Warmer weather means outdoor activities and meals for many Canadians.
Normally this means BBQ season is here with block parties, family gatherings and potlucks galore, but with social distancing guidelines in place these gatherings will look a little different this year.
Experts tell us that the allowable gatherings should be held outdoors with anyone outside each “bubble” staying 6 feet apart. Being outdoors allows for better space between “bubbles” and a better airflow situation.
These same experts also remind us that anyone involved with the food prep in any way is healthy and free of all symptoms as well as not having been in contact with anyone that has been ill.
Follow These Easy Steps to Enjoy a Safe and Funfilled Summer Meal:
Set Expectations Ahead of Time
While everyone should be arriving wearing their masks, it can be great fun to have themed or individualized masks for the gathering. Maybe even names on masks for people that haven’t seen each other in quite some time!
It’s also very important to have sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in various places, making sure that everyone knows just where they’re located.
It’s suggested that there is also a box of disposable gloves on hand as well for extra protection.
Choose Your Menu Wisely
With everyone taking such careful precautions, a buffet style BBQ isn’t the greatest idea. Those huge bowls of snacks and plates of appetizers aren’t the best just now. Try small disposable cups of ‘snackables’ and individual charcuterie plates for your guests. Create prepared or plated meals, again with small cups of salads and/or desserts. And of course make sure to use fresh plates or cups for second helpings.
A great idea is to hold a themed BBQ. What about “Sausage Fest”?
Some of the best BBQ sausages are found in European Deli Stores.
Today we visit Poland with the aid of Joanna Kuca from Polski Deli at 555 Mapleview Dr. West in Barrie.
There are many varieties of delicious sausages but Joanna’s customers have a few ultimate favs for BBQ season.
Try These for Starters:
Debrecyna, which is the classic mild lightly smoked sausage flavor, custom made for BBQ season. With an all-natural casing for that wonderful snap and the perfect blend of pork and seasonings, it’s a perfect choice. For best results slice the surface diagonally 5 or 6 times before searing on a pre-heated grill until it reaches an internal temperature of 80C.
Hunter’s Sausage is a type of Kielbasa, lightly smoked and dried. The history goes that hunting has always been a popular sport in Poland, and this was the ‘go-to’ sausage to take for a trip that may last a few days. Prolonged smoking and juniper berries give the sausage it’s unique character and colour.
Starpolska sausage is made using the leanest cuts of pork, lightly wood smoked for a moist meaty texture and aromatic flavor of garlic and spices.
Rzeszowska sausage is said to have some magical power. Why? Well…because when it’s being sliced, some of the slices disappear before getting to the bun, eaten somewhere on the way. With is a dark, smoky cardamom, garlic and pepper flavour it’s a perfect choice for the BBQ.
These are the pork varieties most loved at the deli. However, there is also a turkey sausage as well that’s becoming quite a popular choice.
Carry the theme further by offerings of delicious mustards, horseradish and relishes. Just don’t forget the pickles!
Poland is known for their many outrageously wonderful varieties of pickled vegetables.
You’ll find everything from dill pickles to pickled beets…even mushrooms. So Yummy!
Included with today’s theme is a classic Polish Potato Salad Recipe – just to seal the deal.
Polish Potato Salad
Polish potato salad, known as salatka kartofli, or more properly, salatka ziemniaczana is made with carrots, celery, onion dill pickles.
As in all Polish salads, the vegetables are cut into ¼ inch cubes and even finer for the onion, celery, and pickles. The salad is bound with mayonnaise and sugar to taste or salad dressing, which already contains sugar, can be used instead.
1 ¼ pounds potatoes (red or white)
¾ cup carrots (cold, cooked, cut into 1/4 inch dice)
¾ cup celery finely chopped
4 tablespoons dill pickle (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons onion finely chopped
½-1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
½ – ¾ cup Mayonnaise (or as necessary)
1-4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
Steps to Make It
Cook the potatoes in their jackets, cool, peel and cut into ¼” dice
In a large bowl, toss together potatoes, carrots, celery, pickle, onion, salt and pepper – being careful not to break the potatoes apart.
In a separate small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and sugar together and gently fold it into the potato mixture, making sure all the vegetables are coated
Chill until serving time and ENJOY!
Written by: Jane Laker
Photo Credits: Stephen Elliott