I set a goal for myself this year – actually there are several goals – to entertain more. Specifically I set a goal to entertain at least once a month. Nothing too crazy, just enough so I have steady practice.
The longer Carver and I are together the more apparent it is we are the entertaining house. Growing up we didn’t have people over, like ever. My home is my safe place and it was a little nerve-wracking to let people in to our home and lives on that level. I’m getting better about it, feeling more confident like I knew I would.
In January of this year I remember being exhausted and over cooking and entertaining. November and December were like a marathon for us – out of town guests, holiday dinners, parties outside the home, etc. Since I turned in my school/internship applications in February I have been researching entertaining – yep, true story – so that when the 2013 holiday season arrives Carver and I can relax a bit more and enjoy it. We are a great team and I think we do a pretty good job from planning to cleaning but we are both perfectionists. So here are some things I’ve learned that made a big difference:
1. Have an empty dishwasher and drying rack.
2. Have clean hand towels and a fresh roll if paper towels in the kitchen.
3. Set the meal/food up family style but not on the dining table.
4. Plan out all prep work so you are done 30 minutes before your guests arrive – the time to sit, breathe and have some water is priceless.
5. Don’t gamble on showy recipes. Make things that are simple, straight forward and good. Preferably recipes you’ve already tested and tweaked.
And finally, here are a few things we will work on for next time:
1. Have more drinks.
2. Put some music on in the background.
3. Don’t forget a centerpiece for the table.
Happy Fourth of July! I hope you and yours are safe and doing something wonderful to celebrate our independence.