There are important things to consider when entertaining for a crowd. So before you agree to say yes to dinner guests….
Do consider any dietary restrictions (for those who are religious and or health conscious!)
My friends know of my dietary restrictions. But I have been in situations where I have been left eating on the fringes, and waiting in the wings for a real meal.
There is one particular gathering which leaps to mind. I’ve only been a vegetarian for a year and change so this was not too long ago. At this party, guests were welcomed with a spread of meats and meat filled pastries. The caterer, or indeed the host of the evening, must not have been aware that we vegetarians exist in the world.
The sheer volume of side salad, that I consumed that night, offered no real relief from my hunger haze. I needed a real meal.
So when I got home, I beyond-midnight snacked on a hunk of cherry cheesecake. And in that moment of pure bliss and fulfillment I felt very much like Nigella Lawson. The only difference between here and me was that I had not spent that evening enjoying a satisfying, and meat free, meal beforehand.
Please learn from this!
Ask your guests what they can and can’t eat before you have them over. The last thing you want is for your people to go home hungry.
Do consider how many mouths you’re feeding, and how much time do you have to pull it all off!
It sounds like an amazing feat to present an elaborate meal, to a jury of your peers, and have friends stare at you in adoration. But it can also be like walking through the pits of hell if you don’t check yourself!
I remember planning my first Christmas Feast; as a long time home cook and baker it quickly became clear that I had created an overly ambitious list. And, honestly, it was designed to stroke my ego.
Check out my Crazy Christmas Menu:
=> One 5 pound Turkey + Stuffing
=> Full Honeyed Ham
=> Herb and Garlic Shrimp
=> One pot of Corn and Goat Cheese Pasta
=> One pot of Shrimp and Leek Pasta
=> One pot of Mashed Potatoes
=> Sweet Potato Fries + Apple Butter for dipping
=> Two Dutch Apple pies
=> Two dozen C upcakes
=> Two dozen Sugar Cookies
=>Two dozen Peanut Butter Cookies
+ more items I can’t even remember!
I should have either made some the night before or slimmed the list down. Do not make the same mistake that I did!
Don’t wait until the last minute to go shopping and prep!
It’s easy to sit down, write a list, and execute a list; they give you focus, guidance, and a sense of purpose in the store and at home. So I would advise you to draft a Shopping List and a To-do’ List.
Your shopping list will tell you exactly what you need to get and your to-do list will tell you how to use what you just bought!
Don’t enforce a strict dress code!
Making your guests dress up is like forcing them into their Sunday best. The only gospel they will be preaching is The Gospel according to [insert your name here]’s Glorious Food. Who needs a dress code for that?!
Do search Etsy.com for Mid-century modern serve-wear pieces. Because they are better than anything you’ll find in stores today.
Look at these one of a kind statement pieces. So deluxe!
These mid-century pieces will have your. design and fine dish loving, friends foaming at the mouth! But just like a red carpet event, where you have to be the only one wearing that statement dress, you will laugh and say “it’s priceless darling!”
Don’t forget to relax!
Grab a glass of wine, kick back, and take a load off!
xoxo – Ada