It’s been well established that I’m physically incapable of serving the main meal at any of my dinner parties prior to 9 pm. Don’t let that fool youI can entertain with the best of the. And, as there’s still a week left where you’ll be running from party to party, perhaps even hosting one of your own, these tips may be of use.
Besides, who doesn’t like a bulleted list?
- Have a clear plan in mind.
I’m a big fan of bulleted list here, to keep myself on track. Remember, it’s not enough to know what you’re cooking. You also need to plan how you’re serving it. Do you have enough plates? Are they easily accessible when your dishes are ready.
- The Food.
This again falls under the bullet of having a clear plan in mind, but I’ll take it one step further. When you’re planning your menu, make sure that it’s all doable in the time frame that you’ve alloted. For a winter dinner party, I perfer to roast something that I can forget about for several hours, while I cook the rest of the dishes. But, I also have two ovens. If this overwhelms you, or it’s simply not doable, rethink your menuif you excel at baking, just do that. Have your friends and family over for drinks, coffee and dessert. Or, plan a menu where you can make many of the dishes a few days ahead. Or, cater, no one is going to judge you. And, if they do, why are you having them in your house?
Make it easy on yourself and your wallet. Have wine, beer and one mixed drink option. Call it a signature cocktail. Now you look classy. Make sure to have plenty of nonalocholic options, too.
- Enlist a friend or family member to help.
This may be the most important point hereif you’re planning an overly ambitious menu, it’s okay to ask for assistance. In fact, I think that it’s essential. This person’s role is to help and keep you moving on. But, pick wiselyask someone who really can help you; who knows the diffence between a dice and a mince, if that’s important to you. And, play nice. Remember that this person is spending their time helping you. This means that you should thank them and should not, under any circumstances be yelling at them. If you can’t get your meal on the table in time, that’s because of your bad planning, not their help. Unless, that is, you’ve picked really unwisely, in which case, they’re still helping you so grin and bear it.
- Above all it’s about having a good time.
If you’re not relaxed, your guests won’t be either. Remember that they’re at your house to see you and enjoy your company. The food is secondary to the company. And, even if every dish is a total failure, it still has the potential to be a funny story. So, sit back and enjoy and learn from the mishaps.
And, with that, good luck in your entertaining!