Before we knew we were moving to Ontario, I decided to commit to doing something I always want to do but am always too intimidated to do: host dinner parties.
The whole idea scares me, from possibly inviting clashing personalities to the actual planning, prepping, and cooking. I absolutely love the idea in my mind, but somehow have always talked myself out of actually doing it. So I figured out the answer: recruit a dear best friend (and her unsuspecting husband) and co-host!
Doing it with two was SO much less intimidating, with someone to brainstorm with, grocery shop with, and prep with. I’ve already promised (threatened?) to rope her in for Round 2 when we’re back from Ontario in the spring :) We opted to do a night of gourmetten, which means everyone cooks their OWN food, followed by a chocolate fondue with fruit, cream puffs, and rice krispie squares. Pretty much foolproof, and so fun.
Of course, when you decide to invite 10 people over you don’t really take into account the lack of table space or matching plates you do not own – you just invite people you know won’t care, and it works just fine. The husband’s got on board with the logistics of table setting and the grunt work of meat cutting, and I showed my nerdy side by printing ingredient lists for the table so everyone knew what meats, veggies, and sauces were available down the length of the table.
Since my goal is to make nights like this a more regular occurrence, I’m soliciting your best tips: what are your tricks when hosting to make people feel comfortable, settle them right in, and to appear calm, cool, and collected yourself? How do you show hospitality in a unique way? What prep step is most important to you – hair, makeup, pre-drinking? ;) How do you decide what to make? What are your favourite meals to serve a crowd? Any and all advice is appreciated – then feel free to invite yourself on over to see if I’m making any progress in the hostess department!
‘And her unsuspecting husband’ – haha :). Mmm gourmetting – so fun! I often host for friends and families WITH kids (so its not usually too classy), and my only tip is: don’t bother setting the table for the group. No one knows which kid wants to sit with which kid and which parent should sit by which kid etc – I just throw the dishes in nice piles on the table and set them once everyone’s sitting down. Or, even serve the food on their plate and then give it to them….it feels less chaotic to me :).
I agree – when we get together as sisters with all our little kids we scoop all the kids food first so we can actually eat in a bit more peace as adults! Classy table settings go out the window with children for now :)
‘Twas very fun – thanks for roping us in! I don’t think you’ll even need to threaten me to do another one (or more) with you! :)
Yay :) It was so fun doing it with you!