The school year is winding down and the sunshine is heating up. If the warm afternoons haven’t called to you yet, they probably will very soon – especially with Memorial Day weekend fast approaching. Now is the time of year when apartment communities open their pools and their grilling areas. Even if you are a grilling novice, get outside and take advantage of these amenities. It’s a great way to meet new people and have some fun. And after being cooped up all winter, a little sun on your shoulders will feel great (just don’t forget the sunscreen!).
Grilling isn’t limited to burgers, brats, and hot dogs. Because we camp (often), my husband and I have learned to make all types of things on the grill (we even grilled a pizza once). From seafood to veggies, there’s no limit to what you can do. Try some of these great grilling ideas and you’ll be the hit of the apartment community (or park).
If your apartment community doesn’t have a grill area or you prefer an afternoon getaway, picnics are also a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Many local and state parks offer grilling areas complete with picnic tables. Pack a picnic basket with some great summer dishes and salads, or pack a cooler if you wish to cook. If you are near the beach, there’s simply nothing better than spending the afternoon at a beachside park, grilling and enjoying the sand and surf.
Don’t limit your barbecue to just the main course – some of the best desserts are done on the grill. Fruit, such as pineapple, grills nicely – serve with a scoop of ice cream for a fantastic summer treat. Many appetizers can also be made poolside. And don’t forget the drinks! What’s a party without a few summertime cocktails?
If the thought of summer and poolside barbecues makes you cringe due to the prerequisite garb of bathing suits and shorts, grilling is a great way to enjoy low-fat, diet-friendly meals. And the added benefit – everything tastes better when cooked outdoors! One of my favorites is a grilled portobello mushroom burger.
This is also the time of year for festivals and events. Check and see what your community is offering and take advantage of the art shows, fairs, and parades. Ask your apartment manager what events they have planned. Many host everything from community yard sales to meet-and-greets to pool parties, so go outside and enjoy!