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How we steal the joy from our own dinner parties

February 5, 2013

by Sandy Coughlin

The Reluctant Entertainer
Medford blogger, author, entertainer

When I was in my thirties I worked way too hard at my own dinner parties. I really did try to do everything myself.

I’d say in the last 10 years I’ve learned a better rhythm to serving my guests, when I realized that I was missing out.

I wanted to enjoy my own parties, so this is how I changed my hostessing:

How to NOT miss your own dinner party:

1. Cook recipes that entail cooking or preparing food ahead of time. In other words, choose easy recipes that involve a very little last minute prep.

2. Ask for help when you need it, especially for last minute details (chopping, pouring water, gathering chairs, lighting the candles).

3. If others jump in to help, be gracious and give them a job.

4. Have a pre-dinner chat with your spouse or friend on the roles of serving. (I’ll serve the salad, you cut the meat, etc.)

One of the things I figured out I was missing was sometimes the best conversation. If I was in the kitchen, and came back to the group, the best had come and gone … and I missed it.

Even though it’s easy to catch up, or catch on, still, no one wants to be stuck in the kitchen, or even worse, miss their own dinner party!

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Discuss this article

Lin Willett February 7, 2013

Im planning a dinner party for 14 in two weeks so your article was timely. I wish I had learned some of these things at your age. So few people host parties anymore…such a shame. Now in our 50s and 60’s we are finally figuring it out.

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