Thursday, April 5, 2012

What does it mean to be a good host/hostess?

I am by no means an expert, but I have thrown my fair share of dinner parties, cocktail parties and keg parties in my life and there is one thing I know for certain, it doesn't matter if you are serving caviar or hot dogs, if you have planned for weeks of you doing your best to wing it, if you are not having a good time, then neither are your guest.

Have you ever walked into a dinner party and the energy coming from the host is dread and unease? You immediately take on that energy and the night is shot before you have even grabbed a cocktail (go ahead and grab a double because this is going nowhere good fast)!  But then there are those nights when no one wanted the day to end so everyone grabbed a few more beers, maybe a case or two of wine for good measure, steaks were thrown on the grill, veggies were roasted in the oven and the night flew by filled with laughter and good times had by all.
The catcher in these different scenarios, the one common denominator, is the comfort level of the host or hostess.  People have asked me time and again how to do to have 30 people over for dinner and enjoy yourself.  My answer is simple, invite the people you like, cook what you know, always have the bar open and relax.  Nine times out of ten when something goes wrong, you are the only who knows it unless the smoke detector goes off and at that moment grab a broom, start swinging and just laugh at the hilarity of the situation.
Even if the night meant to be filled with filets and twice baked potatoes turns into french fries and burgers, it doesn't matter.  Just get over the glitch and move's usually about the company more than the food anyway.  Of  course all that goes out the window if you have a judgmental mother-in-law or overly critical boss sitting at the table...then do a test run with the recipe, maybe even twice, and have a lasagna in the freezer just in case!
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