July 1 Entertaining Fun

Having guests for Canada Day? Rain or shine you can have a blast – without much sweat.

The red-and-white theme is always fun and you’re apt to have Canada Day decorations around your place already. Get out the flags, big and small, along with red or white placemats, serviettes and balloons. Thanks to Valentine’s Day and Christmas, you’re apt to strike red-gold when you go rooting. If the weather seems at all promising, it’s a nice idea to pull out some red Christmas balls and hang them on a tree or tree branch outside. There’s a lot you can do with what you have on hand to make things festive.

As for food? Well, for starters, if your guests offer to bring something say, “Sure. That would be lovely.” When everybody contributes, a party is extra enjoyable.

On the home front, start by making lots and lots of ice and putting it in large containers in the freezer.  For a couple of the ice cube trays, put a small, washed and stemmed strawberry in each slot, cover it with water and freeze.  Kids will get a kick out of their strawberry cubes.

Again, the red-and-white theme is fun for the edibles and libations. Have a veggie tray with grape tomatoes, radishes, red pepper sticks, button mushrooms and cauliflower pieces, along with a sour cream or yogurt-based dip.

Set up a Canadian Club station where people can make their own mini-subs. Sliced tomatoes, precooked bacon, sliced turkey breast, white cheddar, feta, goat cheese, mayo, ketchup and a variety of buns can all be arranged for easy access. Make sure there are lots of condiments and garnishes, such as red leaf lettuce.

If it’s a more formal crowd, opt to barbecue boneless, skinless chicken and let somebody else do the cooking. Add pasta and green salads you’ve prepared in advance, corn on the cob and buns.

Dessert can be Canada Day pizza. Modify the recipe for Fanciful Fruit Pizza at Pillsbury.com, using strawberries and raspberries to decorate the top. It’s easy to make and always popular.

In the drinks department, white wine and beer are great for the adults. If you’re keen to make a signature cocktail, a strawberry daiquiri works beautifully. You can make a non-alcoholic version for the kids and the designated drivers.


If your (hopefully outdoor) party continues into the night, try and have some sparklers on hand. Available at the dollar store, they’re great fun for older kids.


Happy Canada Day!

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