Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

The Basics of Good Hosting -- Dinner

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blarg314:

For beverages, my rule is to be sure to offer something sugar free, something caffeine free and something non fizzy. That can usually ensure that everyone has something to drink.  I also like providing a 'nice' option for non drinkers in lieu of wine with dinner - sparkling juice, cranberry cocktail.

Venus193:
I'm a big fan of the concept of Mocktails.  Mix equal parts pomegranate and apple juice for a drink that passes for wine.

Lisbeth:
Keep computers turned off and minimize use of cell phones and electronic devices during dinner.

NotTheNarcissist:

--- Quote from: cicero on December 29, 2009, 05:53:04 AM ---
--- Quote from: Elle on December 28, 2009, 11:00:18 AM ---

15. Be psychologically prepared for adapting. Guest accidentally turns the oven on "self clean" while your beef wellington is cooking? Well, pizza on fancy plates can be nice too.

--- End quote ---
POD. In GENERAL be flexible. yes it's your house, your rules. but sometimes a little bit of flexibility (assuming that your guest is not purposely being toxic) will go a loooong way. For example, when I plan a meal, I plan all aspects of the meal so that they go together. and sometimes a guest will show up with bread, or cake, or dessert or something - and i would be well within my rights to say "lovely! we'll enjoy this on tuesday" and put it away (and i have done that on ocassion), but often it wouldn't kill me to just serve 'their' dessert alongside or instead of mine. (again, not saying you have to, but if your dear old aunt brings her signature jelly roll, then why not?)

--- End quote ---

Oh my. This hits a button for me. I can relate to the 'toxic' reference. When we had casual summer cookouts, my SIL used to 1) change my menu by going through my husband to do it instead of me (Joe doesn't want such-and-such; can we do x instead?); 2) bring around 15 Wal-Mart bags of food to my home, including items (ice cream) that we asked her to not bring. This is the same SIL that I saw snoop through her nephew's wallet while he was in the shower, deny her sister stomach pain medicine & tell her son that she deserved to suffer, asked me if my back hurt because my boobs were big, sift through the trash in the emergency room while her sister lay in the bed (trying to figure out what meds they were giving her sister), picked up a piece of sausage that fell on the floor, washed it off & put it back in to cook some more in front of her guests, oh my, I should stop, I could go on and on.

I dread inviting her to my home due to her controlling nature. Although, she has backed off since I confronted her about taking over my home when she visits. She is much more respectful now. Although she did complain that I spent too much time with my grandkids and not enough time with her at the last family get together at our home.

Bottom line: when invited to a dinner (casual or formal) be respectful of the hostess's wishes (menu, space, timeline, choices in general and anything else). Be very careful when making suggestions, weighing the pro's and con's. Don't assume anything. There may be a valid reason why the hostess chose what she or he chose.

snowdragon:

--- Quote from: Lisbeth on January 04, 2010, 12:11:27 PM ---Don't expect guests to help with set-up or clean-up.  If they offer assistance with either or both, you have the options of accepting or declining gracefully.  If you accept, remember that they are not slaves or hired help.  Don't expect them to do all the work.

If children are invited:
Arrange in advance for adult supervision, but don't spring this on an adult or teenage guest-allow them to decline, and don't split up social units to provide it.  If necessary, get an outside babysitter or don't invite the children.

--- End quote ---

If children are invited it is up to the parents to supervise not a host to take on additional expense to provide a sitter.

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