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3 Cool Tips For Your Next Backyard Bash May 17, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature, People.

Next time you’re planning a gathering of the clans in the park or your own backyard, 3 Cool Tips to consider:

(1) UPCYCLE an old t-shirt into an instant no-sew apron to protect yourself from barbecue sauce splatters and impromptu food fights.

Zen and Genki posted a super video demonstration:  Upcycling an Old T-Shirt into a No-Muss, No-Fuss, No-Sew Apron.  Creating tie-dyed aprons from white t-shirts would be a great craft project for budding young artists.


(2) SHUCK a few dozen ears of corn . . . and cook them in a cooler.

Need to cook corn-on-the-cob for a crowd?  Cooler Corn to the rescue! Put 1-2 large soup pots in a  cooler.  Fill the pots with shucked ears.  Pour boiling water over the corn and put lids on the pots.  Close the cooler.

Relax and have a beer . . . or two.


When you sit down to dinner (30 – 90 minutes later), just open the cooler and serve.   The corn will remain hot for hours.  Perfect for large barbecues with far less mess than grilling.

SAFETY NOTE from Snopes.Com:  Don’t Cook Corn In Plastic Coolers.

(3) EJECT blood-sucking vampiric pests that try to hijack the party.

An e-mail recommended this safe easy way to remove ticks:  Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball.  Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20). The tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.

Unless someone is allergic to soap, this method won’t harm them.  Perfect tip to share with anyone with children, hunters or dogs in their life!

SAFETY NOTE from Snopes.com:  Don’t get Ticked Off . . . Use Tweezers!

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Life in the Boomer Lane - May 17, 2012

Great suggestions!

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

The video on making an apron is AWESOME ~ an easy and quick transformation! People are so clever.

2. sweetdaysundertheoaks - May 17, 2012

Ticks! We got em! I will have to give that way a try. We usually use the tweezers. We love corn with buttah! And crab legs. And potatoes. And shrimp. All in one big pot!

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

We’ve been to plenty of shrimp/crab boils and lobster bakes in our life . . . with one pot/pan/pit cooking. So much FUN.

According to Snopes, tweezers are the BEST way to remove the nasty beasts. I shared this tick tip in case anyone is tweezer-phobic.

3. Pocket Perspectives - May 17, 2012

I’ll be there….day and time???… I can bring the old t shirts and liquid soap….and maybe some of our local area sweet Brentwood corn???…. : ) Maybe we’ll meet at one of those beautiful white sand beaches you go to? (and can you bring Tigger…and a few mechanical lizards for him to chase…?)

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

Sounds like a plan! Except for the mechanical lizards ~ we got Tigger a mechanical mouse once. He freaked out! He could not wrap his little feline brain around its gyrations. 😆

The t-shirts to aprons would be a fun craft project for your class, Kathy . . . if you have time to fit it in before your retire. (If not, maybe you can pay them a visit in the fall?)

4. spilledinkguy - May 17, 2012

Wonderful ideas! I’m not sure an apron would quite do it for me, though. With the messes I make a full-on hazmat suit wouldn’t keep me splatter free!

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

I’m not sure that I will ever make an apron from an old t-shirt but the ingenuity amazed me. I expect you would feel the same about the transformation brought about with just a few snips.

5. sufilight - May 17, 2012

Now I am in the mood for a backyard bash! :)The cotton balls tips is one I will keep in mind. Wish I could figure out how to keep all bugs away to begin with! Sprays, candles and tricks we have used does not really work, they are pretty resilent.

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

I’m sure they serve their purpose in the circle of life . . . but sometimes they just seem like PESTS! 😉

6. Booksphotographsandartwork - May 17, 2012

Cooking in the cooler, that is my kind of cooking! I wonder what else can be cooked like that? I have to try this. Thanks!

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

I see you playing around with the idea in your backyard this summer, Linda. Someone mentioned wrapping cooked food in foil and stashing it in a cooler to keep warm.

7. kateshrewsday - May 17, 2012

LOVE that top: and may well consider tie-dye t shirts as a project for my clan! Thanks, Nancy!

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

The apron project would make a great rainy day craft . . . Maddie and Felix could probably do the cuts themselves. Al would need someone else to supervise the sheers. Not sure about the two princesses. I don’t have a grasp on their age.

Once the t-shirts are transformed into aprons, the kids could go to town . . . decorating them with markers.

kateshrewsday - May 17, 2012

Project 😀 The two Princesses are 8 and 10 respectively so it’s a perfect project for the next time I have them all day…thank you!

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

Nothing like UPCYCLING an old t-shirt into a classy and splashy new apron.

8. 2e0mca - May 17, 2012

interesting tip Nancy – I don’t need to be cooking in the backyard, as the walls of the kitchen would prove. When I’m in full flow at the stove cooking a chilli or a curry, the sauce goes everywhere 😉

As an old school Union Official I believe that Stirring is crucial to success 😉

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

The apron is quite cheflike and utilitarian (i.e., NOT frilly) . . . great for protecting your “out and about” clothes from chili and curry splatters and stains.

2e0mca - May 17, 2012

Hey… As a bloke it’s important to have the stains to show my ‘New man’ credentials – otherwise the ladies always assume you just warmed up a Tv dinner 😉

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

Oh, my! How could that essential “proof of the pudding” have slipped my mind?! 😉

9. barb19 - May 17, 2012

Great tips Nancy – I like the corn on the cob one especially – it will solve a problem we always had!

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

Awesome. I thought it was a great idea. Then, I checked Snopes and saw the concern about pouring boiling water directly into a plastic cooler. Using glass or metal pots should solve that concern.

barb19 - May 18, 2012


10. Carl D'Agostino - May 17, 2012

I think with just tweezers the needle nose thing of ticks can break off in skin and cause infection.

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

They are tenacious little suckers! Ack! 😯

11. Andra Watkins - May 17, 2012

I am itching to try this corn-cooking technique, Nancy. I’ve heard it produces really juicy, tasty ears.

nrhatch - May 17, 2012

Snopes says it works. If you use pots inside the cooler, you won’t have to worry about plastic leaching into the ears. 😀

12. jannatwrites - May 17, 2012

Thanks for the tips on cooking corn and removing ticks. Both can come in handy for our next camping trip. Well, I hope I don’t need the tick thing, but you never know.

nrhatch - May 18, 2012

I should try to find you some really good camping and campfire tricks . . . like how to eat one more s’more without getting caught. 😉

13. wightrabbit - May 19, 2012

Great ideas, Nancy, thanks for passing them on. Now all we need is sunshine – it’s freezing here in the UK and pouring with rain 😦

nrhatch - May 19, 2012

Your weather sounds a bit horrid at the moment. Hope the sun shines soon.

wightrabbit - May 19, 2012

I’ve just heard we’re in for a heatwave this summer – hope I don’t have to work on that day! LOL 🙂

nrhatch - May 19, 2012

That’s so funny, Jacqueline. If you blink, you might miss it. 😆

14. eof737 - May 23, 2012

Love the colors in that tank top. 😉

nrhatch - May 23, 2012

Isn’t it gorgeous?! It doesn’t really have anything to do with the post . . . except that it’s a beautiful example of tie dyed fabric.

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