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How to Host a Socially Distanced Backyard Dinner

Remember when all you had to worry about when throwing a backyard party was a few mosquitoes? Now we’ve got a deadlier bug to worry about. It’s still possible to throw a socially distanced backyard dinner. The plus? If you do it right, you don’t have to worry about fighting for elbow room at the table.


While you’re concentrating on keeping your guests 6 feet apart, don’t forget about keeping the backyard pests even farther away. You also don’t want a thick cloud of chemicals hovering over your baby back ribs (you have Uncle Marty for that). Thankfully, there are lots of eco-friendly pest control options to choose from. Whether it’s horticultural oil or insecticidal soaps, you want to keep your backyard bug and chemical-free. Unfortunately, due to a year of heavy rainfall, San Antonio is predicted to experience an increase in peridomestic cockroaches, which can live both indoors and outdoors. Roaches will break up a party faster than anything, with the possible exception of ex-spouse. Use an organic pesticide for the roach … and then decide on how to handle the ex.


Planning a backyard shindig may seem tough in today’s health climate, but it doesn’t have to be. Many local restaurants are offering new delivery and pick-up options. Whether it's La Fogata’s award-winning margaritas or Ocho’s signature rum cocktails, the options are endless. You can serve your guests refreshing drinks and put away your noisy blender (the one you've had since college and should probably throw away). So instead of spending valuable time as a mediocre mixologist, spend it with an expertly made drink in your hand! Everyone knows that the best tasting drink is one you didn’t have to make yourself. The same goes for food.


With the time it takes to coordinate the guest list and make a party playlist, the last thing you want to think about is spending hours in the kitchen. Now you just have to decide whether to serve mouthwatering barbecue from B&B Smokehouse or if you should spice it up with some tacos from Los Barrios. Since you're choosing local cuisine, either is a win. Make it a potluck dinner! Give your guests the option of choosing their local favorites. That takes the pressure off you, so you don’t have to worry about your guests' dietary restrictions, or if your cousin has once again made the switch to veganism.

Ordering in also saves you from the hassle of going to the grocery store and having to juggle your wallet, mask, and long ingredient list. Studies show that people eat more in a large group made up of family and friends than they would alone. Nothing brings people together quite like good food. No one has a problem reaching for the last fajitas when everyone is distracted by a dramatic quarantine haircut story.


There are plenty of ways to entertain your guests and still abide by safety precautions. One of the best games perfect for keeping a safe distance? Cornhole. Food may bring people together, but so does competition. Set up a cornhole tournament complete with prizes and bragging rights. Maybe the loser has to eat a spicy pepper, or wear a silly hat for the duration of the party? Decorate your buffet table with colorful reminders to stay 6 feet apart. Place masks in colorful containers and use them as golden tickets for entry into your backyard. Award the guest who didn’t touch their face with a prize!

There’s a lot to be said for our new normal, but there are still ways to gather with friends and family. Call your local restaurants and brush off your picnic tables. Memories and great food are waiting!

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