I know we are still in a pandemic. I know we are socially distancing and testing and masking. But a few vaccinated friends? There has to be a little normal in our lives. Having a dinner party, or in a more modern vernacular a dinner, even when the food isn’t perfect.
First, set a beautiful table – because it matters. Looking at a table ready for guests is almost as good as a table full of happy guests. Of course nowadays, smaller table, smaller guest list. Next, create a menu. All my friends know that I like to try new recipes on them and despite not knowing the results they willingly accept the risks. So far, I haven’t poisoned anyone that I am aware of and have only had to take my guests out to eat at a restaurant once; a particularly bad grilling experience. Be bold, be creative, try new things, maybe even a theme.
Next, remember why you have dinners and invite people you love, or people who are interesting, or people you want to get to know. Think about the chemistry; do you want interesting smart conversation, or intimacy, or just a bellyful of laughs. And by the way, I always tell my guests it is never about reciprocity. I don’t care if I ever see the inside of their homes, I do this because I like to. It is for me really, they are just the incidental beneficiaries of my joy.
Ok, so plan ahead how you will cook. Is there anything you can do in advance? Of course I am assuming you have already shopped. And what is your timing? Are there any pre meal rituals, add in the time. Make coffee before dinner; in my age group more decaf than not. And don’t get too ambitious, it is a recipe for failure.
So my last dinner definitely not go as planned. Hoisin glazed baby back ribs took almost an hour longer than expected. The rice was done but stayed warm. The stir fried green beans, thankfully didn’t get started until it seemed reasonable, but they were nevertheless in danger of overlooking. The pickled cucumber salad was cold and didn’t suffer. But really, nobody cared. A glass of wine, good friends, good conversation, a bowl of steamed edamame, it was all good.
Once again nobody poisoned, the food was okay and we laughed until we cried and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.
[tweetshare tweet=”So don’t worry too much if your house isn’t in perfect order, allow yourself the time and space to just sit and enjoy. Don’t worry if the food isn’t perfect, your friends won’t care.” username=”TrienahM”]
This is why I do it – a table full of food, laughter and love.