Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Preparations for a House Party

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING: Preparations for a House Party

     A good housewife should know how to throw a party or entertain at home; if she doesn't, she, instinctively, tries to learn how to. Why? Because sometimes, the husband brings home some friends or his boss, sometimes the family get-together is at your house, many times you need to throw a kid's party for your child's birthday, sometimes you need to host dinner for your friends and neighbors, etc. 
    There are several tips you'd find in the internet on how to prepare for a party. But these are general rules I've learned from my own experiences which I've added to those found in the internet and I would like to share them with you. One general rule is regarding the number of your guests. If your guests can all sit at your dinner table, prepare for a sit-down dinner; if your guests are too many for your dinner table, prepare a buffet. 
     Sit-down dinners are, to me, like a first class service in a long-haul flight. You have to remove the used plates for every course--green salad, soup, entree, dessert. It's okay if you have maids like we do here in the Philippines. A great idea is to turn a console table in your dining room into a salad and dessert table where your guests can get their salads  and desserts and then sit down at the dinner table. All you have to serve individually are the soup, if you are serving that, and entrees. Then you can offer tea or coffee with the dessert in a big tray. 
     Buffet is the best thing for medium to large parties because you don't have to serve, individually, your guests. All you need to do is to replenish the chafing dishes and display all the soft drinks, pitchers of iced-tea and water, and bottles of wine, and your guests can help themselves. If the party is really big, here in the Philippines, you can hire one or two waiters who can service the beverages for you. 
     Here are some tips that might help you in your preparations for a party.
1) Always stick to what you know--Food preparation is essential to a party because you socialize with guests through food. So if you're preparing the food, stick to the ones you can cook with your eyes closed and your friends have tasted and said, "Hmmm...delicious. Can I get the recipe?"
2) Choose food that you can prepare ahead of time--The worst scenario is that you're still cooking while your guests are already arriving; you would look so haggard and won't be able to socialize much. 
3) Choose to have your food catered, if you don't have the time to prepare--Do you know that, many times, it is cheaper to have a caterer do your food preparations than you, yourself? Aside from providing you with waiters, they also bring the buffet table and the centerpiece (flower arrangement, sometimes with small fountains or ice sculpture,etc.) as well as the dishes, knives and forks, etc. All you have to do is socialize.
4) Always allot at least 15% more food and drinks against the number of your guests-- This is a wise move because, oftentimes, there are more guests than you invited or plate accident happens where the food is dropped.
5) Prepare your fridge and serving dishes, plates and utensils ahead of time--Before you buy your groceries for the party, clean out your fridge so that there would be room enough for your party food. Estimate you serving platters, dishes and utensils against the number of your guests. In the Philippines, we are used to borrowing from a neighbor, a friend, or a relative. 
6) Buy your party groceries in bulk--This will save you a lot of money buying in wholesale.
7) Show a little flair--A motif makes the party interesting, like Hawaiian or whatever you feel is your style. A friend of mine made a Hawaiian buffet so she scooped out the insides of large pineapples and watermelons and served her chicken macaroni salad and melon ball salad in these fruit containers underneath a bed of cut banana leaves. 
8) Choose your lighting, music, decors, etc. that would be conducive to socializing--No loud music; instead you can put on soft, piped-in music. The lights should not be too bright, but also not too dim. 
9) Clean as you go--Pick up pieces of tissues from tables, empty plates and glasses, etc.

     Remember, a great party is a well-planned party.


Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

Wonderful tips for being a hostess. One of the things a good christian is called to be is hospitable and not to just friends and family, so it is good to know how.

Thanks and God bless!

Cecile said...

thanks for the tips :-); this would help as i prepare my son's bday party this Saturday :-)

and oh, thank you for the visit and the comment left on my blog :-)

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