Sunday, October 14, 2007

Countdown to the Dinner Party: -1 days; The Aftermath

I'm not going to lie - there were a couple of moments of panic. Like when one of the couples cancelled the day before. And when I brought everything home from the grocery store and thought that there was no way that I had enough room in my refrigerator. And when I started imagining potential conversations around the table and worried that my guests would have nothing to talk about. And when I first started to smash the potatoes and they seemed to be nothing but a pool of mushy goo - too much liquid.

But in the end, everything turned out great. My Favorite Foodie Friend and her hubby accepted my last minute invite and rounded out the group. I closed my eyes and shoved everything into the 'fridge. I realized that I had invited all adults, and that they were perfectly capable of coming up with dinner table conversation on their own. The potatoes settled down and the consistency was perfect.

I love to entertain. I love the planning that goes into it, from the inviting to the menu-ing. I love making the lists and shopping for the ingredients. I love spending the whole day prepping the house and getting everything ready, Food Network blaring in the background for inspiration, naps and reading breaks peppered into the schedule. I love hearing the chatter at the dinner table, and I love staying on top of keeping everyone's glass full. I even love the satisfaction of working my way through a pile of dirty dishes the next day, and getting the house back into its everyday order.

I love cooking for my friends and loved ones, but get very uncomfortable when I am complimented on my efforts. That may seem weird, but I think it's because that's not why I do it. I do it for the feeling of comfort and safety that you feel when your house if full of happy, fun people. When people's glasses and bellies are full there is a certain sense of relaxation and love that drapes over the room, and it feels great to have that aura in your home.

Incidentally, I minored in vocal performance in college, and still sing from time to time. I have always gotten the same uncomfortable feeling when people compliment me on my voice. And furthermore, the reason that I sing is very similar to the reason I cook - because when everyone comes together to create music, there is that same sense of camaraderie, warmth, and love. It's not about one individual and their talent - it is what everyone is doing together that makes it such a wonderful thing. It's not about what I did in my oven, it's about the feeling in the room as everyone shares a meal.

And that is why I love to entertain. And why I'm already planning the next one...


Anonymous Wine Scamp said...

Great description of what's fun about throwing a dinner party! Glad it went well, despite bumps in the road.

Do you get embarrassed when people compliment your blog, too?

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Hmmm... Nope! Compliment away! :)

By the way, thanks for the shout-out on Domaine547!

7:28 AM  
Anonymous mom said...

You are definitely my daughter!!

5:25 PM  

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