I’m a bit particular when it comes to entertaining.
But if you’ve read any of my posts or peeked at my china pantry, I guess you know that, huh?
I get to entertain a fair bit in my job, so my fussiness extends from home to office. Early in the week I sat peeved through an important luncheon because there were no flowers on the table, the tablecloth was undersized for the table, and salad forks had been substituted for dinner forks. (Eating an entree with a salad fork is about like sipping tea from a doll’s cup. Annoying and clumsy for me, more so for the men at the table.)
Later in the week, I sat through a picnic where there was more people than food. There’s nothing more dispiriting as a hostess than seeing a guest walk by with one chicken wing on their plate because that’s all there is.
I’m in a new job, so these kinds of kinks are not uncommon and our team is working on them. On the home front, though, all is well.
Two weeks ago I had a dinner party for two new friends and it went off without a hitch. I thought my table setting was lovely.
I’ve said it before, but just like with a cake, layers make all the difference. Tablecloth, charger, napkin, dinner plate, appetizer plate . . . all those layers give the table interest and dimension. The table feels prepared for the guest, just like a bed with plenty of pillows and more than one coverlet.
Oh, and you can bet your bippy I had flowers.
The menu was simple: grilled elk steaks (compliments of our guests), mushroom and Asiago risotto, and marinated and grilled summer vegetable medley. We started out with crab cakes, the ones I featured here a while back. For dessert, we had Molten Chocolate Cakes. (You’ll be seeing them in an upcoming post.)
I’m sorry I have no photos. It seemed a little weird to interrupt our gathering to take photos of the food. Our guests don’t really know me yet (or know that I blog), so I figured I’d seem like a real kook if I snapped photos of our plated meal.
By the way, I sure wish I had more elk so I could replicate our steaks and show you. If you’ve never had elk, you should jump at any opportunity to try it. It’s lean and tender and not at all gamey. Sort of like a more perfect beef.
I’m thinking of hosting a huge bash in our new home next month — a barbeque for three dozen colleagues. Obviously, I can’t feed that many folks inside my home, so it will have to be an outdoor affair. I’ll need to plan a few special touches to keep it from being a paper-plates-in-lawn-chairs kind of gathering.
Because I’m just a little too fussy for that.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
PS: I have a cousin who also blogs and who gets a little fussy sometimes (she calls it “bothery” and you’ll just have to read about it). She’s young and beautiful and smart and has the most adorable apartment.
Give her a read.
We’re making progress here at our new home. Most of the living spaces are in order, even if mountains of unpacked boxes remain in the basement.
Nothing gives me serenity like order.
My new dish pantry is finally complete. The wallpaper and light fixture are hung, the shelves are stacked and organized, and it’s exactly as I envisioned.
I’m thrilled with the wallpaper. It matched the hooked rug that I had in my former home perfectly. The space still needs a curtain of some sort, but I haven’t found one yet that’s just the right touch. The wicker hamper turned out to be a perfect hiding spot for odds and ends.
But one big surprise was that all of my dishes and linens and serving pieces and glassware and flatware don’t fit. I had envisioned a single space, a masterpiece of entertaining organization, but it became clear halfway through unpacking that my dream wasn’t to be. And I’m not even fully unpacked.
So, some of my pieces have been relegated to the kitchen, some to a display-case-turned-china-cabinet, and some to a second pantry off our kitchen.
“I get it,” I exclaimed to my husband while unpacking china. “I have enough. I can stop now.”
And I proved it. Yesterday I resisted the urge to pick up additional white serving pieces while in Target.
But when I stepped into the pantry this morning to select the items for our first gathering at our new home — a BBQ for eight tonight — and saw this:
I must admit my tiny-but-mighty dish pantry made me awfully happy.
And isn’t that the goal of any home?