*This post contains affiliate links.You know you have reached the pinnacle of adulthood when you start to throw dinner parties. Gone are the days of having everyone around for pre-drinks, eating nothing but a few Pringles and going out on a more or less empty stomach. I have some wisdom to share with any young ones here: you won’t miss it. Because what replaces the drunk shenanigans? Gloriously sophisticated dinner parties which serve as an excuse to dress up and use the fancy plates. Followed by drunk shenanigans. If you do enjoy playing host, I have a few tips for you.
Stick with what you know
If you watch “Come Dine With Me” you will probably notice that if someone tries to cook something they have never made before it ALWAYS goes tits up. Choosing a dish you are familiar with and have cooked a few times before will save you a hell of a lot of stress. It doesn’t matter if it is fancy or not. One of my signature dishes is fried chicken, and I can tell you now people would rather eat well-cooked, non-fancy food that you got right rather than some “supposed-to-be-fancy” mess that is not edible. One of my personal “go to” dishes is Mediterranean salmon.
Imagine how embarrassing it would be if one too many a guest showed up and you did not have enough for them. Not your faux pas, but an unsettling one all the same. Then what if you are doing individual dishes, like little ramekins of dauphinoise, and one of them comes out wrong or you drop one? Believe me I do love a little individual ramekin to make a dish look fancy. If you cook over the numbers you need, you’ll either be able to be a generous host and offer some people seconds or save some for Ron (later Ron), if you do not need to use the spares.
Speaking of numbers…
You might want to invite as many people as possible to show off your cooking skills. Well, I will let you in on a little secret: any more than six people in a normal-sized house becomes too much, VERY quickly. If you are that keen have two different parties. There is absolutely no way that you can cater to the needs of your guests if there is one of you and there are more than six of them. Even if you live in a big house, more than six people will still monopolise your time too much for you to be able to be adequately attentive.
Keep the drinks flowing
The funny thing is: I don’t drink. However, I LOVE getting other people drunk. Not that anyone needs encouraging that much out of the sort of dinner guests that come to MY dinner parties. I’m not saying my dinner parties turn out to be full-on raves, but there is ALWAYS dancing after dinner. Being the hostess or host means that you have to ensure you have correctly paired the wine with the food. This is again something you can learn even if you do not drink the wine yourself you can still learn the pairings. I invested in this ice bucket a while back and it was a very worthwhile purchase.
Plan and prepare ahead of time
As the idea of a dinner party is to socialise. Therefore, you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen cooking all night. Chop things before-hand. Mix things before-hand. Do as much prep work as possible so that you can flit in and out of the kitchen and still give your guests the impression you are actually listening to them.
Tips from around the web
I asked some of my followers what their best dinner party tips were. If you have any different ones, feel free to leave a comment below.
“Get a raclette grill, get them to cook their own steak which sorts out the entertainment side of things too” ~ Hannah, Behind the False Lashes.
“Decor can cover up dodgy cooking. Invest in creating an ambience” ~ George, BritVoyage.
“Make food that you can make in advance and heat up when the guests arrive” ~ Lilla, Lilllaloves.com
“Use the cook shop, don’t be put off that it is frozen meals” ~ Kimberlee, wagsandtails.wordpress.com
“Put laxatives in the food so people leave quicker” ~ Lauryn, What Saint Wears
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Love to know your thoughts guys?