Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Can’t Handle a Party Alone!

Throwing a great party by yourself is hard but not impossible. But you can always ask for help. Team up with a friend or two and jointly host the party. Or get one person to serve officially as your cohost. You can divide the labor—one of you watching the back of the house, to make sure food and drinks flow generously, and the other watching the front, to keep the conversation flowing and to get the guests interested in one another.
And when assigning party duties, remember that men no longer can get away with the outdated notion that entertaining is for women only.

I Can’t Cook!

Just because you’re not an ace in the kitchen is no excuse for not giving a party. Catering firms and even neighborhood restaurants will supply complete meals already cooked. Or you can have friends bring food. As long as the food is fresh and flavorful and has some eye appeal, who actually cooked it doesn’t matter. Some of my friends routinely rely on the gourmet takeout in their neighborhoods. These businesses can supply a full meal, piping hot or easily heated, to be delivered at a specified time. Some people prepare the entree and rely on the gourmet shop for side dishes.
Or you might discover that preparing food is not as tough as you thought. You might just find the experience very satisfying and a boost to your self-esteem. And you don’t need an extensive repertoire to have some style. One of my friends knows how to make just two entrees. She calls them Fish Forman, after herself, and Chicken Mary Monica, after me. These form the centerpiece of her parties, and she fills in the table with prepared side dishes and desserts to create different moods and menus.

Understanding Party Phobias

You can’t possibly give a party until you have added a wing, knocked out a wall, repainted everything, and landscaped the yard.
Come on. You know the truth. You are your own best witness. The truth is that when you leave a really good party, you leave with the overall impression of having been warmly welcomed by gracious people and of having had a fine, comfortable time. You do not leave a really good party thinking about cracking paint or whether the china matched. The truth is that everything must be neat and clean. All else can be forgiven. Now let’s break down some of the more enduring myths about the perils of Can life as we know it continue without a silver chafing dish? Sure. Friends and relatives can supply some of the necessities, and you can improvise in ways that will actually make the party more fun. Did you ever hear the one about the hostess who filled her bathtub with ice and kept wine and beer chilled there? Her inventiveness is now part of entertaining tradition. The possibilities are endless. And isn’t it sort of insulting to believe that your friends will think less of you because your spoons are not monogrammed or your furniture is not brand new or tastefully antique?