ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Holidays and Celebrations»
  • Event Planning

Planning a Barbecue Cookout

Updated on May 26, 2017
The picnic grounds my parents frequently have a cookout in
The picnic grounds my parents frequently have a cookout in | Source

Inspiration Strikes Again

This morning I was trying to decide which of my many article ideas to pursue. At one point, I stopped thinking about it, and instead started anticipating a Father's Day celebration at some point in the future. Last year, we met at a picnic ground not far from where my folks live, and we had a great time. My dad loves to grill, and my parents go on picnics throughout the warm weather. My mother is always prepared, as you will soon see.

Once I started reminiscing about the many fun times my family has had at picnic and campgrounds, it was like a light bulb lit up, and I felt inspired. Of course, I could write about cookouts! And the next thing I thought was that my mother, the "Cookout Queen", could contribute. It was then that I sent her a message, and asked if she would like to collaborate. She was delighted to, and so here it is- the first article by Kathryn and Susan Stratford.

My mom did most of the writing here, so unless indicated, it is her "speaking". I put this together, and added the other elements to it.

This is my dad, Jim Stratford. He likes to picnic on a whim!
This is my dad, Jim Stratford. He likes to picnic on a whim! | Source

From the Mouth of Susan Stratford, a "Cookout Queen":

We started keeping a few picnic supplies in the trunk of our car a long time ago, mostly because we occasionally needed an extra paper plate or plastic fork when we bought takeout for one and split it. My husband can be very spontaneous at times, however, and we quickly learned how much easier it was to have a bag of basic picnic or cookout necessities in the car at least during the summer. That way, we only needed to throw some meat and condiments in a cooler, along with whatever else I might have on hand, and we were ready for our picnic! Over the years, we've added supplies to our bag, but there are a number of basic items that we try never to be without once spring arrives. Most of these are common sense, others we learned to have on hand from trial and error. I used to just pack it all in a paper or plastic bag, but they never lasted very long, so now I use a large canvas tote instead. But a box, plastic tote, or basket could be used just as easily, as long as it fits comfortably in the trunk--or back of the minivan or SUV--without taking up too much space.

Here is a list of the main necessities:

Bag of Supplies:

1) Disposable plates, cups, and assorted plastic ware.

2) A roll of paper towels and/or a package of napkins.

3) A few real spoons to use for serving food and a couple of sharp steak knives for cutting meat.

4) A tablecloth, either a sturdy disposable one from the dollar store or an actual cloth or vinyl one.

5) A can opener, just in case.

6) Matches or a grill fire starter--something to get the fire going.

7) Assorted plastic bags--we use plastic grocery bags for trash although you could certainly buy the actual trash bags if you wanted in whatever size you preferred. We also keep on hand some freezer bags and sandwich bags for the leftovers or for dirty plastic/silverware.

8) Barbecue utensils--the basic set will do or you can add as many extras as you want. We make sure to have a grill cleaner/scraper too so my husband can clean the gill before he uses it...and after as well.

9) I have also added a couple of old place mats in case the tablecloth is too much, too dirty, too worn, or otherwise not practical. Occasionally I've found that an oven mitt or two can come in handy, as well as hot pads if you have hot dishes to put on the table.

10) Some kind of wash wipes are useful too, since hands should be cleaned after handling raw meat. Or at the least, a wet washcloth can come in handy.

Other items might be added as needed, depending on what food you're having and how it's being cooked, and not everything may be needed all the time so a few things can be removed when they're no longer necessary.This list is the basic one I have used for many years.

A shady tree, and a glimpse of the water
A shady tree, and a glimpse of the water | Source

A Word on Cleanup:

I generally put the dirty barbecue utensils in a plastic grocery bag and the used utensils (and plastic ware because we use them over again) in a sandwich bag, bringing them in when we arrive home. Once they're cleaned, I return them to the tote bag in the trunk as soon as possible so they will be ready for the next cookout/picnic. Trash is either thrown away at the site or brought home for disposal, depending on whether or not the area has waste cans, a dumpster, or nothing in which to throw things away. I can wipe off my tablecloth with a damp paper towel before putting it back in the bag, but if an actual cloth is used, you'll want to wash it first if it's dirty enough.

Other Things To Keep In Trunk

Aside from the bag of supplies, of course, we keep a few other things handy in our trunk during the summer. Most important is charcoal briquets of some kind since it's a bit difficult to cook food on a grill without them! Obviously if you're using a gas grill or some other kind of cooker, you wouldn't need charcoal but the picnic areas we frequent usually have the kind of grills that are meant for charcoal briquets. Also, it might be wise to keep some water handy in case the fire gets out of hand. An empty 2 liter soda bottle full of water doesn't take up much room and can also be used for messy cleanups if necessary.

Because we have a fairly large trunk, we are also able to keep a couple of canvas lawn chairs in there, although any kind of folding chairs will work. Picnic table benches are not always comfortable to sit on, especially if you're going to hang around for a while after you eat, so we found that having alternate seating can be a really good idea! Or if you don't happen to have room in your vehicle for all of these things, you could keep them in a special spot in your house so they'd be ready at a moment's notice.

Supplies For A Cookout

Dish Soap
Lighter Fluid
Steak Knife
Hand Sanitizer/Wipes
Place Mats
Serving Spoons
Trash Bags
BBQ Utensils: Tongs, Spatula
Cutting Board
Can Opener
Jug of Water
Grill Cleaner/Scraper
Ice Chest
Plastic Wrap
Lawn Chairs
Grill Basket for Veggies
Games/Toys For Entertainment
Tablecloth Clips or Weights
Bug Spray
Cool Mist Spray

Great Food Options

Side Dishes
Toppings & Bread
Hot dogs
Cole slaw
Potato chips
Potato salad
Baked beans
Trail mix
Macaroni salad
Chopped/Sliced Onion
Deviled eggs
Grilled vegetables
Fruit salad
Hot Sauce
Chopped/Sliced Tomato
Veggie Burgers
Broccoli salad
Pepper & Salt
Cheese slices
BBQ Ribs
Green salad
Graham crackers
Lettuce or Spinach
Kielbasa or Sausage
Chocolate bars
Steak sauce
Meat Balls
Grilled potatoes
Baked goods
BBQ sauce
Hamburger Buns
Canola or Olive Oil
Salad dressing
Hot Dog Buns
Don't forget drinks: Bottled Water, Soda, or Fruit Juice

Please Rate Susan's Basic Potato Salad

4.8 stars from 12 ratings of Susan's Basic Potato Salad

Susan's Basic Potato Salad Recipe

This is the basic potato salad recipe that my mother (the Guest Writer) makes. It is simple and easy, and I added a list of variations to suit many tastes.

Potato salad is a dish that reminds me of cooking out, because throughout my life it has been a main side dish in the Summertime. It is amazing how food can be so ingrained in us that the aroma of it can cause so many memories to flood into our minds

Enjoy the recipe, and feel free to tweak it as desired.

~ Kathryn


  • Use Miracle Whip or low-fat versions of mayo, instead of regular mayo
  • Add in 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • Add in 1/2 cup red onions
  • Add in some dill
  • If you don't have garlic pepper, add both garlic powder and pepper separately
  • If you like spicy flavors, use a different variety of mustard. Or even add some hot sauce. I put hot sauce on almost everything!
  • For a little tang, add 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Sprinkle paprika or curry powder over it, for added color

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: Approximately 4 Servings of 1 Cup Each


  • 4 Potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • garlic pepper, to taste (optional)


  1. Boil potatoes
  2. Boil eggs
  3. Cut potatoes
  4. Slice eggs
  5. Mix together carefully

Our Picnic Ground in Northern Massachusetts

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Picnic areaGrilling burgersBridge that separates two picnic areasIt's a beautiful lake
Picnic area
Picnic area | Source
Grilling burgers
Grilling burgers | Source
Bridge that separates two picnic areas
Bridge that separates two picnic areas | Source
It's a beautiful lake
It's a beautiful lake | Source

Grilling Vegetables

Favorite Grilled Meat

What is your favorite "meat" to eat at a cookout?

See results

Favorite Side

What is your favorite side dish at a cookout?

See results

Favorite Dessert

What is your favorite dessert to indulge in at a cookout?

See results

Conclusion, From the Mouth of Kathryn:

It was fun to brainstorm with my mother. It also brought back lots of happy memories of going on cookouts when I was younger. Back then, we would go to one of a few picnic grounds, and if it was the least bit warm out we would beg to go swimming! Even when I don't go in the water, I find it very peaceful and relaxing to be near a river, brook, or the ocean.

Nowadays, we try to get together with my parents for a cookout at one of their two favorite picnic grounds once or twice a year. It's always so much fun! There's nothing like chatting, relaxing near the water, and eating delicious grilled food.

Feel free to share any stories or tips with us. We appreciate comments and feedback! I hope you enjoy the warm weather, and experience the excitement of cooking out.

Have a fantastic season!

~ Kathryn

This is my mom's cat, Hannah, standing in for my mother. She doesn't write as good as "her human", but she is very photogenic
This is my mom's cat, Hannah, standing in for my mother. She doesn't write as good as "her human", but she is very photogenic | Source

Susan (Guest Writer)

Bio, in her words: "I've been married to my wonderful husband for 36 years. We have three adult children and four grandchildren, and we are slaves to a cat who graciously allows us to share her home"

Feel Free To Comment~ We Enjoy Hearing From Our Readers

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Good for you, Kathryn! And by the way, don't ever forget that if you ever need any encouragement or how-to brotherly advice from a guy who's made a ton of mistakes but made good improvements over time on eBay, let me know, okay? I'm very proud of you, and I like your great attitude and approach towards life. Here's to mutual successes! Aloha!


    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I enjoyed getting my mother on board for this. When I thought about it, I got so excited!

      You are so sweet. Thanks for the compliments. Yes, I got many positive things from my parents.

      You're welcome, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      It is easy to get hungry when thinking about a cookout! We just went to one in Western Massachusetts, where my family is, a couple of weeks ago. It was so much fun! Actually, I meant to do a hub on what I made for it- a fruit pizza. But I have been busy, and my life just got even crazier this past weekend.

      Which reminds me, I may check out more of your E-Bay hubs soon. I am thinking of trying to sell some of my things for money, and I want to see if it would be worth trying to sell them online. Of course, things don't necessarily sell in a short period of time, but I will check out my options.

      Thanks, I will enjoy my walk. It is supposed to be really nice out tomorrow, and I am thinking about going on a longer walk than normal. Maybe I'll snap some photos, if it is clear out. It's amazing how different everything looks when the clouds move away.

      Have a nice walk, too, my long-distance walking buddy!

      ~ Kathryn

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Kathryn!

      What a lovely and very creative touch to invite your mom to be a guest co-hubber! That's what I like about you. You bring such innovative approaches to writing and exemplify for this community an enthusiasm that's been long overdue.

      I can definitely understand--from reading your mom's writing and seeing your dad's handsome photo--why you're such an outstanding word artist and human being.

      Thanks for sharing this piece!

      (And, by the way, yes, I definitely got hungry halfway through it!) : )

      Aloha, and have a nice walk!


    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this. It was very fun to collaborate with my mom, and I hope to do it again.

      I will tell my mom that you said she did a great job. I completely agree with you! If I had done this alone, it would have come out differently, and it would have taken more research to come up with the information she wrote about. I go to cookouts, but I am not usually the one that brings all of the supplies, so my mother certainly brought a lot of her expertise to the table!

      I am hoping that next Saturday's weather will cooperate. Our own planned cookout was delayed until then (we never did get in a visit close to Father's Day, like I was hoping). At this time, it looks like my parents, both of my brothers, and my sister-in-law and 2 little nieces will be going. We're going to have a cookout at Laurel Lake in Erving, Massachusetts, which is where we used to go every Summer of my childhood (we used to picnic, camp, and swim there), so it holds many wonderful memories for us. It will also be the first time in over a year that all of us have been together at the same time! With our busy lives nowadays, usually we can end up getting half of us together at a time, but not the whole group. I look forward to it, and hope no one cancels.

      The picnic area I have been to many times these past few years, where the photos were taken, is so pretty and relaxed. It's not usually crowded, too, which is pleasant.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, and I hope you have a superb weekend, and that you enjoy many cookouts and picnics while the weather is warm enough.

      ~ Kathryn

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      What a wonderful and useful hub! It is so great that you collaborated with your mom! This is a great list of items to keep handy during the spring and summer. I love to cook out and go on picnics too. The pictures of your camping spot as just beautiful! Love your hub, tell mom she did a great job too! Voted up, useful and sharing! :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Oh Kathryn, I'm shocked you don't have a garden... how I so imagined you'd be so good at nurturing one! Well, you'll have that yard and a garden that would make Eden jealous someday! It is such a treat! I don't have a particularly green thumb... but I plant it and they come! It is so awesome to walk out to the garden and snag a couple of tomatoes to bring in for lunch!

      I will have to look more into the dill and yes, what you said is true. Sometimes I just want a simple answer and I leave Google more confused than I started! Lol.

      Fortunately that donkey has finally decided he doesn't want anymore fines or tickets... I was getting about sick of going to the same house over and over. Some people are just special! lol

      Be careful in that fog!

      Have a delightful day!


    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Shanmarie, I think it makes it so much easier to go on a spontaneous cookout!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 4 years ago

      What a great idea! It never occurred to me to have a picnic kit ready at a moment's notice.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      Thanks. I was inspired to write about cookouts, and my mother was the one who thought about the specifics. We talked on the phone for a few minutes, and it didn't take long for her to get her part of the article sent to me. What she wrote threw the article in that direction, and from there it was easy to keep on finding things to add to it. Cookouts are fun, and it is nice to be organized and ready for one!

      Her cat is a character. She doesn't like me much (maybe she's jealous and territorial), but she is a great cat for my parents, and that is what counts. They spoil her!

      It sounds like you are going to have a fun weekend! One week from this coming Saturday I'm getting together with my parents, and most likely one of my two brothers. We are planning on going out for a picnic, but haven't planned the specifics yet. It is bound to be fun!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on our article, and I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Kathryn, what a great idea for a hub and what a great collaboration with your mother. She's a natural at this. loved everything about this, the food, the pictures, the advice for packing a car or van with cook out gear, the great sense of humor, the cat who lets your parent share her home. Planning to have my three sons and my brother (and grandchildren and cousins and wives of course) over this Saturday. Now I can hardly wait! :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Truthfornow, you're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed my tips. I had fun putting this together. It brought back a lot of wonderful memories.

      Have a fantastic day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      The guy relit his house on fire? Wow, I don't even know what to say about that. Maybe he wanted you back there! Lol. I hope he doesn't do it again. You don't want repeat customers!

      You have a garden? That is so cool. I want a garden when I have a yard. I would love to be able to pick veggies whenever I want.

      The pickling seasoning sounds good. I love foods with a good kick! It's good that you got your kids to eat veggies by pickling them. Hey, whatever works! I have always loved pickles.

      That's the beauty of Google, you can find any information you want to find... and so, so much more! Sometimes Google gives us a little too much information, but we have to excuse "him", because he is not human.

      I hope today is less eventful... unless, of course, you like the exciting life.

      Have a wonderful day! It is wicked foggy here today. I can't even see the city, I only see the cute little buildings directly around my neighborhood.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Oh, last year I started pickling a lot of my vegetables from my garden. This came about when a friend of mine insisted I tried one of his pickled green beans, oh my goodness, they were awesome! He used pickling seasoning... garlic and what not... but also a touch of jalapeno and they had a little kick to them. So, everything I threw in my 'pickling' solution, my kids would eat write up! Scallions, peas, beans... After that, I decided I wanted to try to grow my own dill in my garden this year. It's coming up nicely, but I don't know what to do with it once it does, I'll have to Google it :D ... but, I'm definitely going to try it on more things, like those you mentioned... sounds yummy!

      P.S. I had this comment almost completely written immediately following your response, but the house fire I fought yesterday, the guy relit his house on fire and I went running out the door for that (I was tempted to finish my comment though... lol)


    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Cookouts are great fun and good family time. Thanks for the tips.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      Yeah, this is a bit long!

      I have been to a couple of cookouts in my boyfriend's folks' yard so far, and the weekend after this coming one I will be going on a cookout with my own parents, as well as one of my two brothers. I really look forward to that, since it has been a while since I have seen them. Which is funny, because we live in the same state (and Mass is not very big!).

      I love that my mother collaborated with me! It was fun, and she did very well with thinking up something for the write-up.

      I love the photos, too. That park is so beautiful. That is one thing I love about Massachusetts. There's so much water! Bodies of water everywhere! I suppose a lot of places are like that, but this is what reminds me of home.

      I love pickles, too! And speaking of them, one of my new favorite seasonings is "dill weed". It tastes great on cucumber, potatoes, anything eggy or mustardy.... Mmmm!

      You don't need to apologize! Life can be busy, and I know from experience that there's so much going on in H.P., and so many people to see. I try to visit my main group of HP buddies, but once in a while I don't get around to people as often as I would like. I could spend hours on this site, reading and commenting!

      Shame on HP for not notifying you of this hub! It's funny how that happens. I'll get tons of notifications, and then I will happen to bump into a friend's hub that I didn't know about. It seems like the lack of notifying happens randomly!

      Thank you for coming here, and for commenting. I enjoy your visit, and hearing from you :)

      Have a fantastic second half of the week, and stay cool!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York


      Okay... I thought I was halfway through it! lol... this is packed full of picnic fun! :D ... I haven't officially picnicked or BBQ'd yet this season, but I want to tomorrow, now! lol

      You're family seems as cool as you and how awesome your mother collaborated with you! I loved the pictures too, oh my goodness, especially the one of the tree by the water. Such good ideas here! I'm so happy to see you have a recipe for potato salad too. So many people opt for making the macaroni salad over the potato because the potato salad is more time consuming, but I think it's probably preferred. I pour a little dill pickle juice in mine... but I love pickles. I haven't made potato salad since last year. I'm going to make it this week and follow your mother's recipe to a T! This is awesome... sorry I took so long to get over here (by the way, HP never told me about this hub!)

      Up and tons of other buttons~ Sharing too~


    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      Good afternoon! I would love to take a dip in the water about now. It is hot! 91 degrees, and humid.

      Well, I hope you get your night off, so you can at least be productive. I don't think I would like making two trips to the city, either. It's better to just "kill two birds with one stone".

      It was a close game! They tried. It must have really sucked to see Chicago hold the trophy on the B's own ground.

      Oh, so you get a holiday in Canada not long before we have ours. I hope you have a wonderful long weekend! We have nothing planned this weekend, but on the 4th we will probably be in CT (if I have it off), and the weekend after we will be going on a cookout with my parents. It turns out one of my two brothers will be there, too! That should be fun.

      I work tomorrow, and have the next 3-4 days off. I need to start making use of all that extra time.

      Hugs back at you and your beautiful cats :)

      Thanks, Colin!

      ~ Kathryn

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Hello and good afternoon my Kathryn of Kool from lake erie time 1:29pm after a quick dip in the lake and now for a nice cuppa of peppermint tea.

      I asked for Wednesday night off at work (it's still up in the air if I will get my request granted and I will know tonight when I go in) but it was to watch the 7th game of the Stanley Cup, lol, so I guess you know what happened, lol, but I will still accept the night off if they give it to me and make it movie night and go into the city during the day and get my hearing aids checked out and make it a productive day.

      Well I hope all is well for you and our Canada Day long weekend is coming up and on Monday Ist is much like your July 4th and it has been awful sticky and humid here especially away from the lake - we've had a lovely southwest breeze everyday here off the water but as soon as you go into town or the city it's brutal.

      I will go now my friend and make an appt. for my ears tomorrow under the assumption I am off at night - I don't like making a double trip to the city (2 round trip commutes on a night I would be working - it's too much.

      Sending 3 big Canadian hugs to you Miss K from Colin, Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel

      When I'm here I will share and link your awesome hub to my Facebook page

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Midget38, it's very easy to forget things. That's why I love lists, they help remind you what to bring. I will be referring to this when I go on a cookout!

      You're welcome, and thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      I love them, too! Getting outdoors is always fun, as long as the weather cooperates.

      It's easy to forget something! I'm usually pretty good at remembering things, but once in a while I forget something. This list will come in handy for me!

      My dad is the kind of guy that smiles a lot. He is generally a pretty happy guy.

      Thankyou so much for reading and commenting, and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      It was so nice to make this hub with my mom!

      Haha, I wish the poll allowed us to choose more than one. I like many different things on the list, too. When I go to a cookout, I like to eat a variety of food.

      I loved adding Suzie's recipe links. She always has such great idea for useful recipes for the skin and body, and those were so unique and valuable!

      Thanks for the votes and shares, and for taking the time to read and comment. I hope these lists come in handy! Have a fantastic weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Used to let my students organize these and they used to forget many things on the list. lol! Thanks, Kathryn!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I love picnics or cookouts, mind you I always forget something! lol! this was great, and I now have a list of stuff not to forget! that's the trouble with me I always forget the most important or useful thing to take, your dad looks like he's having a great time! lol!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      How nice that you and your mom (the Cookout Queen) made a BBQ Hub together! This is a great one to have on hand next time we plan a cookout. Do I have to choose just one favorite grilled meat?? So many delicious options. I'd probably go for kielbasa and ribs, grilled veggies and s'mores. Yum! You're making me hungry and it's not even dinner time. Awesome Hub and I like the addition of Suzie HQ's great homemade sunscreen/burn recipes. Voted up and shared!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Island Bites. I'm glad you like it. Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Excellent hub!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thelma, thanks. I'm glad you like it.

      I love going to places that have a beach! There's something about being near water that is soothing.

      I hope this is helpful when you go on a picnic. I know I will make use of this, because I don't usually have a comprehensive list. My mother, on the other hand, is always prepared!

      I was hungry looking at the video, too. I love veggies, and they taste extra delicious grilled.

      I hope you have a lovely weekend, too! Thanks for the votes and pin.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      What a great, useful and informative hub! I love picnic and it´s usually at the beach. I like everything that you have written here. I will surely save this for later use as in checking what to bring and cook for the next picnic. I felt hungry looking at the grill video. Thank you Susan and Kathryn for sharing this hub to us. Have a lovely weekend! Voted up and pinned.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Vicki, thanks, I'm glad you like it! I really liked having my mother help me this one!

      I think grilling out is such a great thing to do. It tastes different than cooking in a kitchen, and it turns the meal into an event.

      Mmm, the grilled veggies sound good! I was getting hungry for them as I watched the video, and again as you talk about it.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my hub, and have a wonderful weekend (it's almost here... one more day)!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love how you included your mom! I like your food options table, too. Loved the video, too! I told my boyfriend just last week that I need to use my grill more instead of heating up the kitchen. I bought lots of veggies to grill for him this weekend (with a small steak). I usually do kabobs, but I just bought a basket--seriously!--for smaller veggies!

      The video shows just how I do my corn--with butter right on the grill. I do that with zucchini and squash, too. Large pieces with butter and a bit of salt and pepper. My boyfriend loves it! so do I! Wonderful hub! :-)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cyndi, one thing I used to love about camping was the cookouts we had during our time outdoors. Oh, I miss those days! I think the only reasons we haven't camped out are because we don't have the equipment, Andy's car is small and doesn't fit many supplies, and we have so many other places we like to go. But I will be so happy if we end up going camping someday. When I think about what made me happiest as a child, the memories of the outdoors were top of the list!

      Thank you for taking the time to come over here to read and comment, and I hope you have a great day, too! :)

      ~ Kathryn

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Wonderful hub and photos! I love going on picnics and cookouts...they always remind me of camping, which I love, too. Hehe. I hope you've had a great day, friend! :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut


      She sure does deserve the title!

      You're welcome, and I am so glad you enjoyed it. I liked building the food option chart. I love lists, so it was my kind of thing!

      I love that my mom worked on this with me! It was so much fun. I'm surprised she hasn't popped in to comment since the day I published it.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I enjoy your visits! Have a fantastic Summer.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot for the wonderful tips. This is such a timely hub. I love your food option chart. Also, I think it's so cute that you and your mom worked on this hub together. She really does deserve the title the cookout queen!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Glimmer, it is so easy to forget something! I'm glad you end up having fun, anyway. It's nice to have everything, but as long as you're in good company, it's not a deal breaker!

      I'm glad you liked my mom's part, as well as the potato salad. And that reminds me, I just looked through some of your hubs, and saw the one you wrote last year. I definitely want to try that out!

      Thank you for reading and commenting, and I hope you have a wonderful Summer!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      This is a great comprehensive write up on picnics and is a great reminder for everyone of what to bring. We usually end up forgetting one thing or another, but we still have fun. Love your mom's voice and her potato salad recipe!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Colin, It is so great to see you! Here in Boston, it's in the late 60s, and cloudy. Yesterday we had a stunning thunderstorm, and the lightning was beautiful! We even had hail. The downside to the storm was that I had to turn my computer off for a while, but I probably shouldn't have it on all day, anyway.

      Those cats must feel so happy and free! To be a cat...

      Thank you so much for the compliments. This time half of the writing was my mother's. It was great to have her work with me on it! I'm glad that you like how I personalize it, because that is my style. It would be very hard for me to be impersonal! I do hope that many people get a lot of use out of this. I know that if I were to go on a cookout myself, I would definitely refer to this to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything. And I have my mom's handy recipe right here, where I can always see it :)

      It must be so nice to take a dip in the lake. Have fun, and good luck with your errands!

      There's that one Bruins game that didn't go so well, but then they have been on another winning streak! I guess they just can't be kept down.

      I'm sending all three of you a big American hug.... Oh, by the way, I saw the photo in your book of all three of you. Your cats are beautiful!!! Especially the fluffy one.

      Have a fantastic evening.

      ~ Kathryn

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Good afternoon my dear Kathryn of Kool from Colin and his cats Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel who have both been liberated to the outside world and have been out all day. What a life.

      I love how you always 'personalize' your writing Miss K and that draws your faithful readers in closer to you and then on a world class journalistic level as well you educate and enlighten us about whatever subject that you happen to writing on. In this case I would say this is the ultimate reference guide for grilling and barbecues and I will madly and gladly share and link this page on my FB wall for all to see.

      When I am off for a quick dip in the lake before I have to go to the nearest town for some banking and shopping.

      It's a nice fresh day here today and not too hot.

      So happy to see 'our' Bruins take the lead in the series and if I am off tomorrow night I will watch game four online.

      Sending you 3 big Canadian hugs from the three of us and good energy too at lake erie time canada 1:55pm

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Abby, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed. I liked adding my photos of that pretty park, because there's nothing that gets people in the mood for a cookout than seeing pictures of a picnic ground!

      I agree, the grilled veggies looked so delicious! I browsed through a few videos before I found that one. I like that they showed so many types of veggies to grill.

      Yes, her recipe is simple, which is nice. And potato salad can easily be dressed up to your preferences.

      Oh yes, I know you are into healthy! I like that, too! Unfortunately I overindulged during the last cookout I went to at my boyfriend's parent's house. It's tough when there are so many options! Next time I will have to make it a point to have what I desire most, in small quantities.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my hub, and have a fantastic week!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Great tips, Kathryn! Loved the pics too! Oh, those grilled veggies made my mouth water... yum, yum, and YUM! LOL. I will have to try your mom's potato salad recipe. It looks simple enough, and I like simple. Besides, it looks pretty healthy, and you know I'm about that too. LOL.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Eddy, thanks, I'm glad you like it! It was a fun hub to create, made easier by my mother's participation!

      Thanks, I had a wonderful weekend. I hope you did, too! Have a great week.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Carl, thanks, I'm glad you like the recipe. I hope you enjoy it, when you try it out!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Janet, I'm glad you like it! I really liked getting my mother involved, and I think she did a good job.

      Thanks for the compliments. I know my mom must be happy to see all of the positive comments!

      You're welcome, and thank you very much for coming here to read and comment on this hub.

      I had a fantastic weekend, thanks. Andy and I went to see his folks for a cookout in their backyard, and within the next few weeks we hope to get over to see my own parents. I hope your weekend went well!

      Have a wonderful week!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bill, thanks. The idea of a cookout hub was my idea, but the concept of being prepared in advance was all my mom's idea! She is usually prepared for almost anything. I really enjoyed working with her on this. I was excited about the idea once I thought of it, but when I heard her ideas, I looked forward to it even more.

      It's a very beautiful park!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and I hope you had a lovely weekend. Andy and I went to his folks' this past weekend for a cookout in their backyard, and I hope to go on one with my own parents within the next few weekends. Spring/Summer is full of so many fun get-togethers!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub Kathryn and voted up. Have a great weekend.


    • Carl8033 profile image

      Alexander Okelo 4 years ago

      I just love your potato salad recipe, can't wait to try it. :)

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      An awesome idea for a hub. It's also very nice of you to let your mother contribute to this very informative, interesting and beautiful hub. I love everything: general information about planning a barbecue cookout, personal background information, your wonderful photos of the picnic ground, the surroundings, your smiling dad and the cute cat Hannah, your mother's fabulous potato salad (5 stars) and the video about how to grill veggies. You and your mother did a great job.

      Thanks for sharing this. Best wishes to you and your family. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great idea Kathryn. I like this idea of keeping some picnic supplies in the trunk. And what a great idea to include your mother, bravo. Love the pictures, looks like a beautiful park. Voted up, shared, etc. have a great weekend.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rose, I'm glad you approve! I think it is a fantastic idea, too, and I love that my mother is so organized when it comes to that! I absolutely love hearing about their trips to a picnic ground. It makes me wish I lived just a little closer to them, so I could join more often.

      You're welcome, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Have a spectacular weekend!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      What a great resource! For people who love to have cookouts and picnics on a regular basis, it is such a great idea to keep your trunk stocked. Thanks for the comprehensive overview.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      WND, thanks for coming back to let me know you like my inspiration!

      I will definitely encourage her. She would have so many great stories to tell us!

      Okay, good luck with tonight's hub, and I look forward to reading it.

      (You're welcome for the support) :)

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Kathryn Stratford,

      Love the inspiration that struck you so I had to come back and say so. Hannah-Claws sounds great. Do you have your hubpage set up with a referral link, however it is done (I don't know) It would be awesome to have your mom on hubpages(through your referral link). Encourage her. She may have fun on hubpages and her stories would be great to read.

      (going to work on tonite's hub for challenge now. Thanks for the support)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      WND, I have to admit that I can't ever get my potato salad to taste like Mom's, even when I use her recipe. And sometimes I crush the potatoes when I stir it! Oops. Eventually I'll make some, and post a photo for it. Or maybe my mother will be kind enough to make some when I next visit her, and I can cheat by taking pictures of it!

      Hannah is an interesting cat. She is my parent's spoiled princess, although I am afraid to touch her. I love cats, but she's hissed and swatted me with those claws too many times. I think she is jealous, because I am the biological kid of mom and dad. Lol. I do like to pay some attention to her, anyway, and take photos of her.

      Ooooooh, inspiration strikes! I wish my mother would join HubPages. She doesn't have to do these articles like me, she can tell all kinds of cat tales! I'm sure she would have plenty of material, with her little Hannah-Claws!

      Thanks very much. I'm not able to go on the picnic this weekend, but hopefully very soon. I'm looking forward to celebrating Father's day, even if it is a few weeks later!

      Have a wonderful weekend, and good luck with your Hub Challenge!

      ~ Kathryn

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Superb hub. What a great idea to have your mom chime in. And Hannah is a sight to behold.

      I love potato salad, but I can never make it like how I remember it was made when I was younger. Now I wait for someone to make it and I dig in and it always tastes great. It's just a recipe I can't grasp to make.

      Great job and have fun on your picnic.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Pamela, thanks, we had a great time with this one! Many of my fondest memories from childhood were at picnics, and even nowadays they are so much fun!

      I really enjoy the picnic grounds, and look forward to going there again. Hmm, I may even write up a review of it specifically after the next time I go. That could be pretty fun!

      I agree, this is a great Summer hub!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and I hope you have a spectacular weekend!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      We also went on a lot of picnics in the summer when I was growing back,and they are some of my best memories as a child. I have also enjoyed taking my children on picnics. You and your mother really covered this topic thoroughly. I think your picnic grounds are beautiful also. Awesome hub for summer!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Kashmir, Mmmm, ribs are fantastic on the grill! I hope that if you try the potato salad, you like it. It's a more basic recipe than I usually post, since the article is already long, but it's easy to make. And I love trying different variations! There are so many ways to dress up or change the taste of this simple side dish.

      Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rajan, it sure is a lot of fun! I look forward to my next cookout with them. Unfortunately we can't get over there for Father's Day, but hopefully soon. But the good thing about life is that we have the opportunity to celebrate dads even when it is not a holiday! In fact I appreciate my parents at all times, and throughout the year. I hope they always realize it.

      I decided the potato salad would be a bonus. It is not as thorough as most of the recipes I post, but it is simple and easy.

      You're welcome, and thank you so much for your support and comments. They make my day!

      Have a spectacular weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Mary, I'm glad this brings back memories of your childhood. The cookouts and picnics we went on when I was younger was a big part of what makes being a kid fun for me!

      Thanks, I'm glad you think we make a great pair! It would have been even more fun if we had physically been in the same work. But it was fun talking about it on the phone, and then communicating via the computer. Gotta love technology!

      Thanks, I'm glad you like it. It certainly has a lot of information!

      Thanks for the votes and the feedback, and for taking the time to read and comment.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend awesome article, i am doing ribs on the BBQ this weekend so i will try the potato salad recipe .

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Pinto, thanks! My mother goes to that picnic ground often, and I think it is great that she is always prepared for a spontaneous cookout when the weather is good. I like to go with them every so often. If I lived closer, I would be tempted to go more often! There's nothing like eating food in the great outdoors.

      Thanks for the compliments. We both appreciate it.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzie, your goodies are so great for the outdoors that I couldn't help but add them in! They are items that many people wouldn't even thinking of making themselves.

      I agree, my mother should be writing here! I have urged her to. It may seem like a lot to learn at first, but after a while it becomes second nature.

      Picnics are good, too. I like grilling food out when we're with my folks, but sometimes when Andy and I go to the Quabbin Reservoir, or someplace, we just bring prepared food that we can nibble on without additional preparation or cooking. That is very nice, too.

      The "caravan by the sea" experiences you had as a child sounds wonderful!

      The weather around here isn't always reliant, but I would imagine it is not quite as unpredictable as there! ... Are you in Ireland now, or in Italy?

      I'm glad you like this article. I like that my mother wrote the piece, and I had so much fun with the layout and the extra little goodies.

      You're sweet. Thanks for the compliments! I'm sure my mother will appreciate them, too!

      The photos are a mixture of Mom's and mine. It's such a beautiful picnic ground, so it's easy to take nice pictures of it.

      Thanks for everything, and for being so supportive! Have a fantastic weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      MJ, I don't even want to ask what you would need all of those things (40 gallon drum, angle iron, etc) at a barbecue, anyway! I don't think that's the kind of fun many people want!

      You should be hungry. Cookouts are so great, and thinking of them makes my mouth water!

      Now, MJ, when you comment, it doesn't make me want medication. You are like medication! Hahaha! You cheer me up with your silliness.

      Yes, my father smiles quite a lot!

      Okay, I know you enough by now to know you don't do "kitchen things". Hahaha, "to make Suzie breakfast". Now that's funny!

      Suzie's recipes are wonderful. You should be her little helper monkey, and test all of her products! And not with car grease in it, either, with nice coconut oil, and shea butter, and essential oils. You could be the prettiest boy in Ireland!

      Thanks for everything, MJ, and have a fantastic weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Europewalker, thanks! I love barbecues, so this article was so much fun to put together! It will also be a good one to refer to when I do go on a cookout- either for food ideas, or so I don't forget anything.

      The picnic ground is so pretty! There's nothing like being in a place with lots of trees and grass, beside the water. I love it! When I meet them there, it's never even super crowded!

      They are pretty wonderful, and I have many god memories of being in the outdoors.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Rose, I'm glad you liked it! I had fun working on this with my mother.

      Some of my favorite memories are from picnics, too. In addition to the ones we went to with just the five of us (my parents, myself, and my 2 brothers), we also got together with the "whole gang" once in a while. And we used to have a family reunion at a picnic ground or at my Great Uncle Sonny's country house with most of my Dad's side of the family.

      I'm glad this brought back memories, and that you enjoyed it! Have a wonderful day!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Mom, Your portion fit in very well, I think. But it wasn't really small! Technically, three sections were exactly what you wrote (I just made a few things bold), a few of the photos were yours, and the potato salad was yours! Also, a portion of the data I put onto the tables was from what you wrote. I just added more to it. Thanks again, Mom, I enjoyed working with you, and I hope we do it again! I also agree with Suzie - you should be writing here! The account is free, and there's no harm! The people here are a great support system, and there's help every where.

      You're welcome, and let's do this again :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I loved watching the cool pictures and the planning of these cookouts. It seems like a lot of fun time spending moments together with good food going around.

      The recipe for the basic potato salad and the variations are an added bonus.

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub. Rated 5 stars and voted up and inter.esting

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Oh the memories! We used to picnic like that when I was a kid.

      You and your Mom make a great pair and a great hub! I'm sure lots of folks will find your lists helpful. I would say this hub was bountiful!!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi Kathryn Stratford! Very well demonstrated and well written hub with complete detailing of the subject matter in hand. One would definitely get tempted for such as lovely hangout even if not planning.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn & Susan,

      Well, what a surprise to see you kindly mention my hubs!! You are a star for doing that Ms Stratford!! Thank you so much!

      This was a fab collaboration, Susan you should be writing here too!

      Loved the history of how you started and the ideal things to have ready. It is not something I have done lots of here. We used to have a caravan by the sea for summer breaks as a family growing up which was great for open air cooking. Picnics I love but vary seldom would we do a "cookout". When I lived in New Zealand it was fantastic to do this all the time as the weather was so reliant, unlike Ireland!

      Thanks for a gorgeous hub ladies, you have done another winner Kathryn and your work is outstanding, truly! Layout, full of interest, info and great photos!

      HOTD for sure, I am with Bill on that!

      Congrats and thanks again, voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared the love and pinned!!

    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Kathryn

      WOW, fabulous, stunning, amazing and now I'm hungry. The picnic area looks out of this world and I'd love to visit.

      Papa Kathryn has a great smile so it's obvious where you got yours from.

      Sir Bill mentioned this for a HOTD but as you've already got one of those I'd put this forward for a RISING STAR.

      Another thing Sir Bill mentioned was that he normally takes more medication when he sees that I've commented on one of his hubs so I thought why should Kathryn be any different.

      You know that "Share The Love Thingy".

      So let's get to it as I've loads to do today and thought I might try this hub writing publishing thingy.

      Since Mama Kathryn is such a natural gifted writer don't you think you should step aside for what is obviously superior talent.

      Papa Kathryn could make money with that smile. I can easily see that on the cover of Vogue. I know about these things, honest.

      Now as you know I like nothing more than rising early in the morning, rushing into the kitchen and dawning my apron. Yes just my apron with butt checks flying in the wind and AC/DC rocking the radio just to make Suzie breakfast. Oh wait that's a whole different nightmare.

      I really must take a look at those recipes by that hubber SuzieHQ. She sounds a little bit mad just like me.

      I love Barbecues but don't get invited anymore as by the time I've unloaded the 40 gallon drum, the angle iron, the stainless steal mesh, the grinder, the welder and of course the spanners everyone else has gone home.

      Voted up, ticked, shared and G+'d.


    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 4 years ago

      Fantastic hub Kathryn. If this doesn't put you in the mood for a barbeque, nothing will. I love the photos of the picnic grounds. You have wonderful parents. Voted up and awesome.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Well done Kathryn and Susan! This was very informative and interesting. I totally loved your images and all the fabulous tips. It is amazing how many wonderful memories and good times are created with the simple things in life, like a barbecue or a picnic. I come from a big family and some the best times were when we would all get together for a picnic. This certainly brought back great memories. Thanks for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • profile image

      Susan Stratford 4 years ago

      You did a wonderful job of putting it together Kathy! My small contribution fit in there pretty well, I think. I read this as though I'd never been on a cookout before and I was impressed! I do hope it is helpful to people even in a small way. Thanks for allowing me to collaborate with you!

      Susan, aka Kathy's Mom

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bill, I'm so glad you like it! I love cookouts, and my mother is awesome at being prepared when my father decides he wants to spontaneously go on a picnic. This is the time of the year I always look forward to being outdoors, so this was a pleasure to work on.

      My dad almost always smiles! He is a very friendly guy, and tries to stay upbeat. You would probably get along with him very well.

      Thanks again, and I hope you get to enjoy some good time cooking out sometime, too!

      Have a great weekend, as well. It's almost time for you to relax!

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a great hub! Including your mother was a master touch, and your dad's smile is a classic. He looks like a good man, someone I'd like to meet.

      Well done, Kathryn! This one deserves a HOTD!

      Have a great weekend and cookout!