I LOVE entertaining! What could possibly be more fun than yummy food (all of which you like-b/c it’s your party), great company (most of whom you like, because it’s your guest list) and the comfort of being barefoot in your kitchen before and after the party without ever having to drive…anywhere! Ha! To me-nothing is better. It has however taken me years to figure out how to actually host something without becoming so stressed out that I can’t actually enjoy myself. I think for me it boils down to 4 essential steps, and if I stick to the steps I will always be in good shape and actually enjoy my party (which should always happen considering its on your tab, on your terms, and it’s something you wanted to do).
My 4 steps:
1). Pre-plan, pre-buy, then schedule time the morning of the party for another trip to the grocery store to get all the crap you forgot the first time! This step is ESSENTIAL!!!! Decide what kind of food and drinks you want to have at the party and buy them the weekend before the party (if) possible or as far out as possible. WRITE A LIST, there will absolutely be things you forget and it helps eliminate the stress of trying to keep it all in your head, while joggling 10 other things too! Make sure to pre-schedule time for the morning of your party to go back to the store to get everything else you forgot (typically-Id bet money, there’s at least 3 items that you forgot!) Even if you didn’t forget anything there are always day of things that you need to get (depending on the kind of party, maybe you need to pick up the ballons or a cake or ice for the coolers). The point is there will be some things you need to get that day-so just pre-plan on it.
2). Know your food and don’t try to whip together some new recipe you never tried before the day of your party (unless you truly know what you’re doing-as in you’re a professional chef)! Have your “go to items” that you are known for on hand. I have had MANY cooking disasters occur on party days (why in the heck would I ever think that’s the day to ‘try out something new’ I will never understand). But I’ve been guilty-on many occasions of this criminal offense. Lol. Just avoid that, pick things you know and have a handful of things that you are good at making or assembling. My thing is a good cheese plate! I’ve become known for it by my friends and family and clients. I’m always surprised that’s what I’ve become known for (especially, because I have no idea what I am doing-but it always gets eaten and it looked like I knew something…thank goodness)! Lol. Find your handful of things you’re good at and make them your trade marks.
3). Have a few essential items for entertaining on hand and know where they are. For me, there are a few items that are a must, under the “key items” (proper glass wear, non plastic cutlery, real fabric tablecloths and a few nice platters and serving pieces, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, zip lock bags, paper towels and kitchen towels. I’m sure you did remember getting a white tablecloth 2 years ago, but it doesn’t do anyone any good if you can’t remember where you put it! (Try to keep your serving or entertaining wear together, so if an impromptu moment arises then you can pull it off by knowing where your stuff is)! Sometimes the key to making something look effortless is the fact that it was, because you weren’t running around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to remember where that random tablecloth was. I think it’s important to have a few nice serving pieces becauseit makes everything look more cohesive. My suggestion is to always have these few items on hand, they will make your life SO much easier.
4). Wear something comfortable that you feel good in and put on some good music…it’s a party for crying out loud:)