Ease of Entertaining
Entertaining your friends and family is such a genuine way to express love and nurture relationships. Unfortunately, it is not always the simplest of tasks. We have put together some of our favorite tips to help you execute your next gathering .
1. First and foremost, know your audience.
If you are treating a small group of ladies and girls to a midday tea party, pull out the china and real cups; use a tablecloth and florals. Make tiny sandwiches and name cards; it's fun! But, if you are serving dinner to your son and his friends before they head out for the evening, use paper plates and bottled drinks. Serve something you know they will devour and save the tea cakes for another day. More often than not, however, we want to land somewhere in the middle of these two gatherings. Whether it's a wide range of ages at a family birthday party, or a small group hang out on the weekend, there are some things that deserve your time and some that just don't.
2. Use real dishes when it makes sense, but don't wear yourself out.
Dishwashers don't hold much, and a pile of dishes in the sink makes your guests feel the need to offer to help,
thus spoiling some of your time together. You can splurge for nicer disposable plates on Amazon if you don't want to mail it in on presentation!
3. Choose a menu that works for you and your kitchen space.
The food is a focal point, so be sure to choose something you are comfortable making. Also, take time to consider your oven space. If your sides are taking up all the racks, grilling is a great alternative. Pan-seared meat is messy and typically leaves the cook feeling dirty and hot. Not exactly the start to the party you're looking for. You can also call or email and ask us about frozen meal options that are in catering-sized pans. This provides you a little more ease as you prep large amounts of food.
4. Use pitchers, jugs, bottled, or canned drinks instead of setting out drink dispensers.
They are time consuming to clean and take up lots of space in storage.Put drinks on a side counter so they aren't a focal point! (We do recommend drink dispensers over pitchers if you are serving a group bigger than 30. They hold more liquid!)
5. Don't scrub your house down before people arrive, they are going to dirty it again!
Freshen the guest bathroom, get clutter picked up, and sweep if the crumbs are insulting you. You will have to do it all again in 5 hours so spare yourself some trouble. No one will notice!
6. Provide a light snack so you don't feel pressure to have all the food done as soon as people arrive.
Charcuterie trends take a lot of pressure off the kitchen since it is less of a big deal if the lasagna takes a little longer when everyone is munching and chatting. Cheese cubes, crackers, and fruits are an inexpensive and tasty place to start. Upscale the experience with blocks of cheese, fancy nuts, mini cookies, breads, dips, and unique fruits. (Ingles Market is a great resource for more unique items.)
7. Continue to choose to host people in your home, no matter your experience or skillset.
It speaks volumes to those around you when you take time to host them, and the laughter and joy far outweighs any mistake you could make involving food. Trust us, we have burned the cookies, the toast, and the birthday cake, yet they keep coming.😊