A hostess prepares in advance
so when her guests arrive she is calm cool and collected with her feet kicked up on the coffee table enjoying a nonalcoholic cocktail.
Do not try to chop/cook/bake/set the table/bathe/get dressed/let people in/have a conversation simultaneously when seven p.m. rolls around:
~ Prepare anything/everything you can the night (or two nights) ahead during the down hours of your day such as late afternoon or after dinner. I invariably sloth around after dinner, so I like to use that time to bake, lay plans or set a glorious table.
- always serve a dessert you can concoct in advance
- chop veggies and wash lettuce
- whisk dressings or sauces
- soup is the perfect make-ahead, no-fuss, impressive starter
- choose serving dishes for the meal and those for nuts and app.s, too
- decorate: set or decide on a table setting and theme
~ After work it is a frenzy at the grocery store, do anything possible to avoid this madness. Many are open very early - check your local times, or shop leisurely during lunch.
~Since you always have fresh flowers and candles around your house, you won't even have to think about those.
~ Know what you are going to wear. Something you can move in, like a 1960's hostess gown or 1920's hostess pajamas.
Not everyone is built to be a host. If entertaining isn't your forte, but you wish to give back to your hosting friends and secure invitations in the future, take them out to dinner your treat.