July 2, 2020
We’re all trying to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we still want to have some fun! Even though stores, restaurants, and other venues are slowly reopening around the world, many guidelines recommend staying home and away from crowds if possible. With bigger annual events cancelled this year, it might seem like the world has lost all its fun. If you feel like you’re missing out on some of those favourite events, why not throw your own?
Can’t get down to the midway or rodeo this year? You can still throw a fun western-themed BBQ at home, connecting while also staying physically distant. It goes without saying you should follow all the recommended Alberta health guidelines on gathering numbers and safety procedures.
Get Out the Western Wear!
For starters, get out all your western wear from the closet and encourage the family to dress up—just as if they would if you were jumping on the C-Train and heading downtown.
Get the Grill Ready
A downhome cowboy cookout needs a BBQ, so light it up and get started! For safety in the spirit of social distancing, it’s better if only one person takes care of the grill so that the grilling utensils aren’t touched by all the guests.
Grill up some local grass-fed Cal & Gary’s 100% beef burgers; they’re available only at Calgary Co-op. Pick up some fresh baked, tender and pillowy Founders & Farmers buns too. Don’t forget the hot dogs, smokies, or chicken, and add local condiments like Cal & Gary’s BBQ sauce, which comes in a variety of tasty flavours including Cal & Gary’s Newfoundland Screech Rum BBQ sauce, Cal & Gary’s Smoked Sriracha & Roasted Garlic Mop or the sweet and savoury Maple Syrup & Bourbon sauce.
Top Things Off
If you’ve taken time during quarantine to plant a garden, you may have all the burger and bun toppings you need. Otherwise, locally sourced veggies are always available at Co-op. Watch for local tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and other specialty condiments like Seven Spice Chili Oil, or Hellish Relish.
Of course, you can always fire up the other side of the grill for some other veggies like asparagus, bell peppers, cucumbers, and corn. Don’t forget to stop by the Co-op Deli department to snag some fresh salads too. If you’ll be offering things like chips or veggies and dip, consider buying the pre-packaged individual bags of chips or mini carrots so you and your guests aren’t reaching into the same bowl.
Set the Scene
Bring out your big table and set it up with a nice tablecloth and maybe some fresh flowers or other western-themed decor items—most Calgarians have some tucked away somewhere. You can also add some fun western décor like mini hay bales, hats, string lights—you could even make your own scarecrow!
No Mini Donuts? Plan a Sweet Finale
When it comes to dessert, you can make s’mores of course, or stop by the Co-op bakery department to pick up a cake, cupcakes or dessert that will be sure to please. Don’t forget to grab a pint of local gelato, like Righteous Gelato too. Or, consider individually wrapped Coco Karamel Alfajores (a tender South American cookie filled with sweet dulce de leche) if you’re concerned about sharing.
Put Local Drinks on Ice
Don’t forget the drinks! There are many local soda and beverage options including Minhas Craft Soda, Rocky Mountain Tisane, or even Village non-alcoholic craft beer. New and exclusive to Calgary Co-op is Cal & Gary’s sparkling water too. Why not grab a selection of all of these, fill a cooler (or horse trough!) with ice and let everyone sample these local sips?
Plan Some Fun
Games and activities are a nice way to keep everyone entertained. Horseshoe tossing, lassoing and western trivia are all fun, or just bring out the slip n’ slide or fill up the kiddie pool.
This year, since you can’t get to the greatest outdoor show on earth, why not create one of your own with our western BBQ ideas? Find all your BBQ and party supplies at your local Co-op store.
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