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It's Friday night, you're on your way home from work, and your youngest is texting: “what's for dinner?

Here is a quick way to organize the best last-minute barbecue ever:

Food: Stop at the supermarket and pick up easy-to-prepare barbecue classics: ready-made frozen beef burgers, coleslaw and potato salad from the deli counter, and hamburger buns; also, a plump tomato, red onion and jar of deli pickles. 

Drink: Grab a container of 100% juice (rather than a high-sugar cocktail) or text home to get someone to mix up the can of lemonade in the freezer.

Barbecue: Call your husband (using your hands-free device, of course) to fire up the grill as you get close to home.

Preparation: Once you're home, give everyone a small chore. Ask one child to set the table on the porch or patio. Ask your older child (if age appropriate) to slice the toppings and to put all the condiments for the burgers on the table.

Activity: Get a badminton game going (for the kids) while you and your partner cook the burgers and put out the salads. 

Dinner's Ready: Fill glasses with lemonade (or the 100% juice), put a burger on everyone's plate, and invite them to help themselves to salad.

Dessert: Finish your meal by walking together to the nearest ice cream parlour – and enjoying your favourite ice cream cone.

A perfect summer night!