Making Hosting A Party
by Jimmy Cox
Being a good hostess requires planning
and organization. You can't just do something last minute and hope to
receive the compliments, "You always seem to have such a good time
at your own parties," and, "You do everything so easily."
These compliments do not mean that she
has not spent plenty of time in planning and preparing for a party, but
it does indicate that the apparently unharried hostess is not plagued
with too many last minute details that take her away from her guests.
This is what a good hostess shoots for.
With the scarcity of regular household
help, the completely formal party is practically out of date.
Occasionally, we may get out the best linen and china, employ extra
service, and ask a few guests to a small dinner or luncheon.
For holiday meals, such as Thanksgiving
and Christmas dinners, we will have place settings at the table for
everyone, though we seldom attempt to serve many courses; and at
children's parties, table service is more practical and convenient.
However, it is a common practice today when we ask friends to have a
meal with us to choose the buffet service, whether the meal is served on
the terrace, on the lawn around the grill or barbecue, or in the house.
A noticeable trend that makes for greater
sociability and makes fewer demands on the hostess is entertaining with
cooperative supper parties. For these, the host and hostess will supply
the before-dinner drinks and sometimes the main meat item, while other
members of the group will bring, according to a preconceived plan, other
dishes that will together form the basis of a buffet meal. This same
plan, for either the buffet or a sit-down meal, may be enlarged for a
club or church luncheon or supper.
When we entertain in the afternoon, we
may ask our guests to drop in for cocktails or for tea or sherry.
Sometimes, we elaborate the usual cocktail party and serve, buffet
style, a hot dish or two as well as the usual appetizers. Another simple
method of entertaining that is increasingly popular is to ask guests to
come in for dessert and coffee before an afternoon or evening of bridge,
canasta or television. Or, we may serve tea or cocktails at the end of
the afternoon, or snacks or drinks toward the end of the evening. The
snack party, with grape juice, cola and other soft drinks, is
particularly popular with the teen-agers.
There are a few simple rules that apply
to planning and executing a party of any type. The first is to plan well
in advance, and to attempt only what can be carried out successfully and
with apparent ease. Menus and service should be chosen with this idea in
mind, so that time, which should be spent with the guests, is not
occupied by long periods in the kitchen.
For example, ham may be prepared the day
previous; casserole dishes may be prepared in the morning, as may many
desserts; salad dressings may be mixed and left chilling in the
refrigerator; relishes (such as radishes, carrot strips and others) may
be placed in a covered container in the refrigerator, where they will
benefit by crisping; certain icebox desserts must be made ahead of time.
Coffee can be made ahead of time and kept to the proper temperature in
an automatic electric percolator.
In planning your menus, study your
recipes and select those for which many ingredients or the whole recipe
may be prepared in advance. Preparation will make it look like you
barely lifted a finger before the party. This will put your guests at
ease and allow you to relax.
About the Author
Make Your Next Party A Hum-Dinger With
The Best, Tasty And Delicious Kid Party Food