Are you like me? Do you love entertaining? I do!
Is your family like my family? Do they like to do things spontaneously?
We like both – entertaining and being spontaneous; therefore, we like to entertain spontaneously. And that can present some problems. But I like to keep things at the ready for just those times when the urge hits us to enjoy some time with friends.
Let me give you 6 things that I do to ease the stress and make entertaining on the spur of the moment possible.
1) Always have paper products ready. I like the real deal when it comes to my tableware, but I learned a long time ago that I like people too. I also realized that the kind of tableware that is used effects how people feel. Paper plates make people feel really comfortable.
2) If you are going with the very comfortable paper product tableware, then corral the plastic forks, spoons, knives in a container ready all the time. You can pick up a “picnic caddy” in almost any style and material. Get one that matches a favorite tablecloth.
3) Keep the part of your home that you entertain in, at least picked up and uncluttered. Guests rarely venture all over your house. They will probably only venture to your kitchen, dining room, living room and bathroom. Before you panic, your kitchen is usually clean; dirty dishes can be in the dishwasher or even in the oven (unless, of course, you are using it). The bathroom may need a touch up. It should be enough to simply wipe down on the surfaces. Your living room should be a quick pick up and the dining room is always cleaned up from the last meal. Don’t let the look of your home keep you from spending time with your friends. And there’s always the backyard.
4) Involve the whole family with any clean up or set up. Your kids will be learning to be good hosts and hostesses.
5) Have a go-to game that can be played with adults and kids alike. In our experiences, we had the pleasure of coming across some games that most people had never played nor even heard of for that matter. The novelty was entertainment enough.
6) Have go-to menus that you use and keep the ingredients on hand. Yes it is possible! Remember you don’t have to serve a 7-course meal. Believe it or not, you can just serve dessert. Maybe you have some ideas for a dessert with ingredients that you would always have on hand. Please share with us a favorite of yours.
Being with friends and family is delightful. Don’t get hindered by fear of what people will think. Remember that people come to see you not your house, and they come to enjoy the conversation not criticize the cooking.