Memorial Day is the official kick-off party weekend of summer, but it’s also a time to remember our fallen heroes who served our country and thank those who have served and are serving in the military.
This Memorial Day weekend, Don Draper won’t be personally showing up at your party. But you might be entertaining a few family members and friends. Here’s a list of must-haves to make this Memorial Day memorable with a classic 1960s-themed patriotic barbecue.
Besides the grill, set up tables with fresh veggies and dip and create some focal points on the table with a few of these ideas, such as a checkered red and white tablecloth from Oriental Trading Co. ($16 for one dozen of them). Use white napkins and wrap them in blue napkin rings, also available from Oriental Trading Co. It’s a classic look that evokes the simplicity of the era.
While we’re on the subject, avoid draping the American flag over anything, or buying plates and tablecloths with the flag printed on it. It’s disrespectful and dishonorable to our veterans who fought and died for this country. The flag deserves our respect and isn’t meant for cake dessert plates.
To keep the classic style of the barbecue, make sure the cook behind the grill gets proper attire which at the very least should include a white apron, available at Wal-Mart for $8.98.
In the 60s, pupu platters were all the rage. You can usually find them at Goodwill stores or on Etsy.com. Alternatively, you can purchase them new online at Chef’s Resource for $21.95. Fill it with an assortment of fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and watermelon cubes and put a white fruit dip in the middle. Don’t forget to have some toothpicks so your guests can poke and dip.
Part of the fun of a 60s style barbecue party is to dress retro. Circle skirts and super simple fabrics with a belt were the rage for the ladies. Men: don’t worry you needn’t don a suit. Khaki shorts and boat shoes are just fine. Comfortable was the rule then, too. Check out some of the fashions at ModCloth.com, a website that sells the “Madmen” style women’s dresses.
No barbecue is complete without drinks, and in the 60s popular drinks included blue Hawaiians, Mai Tai’s and almost any kind of pineapple-based concoction. For the kids, serve Coca-Cola in the glass bottles, available at most Walmart stores for about $1 each.
For the food, keep it simple: hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks on the grill. You’ll be in keeping with the traditional fare and guests and kids will love it. Save your energy for the extras like ice cubes with slices of strawberry and blueberries in them (see a picture on Pinterest, courtesy of Skinnyms.com).
Serve Up Some Gratitude
If you know a soldier this Memorial Day, tell them thank you. Thank you for stepping up when others would have ran away. Thank you for putting your life on hold for your family and putting service to country above everything else. We each owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their sacrifices.