Red, White, and BBQ

Lately I’ve been all about owning my truths, as weird as they may be. One of my many truths is that I LOVE condiments. I believe that more is always better and that a French fry is really just a vehicle to get the ketchup to my mouth. My favorite condiment is probably BBQ sauce, so when I found Lillie’s Q BBQ sauce I knew I had to bring it to the store.

Lillie’s Q is the invention of award-winning chef Charlie McKenna. The competitive BBQ circuit took Chef McKenna from Alabama to Memphis to the Carolinas, giving him a wealth of BBQ tradition to inform his sauces.  If you’re in Chicago, you should stop by his restaurant to give it all a try for yourself.  If you’re in Alexandria, do yourself a favor and pick up his sauces at the store.

The 4th of July is always a great time for a good, old fashioned BBQ.  I like to slather chicken in Lillie’s Q Hot Smoky and throw it on the grill.  Unless you have all night to smoke your meat, this is an easy and flavorful shortcut.  Then pair your chicken with potato salad – or I like to make Ina Garten’s creamy parmesan polenta – a fresh green salad, maybe some grilled corn on the cob, and definitely your favorite baked bean recipe.  A BBQ should consist of simple food with fresh ingredients.  Serve it buffet style for even more simplicity.

To make your party festive, pick up some of our favorite melamine plates and tumblers.  They are no muss, no fuss and no breaking, which is essential for an outdoor fête.  Continue the gingham theme with a sweet centerpiece like this one I saw on Pinterest, and strategically add citronella candles in order to keep the bugs at bay.

A playlist of your favorite summer songs is a must, as are the obligatory horseshoes and corn hole.  Finish by icing down the Port City beer in a galvanized bucket – or trough – and Boom! you have a 4th of July BBQ.

PS: Don’t forget the sparklers!


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