Help! My calendar is over-full and driving me insane.
What’s that you say? I’m in charge of my calendar? Really?
Dang, I knew I was missing something…
Okay, for all of you who were waiting with bated breath, the dinner party was a great success. (or, at least everyone wrote nice things in my guest book, so I’m going with what they said… It is a sin to lie in a guest book right? That’s what I thought).
So, now that I’ve done it, some tips about how I did it, and what I would have done differently. I learned a long time ago that if you learn to plan for a bunch of people, you can easily do fewer people also, so even if you don’t plan to have 15 people for dinner, this sort of plan can help for 4 (or, at least, that’s what I think, but hey, it’s my blog, so we’re going with what I think. You can yell at me in the comments).
I started shopping for this party the week before to make sure I had enough glasses and such for everyone. I posted pics of the catering sets the last time, and those were seriously a life saver.
The menu was finalized and the grocery list written on Monday. I also started the focaccia dough on Monday night and left it to rise in the fridge over night (if I said that before, I’m sorry, I’m sleep deprived, and don’t feel like re-reading my last post for continuity, so there). Tuesday, Jody made the Five Spice Pork and I made the Panna Cotta and set it to chill, and cooked the wither fruit compote, strained off it’s syrup and reduced it, and put both the syrup and the fruit in the fridge (separately).
The DAY of, all we did was finalize cleaning (dusting, vacuuming and mopping), but really all we did was move our regular cleaning up two days. The house was pretty much already in order (it does stay like that sometimes!), so that really helped. I roasted the pears for the salad, made the onion tart dough and refrigerated it while gently cooking the onions until soft and juicy (cleaning while things were cooking) and then baked the tarts (cleaned while tarts were baking).
The menu, grocery shopping, and the three day schedule was what kept this from becoming too stressful, still dinner for 15 (17 w/ Husband and I!) is quite the production…
I mean, holy cow! that’s a lot of silver…
what’s that? you don’t want to look at 20 pics of silverware? Sheesh… it was only three! such exaggeration. Besides, I polished that all by hand. ALL BY HAND! 18 place settings x 5 pieces in each setting = 90 pieces of silver. That’s more than Judas got from the Pharisees (correction from the Husband, it was the Sadducees… My mistake makes me sad, you see?)… anyway, it’s A LOT of silver, okay?
Fine, I’ll give you a different picture.
Pears for the salad.
People having fun conversations. Husband is listening intently to Serena. Isn’t the back of Serena’s head lovely?
Jody’s Tom Yum Soup is simmering away on the stove…
Wine, water and baked brie
This is John. John’s from England. You can almost see his accent in this picture.
This is George and Adam listening to John. George is from Oz and Adam’s from Tennesee. Adam’s wondering how in a dinner party of 17 he’s got the job of deciphering two different accents from two different characters (George brought his own tea, not convinced that this yank would have proper tea… sheesh, George, I have freakin’ Lipton already! No, I’m not forgiving you for that).
Jody’s got glow-bugs on the back of his arm? Should I tell him?
Warren (far end) is more interested in posing for the camera then listening to Joanne (middle). Pay attention Warren!
Too bad Adam and Kim aren’t having fun… (sorry I cut your head in half, Adam).
Steve was full of funny stories…
My candle scapes. You will like them because this is my blog.
And of course, the kitchen afterwards… yes it needs cleaning, no there won’t be another contest about cleaning it, and believe it or not because I didn’t have time to post right away, the kitchen is more or less cleaned up despite not actually being home the last two days.
Except for all that silverware… It’s still soaking in a pan on the counter… ah well.