Entertaining Tricks No7 & No8

Next up in the list of entertaining tricks is an idea credited to my aunt.  I remember her mentioning this idea when we were at her house around Christmas one year, and it's stuck with me. 

No7 - Multiple Parties in a Row - It's kind of counter intuitive, but her suggestion is basically to host lots of parties and get togethers right in a row - multiple parties in one weekend.  It may sound stressful at first, but if you really think about it, it makes sense.  You (kinda) clean your house once, you buy flowers/make sure your plants are fresh once, and you pretty much do a big grocery and run to the liquor store once, you get the idea.  The weekend before last, JD and I sorta put this theory to the test. 

We've wanted to have so many people over recently and it seems like every weekend we're tied up.  We had one free weekend in October and we took advantage.  We kicked off our "weekend of entertaining" Thursday night with me hosting book club.  (So much fun!)  Then, on Saturday we hosted a few people for brunch, and on Sunday we hosted a little cookout for the Panthers' game.  A girls night, brunch, and couples (plus small kids) cookout.  All simple enough on their own, but honestly, I think it was actually much easier because we hosted them right in a row.  I really did only go to the grocery store and liquor store once, I really did only tidy my house once, and best of all, it forced me to keep the menu really simple for each.  I think the key to hosting multiple groups in one weekend is to switch things up - cocktails one night, easy brunch, pizza night, etc.  I don't think I'd attempt to throw 3 full dinner parties in a row. 

No8 - Only "Cook" One Thing, assemble the rest - This may sound impossible (or lazy!) but I think this is my new goal.  My idol Ina suggests to always serve one store bought course- it's too much work to make homemade appetizers, main course, and dessert, but I'm flopping this rule and pretty much saying I only cook one course, and I'll assemble the rest.  When you entertain multiple night in a row, it forces you to think simple.  When I first started thinking about what I wanted to do for bookclub, I had a yummy appetizer pinned, chicken pot pies and a brownie pudding dessert that I was eyeing.  When I remembered that I was hosting two other events that weekend, I changed my mind - store bought cheese and crackers for apps, simple salad plus chicken pot pie for the meal, and store bought candy plus graham crackers for smores dessert.  I only cooked the chicken pot pie, and I did that the night before.  Much more manageable. 

What do you guys think?  Do you already throw lots of little get togethers in one weekend, and I'm lame for just figuring it out, or does this sound stressful?

~Mary Keller

Images | Progressive Dinner Party Tablescape | Barcart | Bruschetta Bar


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