Okay, so this is one of those posts that I know when I look back in 2o years, I am going to think, “Oh, how little I knew.”
For now, middle-aged me can just stay quiet.
Daniel and I hosted our church small group for a Christmas party this past Sunday. I was so thrilled about having people over, and I spent every night last week bouncing around our house like a rabid elf preparing for Christmas.
I also went into marathon cooking mode. We had sausage and stuffed mushrooms for apps, pork tenderloin, salad, rolls, twice baked potatoes, asparagus, and corn casserole for dinner, and a red velvet cake for dessert. It was all delicious (humble brag), and I learned some useful advice to share with you.
1. Plan ahead. I learned this from stalking Daniel’s mom when she entertains. Write out all of the food you plan on serving on sticky notes. Then lay out the serving platters, bowls, spoons, etc. that you will use, and place a sticky note on each serving piece. This way, you are sure to have everything ready, and you won’t end up serving Sister Schubert rolls out of their ugly tin.
2. Purchase Baker’s Joy cooking spray. It is incredible. The red velvet cake was layered, and spraying Baker’s Joy on the pans before baking made all the difference in the world. The cakes practically leapt out of the pans. So great!
3. I’ve said it before, but use real napkins and silverware! It makes people think you are fancy. Even if you ain’t. (See, I use the word “ain’t”. Therefore, I am not fancy, but I am convincing guests otherwise with my fancy cloth napkins.)
4. Use what you have. Scrounge the pages of Pinterest, rack your creative brain, and you can think of creative ways to decorate using what you already have. I sent Daniel out in the yard to cut berry leaves, and we decorated this mason jar to make an awesome candle holder. That is, after I scrubbed the mason jar. It smelled like pickles. Nothing about pickled candle smell says Christmas.
5. Improvise. We do not currently own a dining room table that seats fifty, but I aspire to own one. Until then, we have to improvise when five or more people come over. For this dinner, we borrowed wooden trays from Daniel’s parents, and each person grabbed a tray, a wrapped silverware, and a plate of food. It worked out great!
For Better: I feel like the party was a success!
For Worse: I still have so much more to learn.