Golden Rules for Entertaining!

Harriet, Ron, Tina, Philippe, and moi at the Paris table
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been in a whirl of entertaining frenzy. In January while my husband and I were in Paris, we hosted three dinners (you may remember that I wrote about several of those occasions on this blog), and invited others over for appetizers and wine. Then, right after we returned to our small New England town in February, we planned a Friday night supper for a group of good friends. During the weeks that followed we had three sets of overnight guests, all of whom happened to arrive in time for dinner. Oh, and this past Sunday (just a few hours before the Oscars), I welcomed my book club members for appetizers, desserts, and a lively discussion of the month’s literary selection.
You’d think I’d be tired of having people at my table at this point, but the truth is, none of these social get-togethers was stressful because I followed my two golden rules when
entertaining—keep it simple and make it ahead!

Several meals were anchored with a mouthwatering and colorful Winter Soup from the Chalet that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Other times the main course was oven-braised veal shanks or smothered pork chops. All these main courses were made a day or more ahead, then reheated at serving time. Plus, I’d classify each of these dishes as uncomplicated to assemble with easily found ingredients.

I’m not certain how busy we’ll be in March, but who knows. My husband never met a stranger, and loves to issue invitations. Whatever I cook, though, will be easy and made in advance. Now, if I could just figure out a fail-safe formula for getting the house clean!

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