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25 July . 2018

How to enjoy outdoor meals in hot weather – at Rancho Sienna’s Outdoor Dining Room or anywhere

Rancho Sienna’s Outdoor Dining Room is a great place to invite friends and family for an al fresco meal in every season, including summer.

With its decorative string lighting and the Hill Country sky above, it’s a perfect venue for planning a nighttime meal in the summer. And with these common-sense tips for hot weather entertaining, you can also go ahead and plan daytime events like brunches or picnics. If you’re not part of Rancho Sienna yet, these suggestions can apply to just about anywhere.

Made in the shade. Our number one tip is to pick a shady spot for your outdoor meal. You’re in luck at Rancho Sienna, because the Outdoor Dining Room is set under a shady canopy of trees. Use a fan to keep the air circulating and to blow airborne pests like mosquitoes away. Check to make sure that your site has an outdoor power supply.

Ice it down. Put as many things on ice as possible to keep different dishes and beverages cool at the table. For drinks such as lemonade, make ice cubes out of the same beverage to keep them from getting watered down.

Serve salads and side dishes in double bowls, with a layer of ice in between. Chill plates in the freezer and keep them cool in an ice chest. Rule of thumb: you can never have too much ice.

Make memories. If you have kids, create a game or an outdoor activity to be the focal point for your event. Your guests are much more likely to remember the fun they had instead of the hot weather, so plan a side of excitement along with your meal. The Outdoor Dining Room includes a bocce ball court, which is a fun and simple Italian version of bowling. How about giving your meal an Italian theme along with a game of bocce ball and fun prizes?

Stay outside. Moving back and forth from the outside heat to an air-conditioned interior is shocking to the system and can make the heat feel even more extreme. That’s another good reason to plan your outdoor meal at a community space such as the Outdoor Dining Room – it will prevent guests from running inside the house and splitting up the party. Everyone will stay together, have more fun, and handle the heat better.

Remember the basics. On a hot day, it’s easy to get sunburned even in a shady location, so remind your guests (and yourself) to wear sunscreen. Better yet, be a super host and provide several kinds of sunscreen for kids and grownups. Your guests will also appreciate it if you have bug spray on hand. And if you come early to pre-spray the area, they’ll love you.

The Outdoor Dining Room is part of 100+ acres of parks and trails offered for Rancho Sienna residents to enjoy. See more.