Spring is here and enjoying the outdoors after a long winter inside is on everyone’s list. The flowers are blooming, trees are blossoming and it’s truly a time of renewal. Our grandmothers have often said that everything tastes better when it’s eaten outside with friends and family. Spring is the perfect time of year for outdoor dining and entertaining. Get your fresco on and plan an outdoor party. The beauty of entertaining outside is it lends itself to very casual, non-fussy preparation.

The simplest menus are often the most delicious. A low country crab boil requires very little preparation and is enjoyed by nearly everyone. In some regions of the south, this is referred to as frogmore stew. If you’re fortunate enough to have a grill with a side burner, use this for the large pot needed for the low country boil. The ingredients are simple. Just add new red potatoes, andouille sausage, corn cobs cuts in thirds and generous amounts of Old Bay seasonings. Let these boil for approximately thirty minutes, drain and spread on a large platter and dinner is served!

Depending on the number of people you’re hosting, a buffet often is the least fussy and creates a casual setting. When serving a low country boil on a buffet, the only other items needed are a centerpiece, plates and flatware rolled in napkins. Create your centerpiece using the blooming flowers and tree blossoms from your yard for a truly festive touch.

Set up a bar and drink table away from the entrance to the outdoor space and away from the buffet table. This will help improve your guest flow and eliminate bottlenecks. Have large amounts of ice, soft drinks, water, beer and wine available for your guests. You can have a signature drink for the evening as a kickoff toast. Your guests are sure to appreciate this.

Casual is the style of the evening. Select a simple sundress or spring capris with fun, fashionable sandals for a comfortable and relaxed style. Now that you’ve prepared everything in advance, you can be a guest as well as host at your own party. Happy Al Fresco dining!