Tonight, I hosted the social for my middle-aged ladies tennis group. Each week, we get together after playing – at about 8 p.m. – and have a few drinks and light snacks. I purposefully served a very simple menu: a hearty Mexican dip (which I will be eating for lunch over the next few days), three varieties of tortilla chips, two special salsas, two Mexican Fried Apple Tarts with whipped cream, bowl of dark-chocolate-covered orange things (these things taste like sin and I can’t stop eating them), and a special summer sangria.
The sangria was a big hit! I think having a signature cocktail at a party makes it feel festive!
As I was cleaning up, it occurred to me that I might have gone to more trouble than was necessary for this party. (It seems like I always think this when I am cleaning up after a party.) Here are the highlights of what I am glad I did and some ways I might be able to save some effort the next time I have a party.
I am glad I made a really healthy, yummy dip from ingredients that I mostly had on hand.
I am glad I made a special sangria and used my cake plate as a punch bowl. I am glad I used one of my sparkly placemats under the punch bowl!
I am glad I set things up ahead of time (the jars of salsa in the serving bowls, lemons already cut up in the pitcher ready for ice and cold water, chips in the bowl) so that it was easy for people to help when we all arrived after playing tonight.
I am glad I gave my dog 2 Benadryl before I left for tennis and 2 when I got home. She was mostly very well-behaved.
The only thing I really didn’t need to do was make the special Mexican Fried Apple Tart. Middle-aged ladies never eat the special dessert – I should know that by now!
I used some special plates and cloth napkins. The cloth napkins are easy to throw in the washer, but I may regret this when I have to fold them tomorrow. I do wish I had used plates that could be put into the dishwasher. Hand-washing is fairly quick, but it is just one more thing to do. I also think I put out too much food. Everything could have been half as much. Hostesses always want to make sure that the food doesn’t run out, but maybe it is okay if the food runs out. Maybe I didn’t have to put out three whole bags of different tortilla chips. Just saying.
Overall, I was glad for the excuse to use some of my pretty plates and glasses and set up my house for a party. It has been so fun to get to know these ladies I would not otherwise have the chance to spend time with! And my dog will get a really good night of sleep tonight!
What are your tips for easy entertaining?