27 May, 2009

One Sort of Dinner Party

The Kitchn Cure wrapped up this weekend, with directions to take what we've learned with our new skills, clean spaces, and refreshed pantries and hot a dinner party.  Well, dinner parties at our house are way off the table these days.  Not because of the kids - that never stops us - but because our house is surrounded and seemingly filled with dirt.  Ah, renovations.

So it stops us from hosting make your grilled pizza night or a barbeque, but it doesn't stop the family from gathering for some relatively dry finger food on a child's picnic table in the midst of mountains of topsoil.  This is our kind of dinner party.  We're all together and munching on some tasty morsels of smoked provolone, Gull Valley tomatoes, cherries, and lemonade.  Hey, the dishes coordinated - a mark of a true hostess.

Regardless of whether your dinner party is in the dirt or around your mid-century modern teak dining table there are a few basics to keep in mind.

First, it is important to always provide adequate napkins or even finger bowls if your food is particularly messy.  If you are serving something greasy or sticky you might even want to consider a little package of baby wipes.  They are truly multi-purpose.  You should see what they do for dirt covered pickles.
Second, a good party is about more than the food.  Decor is usually provided with flowers, simple lighting, and perhaps some great tunes.  The right ambiance helps set the mood for a raucous gathering around a pot of chili or a quiet night with old friends.  In our case, the mountains of topsoil provided both an excellent backdrop for our gathering, it also provided some post-meal exercise.  

That brings up the third point, plan for some activity or entertainment.  This can be the food itself if the making of dinner is interactive, like pizza or tacos.  Or you can plan a post-soccer game barbeque or post-dinner game of Cranium.

Next, don't be afraid to get messy.  Lick your fingers of the hot sauce from the jerk chicken or the burger juices running down your wrist.  After all, that's what napkins were invented for.

Thanks for joining me for The Kitchen Cure.  And speaking of The Kitchn, pop on over there for my guest posts on making baby food.  And if you are joining me from there, welcome!


Cheryl Sternman Rule said...

This is a great post. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons, or mud pies out of, well, mud. It's tough to keep a good sense of humor during a backyard re-haul, but you've obviously done it.

Claire said...

Kudos on the kitcn post Cheryl!

Claire said...

er, kitchn..

Julie said...

wow - that dirt pile is W's dream!!