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Diamond Jubilee dinner

Well, those in the U.K. are enjoying the last of a four-day weekend in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne), while the rest of us are back to the grindstone. Lucky.

We ended up celebrating yesterday with some friends. We hung our union jack bunting up on the front of our house and threw together an impromptu barbecue dinner of grilled rack of lamb with mint sauce, boiled new potatoes, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese (for the kids), strawberries and freshly whipped cream and a homemade berry pie from Taylor’s Market for pudding – all served with some union jack napkins and St. George’s flag plates, cups and even balloons (I know, I know, St. George’s flag is only representative of England, but we bought them cheaply on our last trip to the U.K. around the time of St. George’s Day and it worked in a pinch – at least more appropriate than this tableware.).

Street parties, British style

This weekend, over 10,000 street parties will be held across Britain in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. That’s double the number of parties than were held last year in connection with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.

I’ve never been to a British street party, but man, would I like to go to one. Streets are closed. Long tables run down the length of entire streets with chairs on either side – like the biggest dinner party in the world. There’s always tablecloths and cakes and ales, pork pies, sausage rolls and tea sandwiches. Music fills the streets. Union jack bunting is festively hung. It’s just that idyllic.

Inspired? Well, you can throw an authentic British street party stateside. Check out BBC America’s tips.