds of corn on the cob with butter or an olive oil dressing to brush on.
So, maybe grilled vegetables? Spinach salad? Focaccia with tomatoes? Caprese?
For dessert, maybe sturdy cookies and ice cream with seasonal fruit?
I want everything to be delicious, but easy to make ahead and serve, with not a lot of stuff that is going to be tricky in terms of timing or refrigeration.
So, what do you think?