Monday, 19 December 2011

I am the love child of Jamie Oliver and Martha Stewart

No, I'm not drinking too much. I hosted a Yule feast for our families yesterday. A 5 course Yule feast. A five course Yule feast complete with crafty place settings, a linen table cloth and I even decorated the house with fresh holly and cedar. You'd think that would lean towards the consumption of multiple bottles of wine, but it turns out I just got to embrace my inner geek:

(I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the table!!! You'll have to take my word for it that it looked amazing. It was all white and red with black and white dishes and just a hint of cedar from the cups and centrepiece).

I have to admit, the day went a lot more smoothly than I thought it would. First I was worried that because of Penelope's intense cuteness, there may issues with sharing her.
Two women in one room, both ferociously in love with their granddaughter... can you blame me? Then I was worried about each dish being on time, and still hot... and of course there were the nerves over each dish being delicious or not. But the whole day was amazing; there is something satisfying about providing a beautiful meal, and hosting a wonderful afternoon of great conversation.  

I learned a few tips along the way:

1. You can throw the perfect dinner party if you take what needs to be done, and spread it out over two or three days.We tidied and cleaned the house a little at a time through the day Friday and Saturday. Then we chopped and prepped as much food as we could on Saturday so Sunday it was just a matter of cooking and presenting all the food.

Because we weren't having the party on Saturday, we weren't stressed about getting stuff done in time, and Sunday almost all the prep work was done so there was no stress about having dinner ready on time, and we were able to sit and visit with our family. And there's something to be said for going at your own pace to lessen that "go go go" feeling.

2. Pinterest is AH MAZING (see link above) in keeping you organized, and to gather ideas. I started a Yule feast board just the day before so I could find all my websites easily for each element that hadn't been done yet. The next party I host, I will use this right from the beginning. Warning: it's crazy addictive.

3. If you are slightly ocd like me, after you've put the baby to sleep (providing you have a baby) send your partner (providing you have a partner) to a party and set the table. He gets a couple hours baby free to hang out with his friends and you can indulge in channeling your Martha Stewart without ridicule. 

4. Speaking of Martha, keep the DIY projects to a minimum, just two things each evening helped add the festive flair and I wasn't worried about whether or not I'd finish everything in time. This included decorating.
5. Remember that glue guns are hot. 

6. Remember that holly is sharp and will stab you.

7. If you have men in your family that hound you in the kitchen... you know the ones - they circle you like a hound dog looking for scraps tripping you when you're trying to get a meal together - put out a Smörgåsbord of snacks on the coffee table - I did rainbow fruit kabobs, chocolates, hummus, various pickles and olives and crackers. Surprisingly it held them over until the first course.


8. Do not dress baby in fancy dinner clothes until at least one grandparent has arrived. This way you ensure baby is adorable before spitting up or shitting on their cute little outfit. 

9. Take pictures once everyone has arrived and the baby is awake. This way guests are free to leave when they need to and, well, it guarantees baby will be wide eyed in pictures rather than looking like you nursed them after indeed drinking those two bottles of wine ;)

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Definitely going to check out pinterest. Sounds very addictive but very much needed in my life!