We all know how unpredictable the weather can be at this time of year. I was recently enjoying a coffee in my hometown with my Italian friend, Eleanora, who suddenly exclaimed that she hates the weather in my country.

I must admit that I found this a little strange considering that the sun had just started to come out after a dark and damp morning. I then realised that she was wearing a thick duck-down jacket with a scarf tightly wrapped around her neck to protect her from the cold air.

While September can often be a chilly month, there is talk at the moment that we could be in for something of an Indian summer this September and bask in a few days of glorious sunshine. After the disappointing August we seem to have experienced, this will certainly be warmly welcomed by all of us.

With this in mind, I have put together some advice on how to enjoy the final few days of our summer and throw your friends and family one last barbecue.

The first, and some would argue the most important, step to take is to ensure that you have an ample selection of food that is suitable for both adults and children alike. Make a concise list of food that you need; I would recommend visiting your local major supermarket as this will allow you to purchase everything at once. Also keep in mind dietry requirements and vegetarianism, ensuring you try to appeal to everyone.

In order to take the pressure off yourself, I suggest taking the time to prepare a nice and simple starter platter that your guests can enjoy together. I like to pick a theme, whether it is Greek, Italian or Spanish, use your own judgement based upon your guest's tastes in food. Remember, you are more than likely to have at least one vegetarian amongst your guests, so be prepared!

We all know how much a lot of us love a glass of something with our barbecue and there is no better time to enjoy a few cocktails before we head into autumn. You don't need me to tell you that a last-minute barbecue is probably not the best time to go for fancy cocktails that require a lot of shaking and fiddling about. Adding Aperol to a glass of Prosecco with a dash of soda creates a glass of beautiful sunshine that can be enjoyed by everyone!

If you want to avoid the hassle of moving furniture out of the house and into the garden, it is well worth investing in some folding chairs to avoid the hassle of having to move everything in and out. Ideally you should invest in some steel ones as they will be more durable, but plastic ones can be just as good. If you have kids at your barbecue then they are also ideal as they are easy to clean should any spillage occur.

I am sure that you are all aware that dessert can be one of the most tricky and time-consuming dishes to prepare on any occasion. I know that it may look a little tricky to prepare, but you really can't go wrong with Tiramisu. It is so easy to make that anyone can do it, you can even get the kids to give you a hand if necessary.

One final piece of advice; make sure that you pay attention to health and safety at all times. Make sure that you keep meat in the fridge until you start cooking, and ensure that your regularly wash your hands. Ensure that the barbecue is hot enough before you start cooking, ideally the charcoal should be a nice pale grey colour. Finally, make sure that all meat and fish are piping hot and fully-cooked.

Thanks for reading! Please take a look at my other EzineArticle pieces or follow me on Twitter for more updates.

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