Wednesday November 9, 2016
Sometimes traditions start spontaneously, by the mere repetition of them. Other traditions are formed instantly, when a great event leaves guests wanting more. This year, make your Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner stand out by starting a “Pastries on the Patio” party that no-one will forget.
As any experienced camper knows, grills and fire pits are good for more than hot dogs and s’mores. A plethora of pastries can be prepared on the patio. A new favorite tradition could instantly form when you move Thanksgiving Day guests outside for dessert. The first Thanksgiving was likely spent outdoors, so having the last course of the meal on the patio gives your event a sense of history and gives guests some healthy fresh air.
Thankfully, you don’t have to start from scratch. The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) is here to help. On their website, hpba.org, the organization provides a comprehensive list of links to desserts like blueberry cobbler and grilled pie. Other ideas and recipes for the outdoor pastry chef can be found on sharing sites like Pinterest and Allrecipes.
A few of our favorites that would pair well with holiday meals are baked apples, grilled peaches and ice cream, grilled pineapples with brown sugar or cinnamon and honey, and pretty much anything stuffed with mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows, like faux banana splits. To make those, slice a banana lengthwise, fill it up with the little morsels, wrap it in tin foil and stick it over the fire for a few minutes. Instead of a banana, use ice cream cones, pitas, crepes or plain bread as shells for this delicious grilled dessert. The kids love this treat because they can prepare their own, wrap it up and hand it off to an adult to heat on the grill. Just make sure to mark the tin foil with names to avoid mix-ups!
Transform grilled cheese sandwiches into warm sweetness by filling the bread with blueberries, powdered sugar and cream cheese. Cut the sandwiches diagonally for two triangles and wrap tightly in tin foil if you plan on placing them directly on the grate. If you have a flat grilling surface you can prepare these sandwiches like any other grilled cheese. Toast the bread until the inside of the sandwich is warm and serve.
When someone asks what they can bring this year, ask them to bring fixings for an outdoor dessert. If they have portable equipment to help make them, all the better. A sandwich-maker or electric grill can be moved to the built-in bar or picnic table. No grill is necessary to cook, eat and enjoy some time outside at Thanksgiving. Pick some pastries and step onto the path of pure perfection on the patio this holiday season.