July 11, 2005 08:00 ET

Reunite Families With the Taste of Summer

Cookout Leaders Team Up to Make Family Reunions a Delicious Affair

OAKLAND, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 11, 2005 -- Whether your family is big or small, one thing is for sure: food is at the heart of every family reunion. Yet when reunion-goers were asked in a June 2005 survey what the hardest part of feeding their extended family was, 52 percent said the planning and preparation,* while 28 percent admitted to feeling a bit overwhelmed.*

To assist with reunion planning, cookout leaders -- the makers of Bush's® Baked Beans and Hidden Valley® products -- have teamed up with reunion expert Cheryl Fall, author of "The Family Reunion Planning Book for Dummies" and host of the "Creative Life" on PBS, to offer stress-free solutions.

Dishing It Out

"The easiest way to prepare meals at reunions is by having a cookout," says Fall. "Grilling lets you cook a variety of foods without having to miss all the fun while working in a hot kitchen."

--  Give guests tasks, based on their interests, to get everyone involved
    at the reunion. Have the grill master uncle light up the charcoal
    grill, the artistic aunt take photos, the organized nephew arrange the food
    and the kids set up the dessert table.
--  About 10 burgers or eight chicken breasts fit on a standard charcoal
    grill so, for instance, if you're serving 40 people, make sure to have four
    grills so everyone can eat together.
--  Everyone loves pizza. The Summer Veggie 'n Barbecue Chicken Pizza is
    an easy crowd-pleaser -- add your favorite ingredients to create your own
    signature pie, and don't forget the sweet and smoky BBQ sauce and creamy
    ranch dressing for a fun twist on traditional pizza sauce!
--  Mesh simplicity with snappy seasoning. The Orange-Honey Glazed Chicken
    recipe has only five ingredients and uses full-flavored honey teriyaki BBQ
    sauce and orange juice for a fresh, citrusy summer taste.
--  Forty-seven percent of reunion chefs need help with new and creative
    ideas for side dishes.* Put a spin on a traditional cookout side by serving
    Sweet Baked Beans Pasta Salad, a combination of baked beans, pasta,
    tomatoes, and mild Cheddar cheese. Or simply serve a few varieties of
    Bush's Baked Beans like Vegetarian, Barbecue or Onion to accommodate
    different tastes.
--  Bring a large bowl of lettuce. For the healthy eaters out there, ask
    each guest to bring a topping or dressing in addition to their standard
Readying for Reunions

"There's more to planning than deciding on a menu," Fall adds. "Adding a few personal touches to the day can be fun and help everyone get to know each other better."

--  Instead of regular invitations, take photos of Grandpa at the grill or
    the new baby "barbe-cuties" and glue them to the front of a blank card.
--  Take a photo of everyone's smile as they enter the reunion and place
    them in a basket. After the family arrives, have each guest select a photo
    from the basket and find the person whose smile appears in the photo.
--  Use food and side dishes to motivate people to mingle. Place serving
    dishes on different tables so people are forced to circulate throughout the
--  Get the kids involved. Have them draw a large tree using colorful
    markers on poster board. Ask family members to stop by during the day to
    place their family's information on the tree.
--  Ask guests to bring their favorite cookout recipe on a card to the
    reunion and create a family cookbook. Mail or e-mail the cookbook to the
    entire family following the event to share family favorites.
--  Think about the dishes you can prepare well in advance. GladWare®
    containers are perfect for freezing all kinds of food, sauces and
    vegetables. They will also come in handy when you're sending family home
    with leftovers at the end of the party.
More Menu Help?

For more great recipes and grilling tips, visit,, and For food storage tips, visit

* Survey results from June 2005 Impulse Research on behalf of the Makers of Hidden Valley Ranch

The HV Food Products Company, KC Masterpiece Products Company and Kingsford Products Company are subsidiaries of The Clorox Company, headquartered in Oakland, Calif. The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2004 revenues of $4.3 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Armor All® and STP® auto care products, Fresh Step® and Scoop Away® cat litters, Kingsford® charcoal briquets, Hidden Valley® and K C Masterpiece® dressings and sauces, Brita® water-filtration systems, and Glad® bags, wraps and containers. With 8,600 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in 25 countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $58.3 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges; and in fiscal 2004 alone made product donations valued at $5 million. For more information about Clorox, visit

Bush's Baked Beans, America's favorite brand of baked beans, is widely recognized for its lovable commercials featuring Jay Bush and his talking dog Duke, who always threatens to reveal the Secret Family Recipe.

Founded in 1908, Bush Brothers & Company is based in Knoxville, Tenn., and, in addition to their famous baked beans, offers more than 20 varieties of other beans including kidney, pinto and black. Today, Bush Brothers & Company is still family owned and operated, working for the same ideals that were set forth by A.J. Bush nearly 100 years ago -- ensuring the highest quality and best taste can be found in all their products. Bush's sells one-third of all canned beans in the U.S., making it the top bean brand in the country. For more information, visit

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