Office Cookout

I recently enjoyed a cookout at work, but not the kind you might think. Yesterday for lunch, I enjoyed the leftovers from a perfect cookout last Saturday (thanks, Ben and Lacie!). Note: I used to call these barbecues, then I learned that barbecue is a noun.

photo by crashmattb (via Creative Commons)I replicated the cookout experience in my typical, staid office, employing the microwave and toaster to reasonable effect. Based on my co-workers’ looks, I think they’re both puzzled and envious of my burger and dogs.

Barbecues, er, cookouts are tough to plan. It’s hard to know how much stuff to grill, as they’re often informal affairs where uninvited guests have a habit of showing up (including neighbors, tempted by the smell). And people tend to eat more than they say they will.

Plus, there’s the “good provider” instinct that pushes us to serve an abundance of food. And if that’s not enough, for some reason (here are some ideas) hot dogs come in packs of 10, but the buns are sold 8 at a time.

All of that means a lot of extra food. The hosts can hold a microwave and/or toaster cookout the next day (and possibly the day after that, too). Alternately, you can give out doggie bags to guests who want them, as my gracious hosts did. That sparked what I’m sure was a wave of “micro cookouts” in this neck of the woods.

What about you–Any tips for either reducing excess cookout food or making good use of the leftovers?

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