We are heading into the fall and holidays! As it cools off instead of just having causal BBQ’s we are moving inside with more structured dinner parties and big holiday meals. But that doesn’t mean being a host has to be stressful. Some smart planning and you can be enjoys these great meals with everyone else!!!
1)Assemble recipes! If they are in cookbooks make a list with titles and page numbers. This isn’t the time to try something new or things that need to be cooked moments before.
2)List prep times that can be done ahead of time/day before/day of/etc. This can just be jotted down on a piece of paper or on a spreadsheet and then you can order them based on prep times;). If a recipe has part that can be done ahead and part that can be done day of, list it twice!
3)Make a grocery list. Include disposable dishes, napkins, and the like if needed too!
4)Assign serving dishes and utensils. Some people set them out and put a post it on them. I make a list.
5)Days before begin prep. Anything that you are making ahead of time and freezing can be done the week before.
6)Do day before prep. Often chopping vegetables or making batters fall into this category. When I make my coconut shrimp cakes I mix it up and put it in the fridge the night before. But for latkes the potatoes will turn brown so I will just chop the onion but leave the rest for the day of.
7)Create a schedule for day of. What can you cook before noon? What needs to be done an hour ahead? What needs to come out just in time to eat?
8)Have everything done within 15 minutes of the party and enjoy your guests! You are doing this to enjoy your friends and family, so go enjoy them!
9)Allow people to help a little with the dishes. I know, we have all be socialized that a good host doesn’t let people help. Tough! Those who offer usually feel it is a way to show their gratitude. And if they help load the dishwasher they don’t feel as guilty when they leave you with the rest of the dishes.