Dock Party Essentials

If you are throwing a dock/lakeside/boat party this summer, there are a few fun details to think through. The funnest part of a party can sometimes be the planning stage (if you are anything like me anyway), so we’ve put together a list of amazing (admittedly food-centered) ideas you can snatch and claim as your own. We are assuming you know google-fu like the rest of us, when it comes to recipes. But we’ve still got some hot tips for you that you may not have run across yet.

4th of July Theme

Your lakeside home already probably has a few American flag decorations flying high right? Add in some sparklers, and some red-white-and-blue decorations and you are set!

Main Dish Idea:

Do classic burgers on the grill! You can either use high quality beef and add nothing more than salt and pepper to it (after the patties are already formed of course), or do half pork and half beef burgers. Baste the burgers with butter right before throwing the cheese on at the end of cooking for some wow-factor. Don’t forget to toast the inside of your buns on the grill for a minute, and you’ll turn an ordinary burger into all anyone can talk about. For a side, no ones ever scoffed at a bowl of fresh blueberries and strawberries. And hey, they are blue and red, soooo…


Who doesn’t like grass skirts and already own a tiki torch somewhere? Roll out the straw mats, spread out the lays, and just throw flowers willy-nilly across the yard. You can pretend your lakeside home is actually an oceanside villa, with a fun luau themed party.

Main Dish Idea:

Pulled pork and rice – Luau style. Get an 8lb pork butt and follow these steps to have the best tasting/fuss-free-est meal of your life.

  1. Place the pork in a large bowl. Mix 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup of salt together in a separate bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  2. Next day, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Remove pork from refrigerator, brush any excess sugar mixture off. Place the pork in a roasting pan and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until it collapses, yielding easily to the tines of a fork. At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.

What you’ll have is a fork-tender beautiful pork roast that you can pull apart, pair with white rice and a pineapple slaw/sauce of your own inspiration. Your guests will beg to know how you got the pork this good, and how you learned to cook traditional Hawaiian cuisine.

Party to Impress Your Annoyingly Cool Friends

If you are inviting over your millennial post-hipster friends, you have already realized that the above two styles will simply not do. Your friends want to class and elegance, not lame themed parties. Get real. So we are going to need to do a Target run. Grab anything tan and white, especially both. Hang up some plain white Christmas lights somewhere, and follow the following rules. Stripes: Yes. Rustic lighting: Yes. Potted plants: Goodness yes.

Main Dish Idea:

Listen I’m sorry but we gotta get wild with the dish. Your friends will scoff at burgers and you don’t want to even have a package of hot dogs in a 10 mile radius. So we are gonna have to get ethnic, you understand that right?

Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wraps

Its wild how easy this is and how impressed your friends will be. Brown some ground pork in a pan. Then add fish sauce and a bunch of white sugar and caramelize the pork. Throw some sesame seeds on there if you want it to look more legit, but whatever. Thats done. Cut some carrots and cucumbers into thin strips, and add a pinch of sugar and salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Listen, you got pickled veg now. Serve the pork family style in a huge bowl, and give people plates of carrots, cakes, and big leafy lettuce to wrap everything up in. For a sauce you can just pour some fish sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic in a bowl, mix it up and say its ‘nuoc cham’ and laugh when no one knows what that means. Its fine. None of us do.

If you don’t wanna do that, just go buy 15 Bahn mis and pretend you made em. It’ll be like 30 bucks.

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