After two years of limited social interaction, this summer promises to be a return of the food, fellowship, and fun of classic backyard cookouts!
In order to kick off this year’s peak BBQ and grilling season, the AmazingRibs.com team is encouraging everyone to bring their smoker or grill to the street and start cooking on the third Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of May for a grassroots “Meat Your Neighbors” campaign.
To participate, choose a day and time then fire up your smoker or grill in a common area where neighbors can join in the fun. All you’ll need to do is get some food, follow safe cooking guidelines, and start grilling in your driveway or community’s common area! Inevitably your curious neighbors will stop by just to say “hello,” and that’s the whole idea behind National “Meat Your Neighbors” Weekend.
This is a great way to reconnect with or get to know your neighbors as they pass by, reinforcing the importance of community while celebrating the comradery of outdoor cooking. This is not a full-fledged cookout with all the fixings, just a small sample, or “taster” as my dad used to say. This is not meant to be fancy, just delicious food being shared as part of a community.
In fact, the word community originates from the Latin word communitas which means public spirit. A community is not only the place where we live; it is the place where we interact with others on a daily basis. We are better together, and nothing brings us together more than preparing and sharing a meal outdoors. Having a national weekend for gathering around the grill will create good neighborhood relationships that will inspire, build, and strengthen a more caring and effective community.
A study done in 1986 by McMillan and Chavis identified the four major elements of a community which are: membership, influence, reinforcement, and emotional connections. Cooking outdoors together and sharing food involves all of these elements. Imagine if everyone reading this article would post a picture of themselves grilling outside and sharing their creations with old and new neighborhood friends. It wouldn’t take very long for the National “Meat Your Neighbor” Weekend to take hold across the country.
Ready to get started? There are several excellent resources for ideas as to what type of smoker or grill is right for your needs as well as countless recipes to share on National “Meat Your Neighbor” weekend, including:
AmazingRibs.com – The world’s largest online site for BBQ recipes, product reviews, and safe cooking guidelines
BBQguys.com – Online leader for grills and outdoor living products
Cambridgema.gov – National Neighborhood Day activities suggestions
Nationaltoday.com – Track fun holidays and list fun activities and exciting ways to celebrate
Moving.com – Tips and guides to get to know your neighbors