Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

The Basics of Good Hosting -- Dinner

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Great list!

I would edit number 5 to say that a good host should be aware that guests may take more than what they expected, so they should attempt to have enough for guests to have seconds if possible. (I might not offer extra steaks, but I probably would have one or two extra chicken breasts for really hungry guests.)

16. Recognize that all of these rules are subject to change depending on your party.

Some examples from my own experience: If you've got close friends, it's just fine to offer something new with the understanding that it may not turn out well. (We have guests on whom I regularly test dishes to see if it's something that's interesting but not great or something to include in our regular lineup of dishes to make.)

Or if your friends are aware that you don't normally have soda in the house, it's perfectly okay to not offer it at dinners. (I often do not offer anything but water, coffee, or tea to guests.)

Or if you tell people in advance, you can serve only one dish. I've served just hearty veggie-heavy soups/stews with crusty bread as the meal -- but I always tell this to guests in advance.

Great list!

I'd like to just note on
that sodas may not be necessary depending on your culture/group. I know here in Germany, if I provide water (both sparkling and regular), a couple of juices, coffee and tea and possibly milk, everyone is happy. I keep buying sodas and no one drinks them unless one of the guests is a kid  ;D


--- Quote from: Merry Mrs Martin on December 28, 2009, 09:55:28 AM ---

11  There should be a choice of  non alcoholic beverages.  Diet and regular soda's, milk, water , coffee/tea , water and one or two juices. 

--- End quote ---

I'm just curious. This list has 8 items on it: Soda. Diet soda. Milk. Water. Coffee. Tea. Juice. Second juice.

Does good hosting require such a large number of choices? I always see water as a default--if you are thirsty and don't like the other choices, you can always have a glass of water. And nearly every home is able to provide a glass of water.

So, since I have tea and coffee available all the time, I would probably buy one kind of soda, because I don't drink it myself and don't want it hanging around forever after the party/dinner. If I had juice in the fridge, I'd offer that, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it for the occasion. If I'm having just one or two people over and I know one of them always drinks a specific drink, say Diet Pepsi, I'll try to get some of that.

I guess my concern is that I'm not a restaurant. I don't have room for all these choices in my small kitchen. I don't have room to store the unused drinks. Is it really bad hosting to have water, coffee, tea and perhaps one other choice?

camlan, that's what I was thinking when I posted, I just worded it wrong... see, I'd always have some juice here, maybe two. But never, EVER soda.

Good list!

12.  Serve meal at the stated time-if that has to change, notify your guests.  Don't keep them sitting around waiting, even for late guests.
13.  Try to steer conversation away from really sensitive or inappropriate topics that you know will make guests uncomfortable.
14.  Make sure everyone has been introduced to everyone else.
15.  Keep relationships in mind when setting up seating arrangements-if the party is formal, social units need to not sit together; otherwise, allow them to do so but don't allow anyone to be left out of conversation. Keep incompatible guests apart from each other and be prepared to have guests who refuse to abide by your rules or behave criminally escorted away-by police if necessary.
16.  Don't let anyone dominate conversation or let conversation die out; if they do, help get it restarted.


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