Written by Stephen Exel
Baby, it's cold outside. But no matter. We're embracing our inner polar bear and gathering around a roaring bonfire for some flame-kissed fun, food and games—and invite you to do the same. Whether you're planning a hot date with your honey or just want to get cozy with 40 of your closest friends, here’s our guide to a blazing good time.
Pick a spot. Check nearby beaches and parks for after-hours or off-season availability. Review local ordinances for regulations—you may need a permit for a bonfire, even in your own backyard—and find
out how far in advance you need to reserve a site. Make sure the area is spacious, with no nearby buildings, and free of debris and hazards such as trees and electrical cables.
Choose a date. Check long-term weather forecasts. Look for a night
with a full moon. The light will be better, and the werewolves might provide some late-night entertainment.
Choose a theme (or not). Winter Luau, Survivor or the classic Drumand-Dance-Around-the-Fire are all fine party themes. Design your invitation accordingly, or create a mock-up of a matchbook.
Yes, that’s in caps, because we're shouting at you. You're
combining volatile elements—fire, fun and alcohol—and you're responsible for the safety of your guests and your party spot. It should go without saying, but we're saying it
anyway: Have a water supply and fire extinguisher close
by, just in case. Bring a flashlight with working batteries,
a cell phone (in case you have to dial 911), a shovel for
covering the fire with sand or dirt, and a first-aid kit. Do not under any circumstances leave a fire, even a smoldering one, unattended. We know you'll be careful.
There's nothing more comforting—or deliciously primal—than
cooking in the glow of a dancing bonfire. Stick with simple menu
items and tools that harken back to childhood campfires. Heavy-duty
aluminum foil, water-soaked wooden skewers, a freestanding
grill grate, sturdy twigs and a tough enameled Dutch oven are good
choices. (Avoid the straightened wire hanger—it's often coated with
nasty stuff that melts.) A few ideas for your menu:
Oooh, yeah. The smooshy,
treat is still a big-kid favorite.
Amp up the flavor with these
December 07, 2011 4:30 AM
We had a bonfire and ice skating party at a local lake's boat launch. They are often free with plenty of parking.
My hubby cleared some ice for skating. I made a huge pot of copycat's recipe for "olivegarten's" past e fagoli, 5 gallons worth! Hardly any was left.
Provide hot chocolate, coffee cold and hot cider. and ask people to bring cookie a plate to share.
We brought one snowmobile and a pull behind sled and towed the kids around for rides.
IT WAS SO FUN!
Pasta E Fagioli.
Yield: 36 servings
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef
12 ounces chopped onion
14 ounces slivered carrots
14 ounces diced celery
48 ounces tomatoes, canned and diced
2 cups cooked red kidney beans
2 cups cooked White kidney beans
88 ounces beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 and 1/2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
48 ounces marinara sauce
8 ounces dry pasta shell macaroni (or other pasta)
Saute beef in oil in large 10-qt. pot until beef starts to brown. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse beans and add to the pot. Also add beef stock, oregano, pepper, Tabasco, spaghetti sauce, and pasta. Add chopped parsley. Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes. Makes 9 quarts of soup. Just cut the recipe in half for smaller family needs!
November 11, 2011 11:06 AM
Love this idea - in fact we did it once! One tip - hope for good weather - we held ours at a local park, fresh snow-----bone chilling 10 degrees with a stiff frigid wind off the lake. It was memorable!
November 11, 2011 11:27 AM
You'd also need a hot tub for a party that cold!
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