and, you only have 30 people coming....
and, it looks like rain.....
and you are serving cocktails on the deck....
and dinner in the yard....
Thankfully, this past weekend, this wasn't my problem.
But, there have been many, many times that it has been my problem.
The fine art of entertaining doesn't come naturally to anyone....at least that's what I tell myself.
It's an acquired skill.
It takes time.
And, it takes lots of mistakes and mishaps and trial and error.
Sometimes you laugh.
Sometimes you cry.
For anyone who has read my blog for any length of time, you know that I am a firm believer in the DON'T LET ANYONE SEE YOU SWEAT ENTERTAINING style.
It shouldn't look like work. And, heaven forbid...it should never look like an inconvenience.
And, you should never, ever, ever, ever make your guests work.
I'm all about fairy dust and magic when it comes to entertaining.
Even if I have a gun to my head in the kitchen and I've threatened to cut the fingers and toes off of everyone in my family if they don't get with the program, I strongly believe that my guests deserve only the best of me. They don't need to know how absolutely maniacal I have been for the past 72 hours and how many times I've cussed or how I labored over that godforsaken recipe....
And, they definitely don't need to know that there's dishes to be done or clean up that needs to happen.
And, they should never,ever know that there's tons of dirty laundry hidden in the trunks of our cars because I haven't had the time to do laundry for a week because I have been consumed by getting ready for this damn dinner party.
All they need to do is relax, have fun and enjoy themselves.
For them to be able to do that--their hosts must also be relaxed, having fun and enjoying themselves.
Period. That's it.
Last night, I had the joy of attending a lovely dinner party at the beautiful (and immaculate!) home of someone who I know subscribes to the very same style of entertaining.
In fact, she is so damn good at carrying out the DON'T LET ANYONE SEE YOU SWEAT ENTERTAINING style that I have long believed that she NEVER has those moments when she is completely frantic, ready to set her hair on fire and is *this close* to stabbing her husband with a butcher knife.
In fact, she has long had me convinced that she really does just wave a magic wand and sprinkle a bit fairy dust and wa-la, everything is spectacularly perfect. And, I have always been absolutely certain that her house is always this clean and clutter free and that her husband is always this gracious and loving....and that she doesn't ever have weeds in her yard.
So, yeah....she has this look-relaxed-no-matter-what entertaining down to a T.
But, you know, just when I think I need to ratchet up my game, I am reminded that this type of entertaining is all about how we make it look......
We have no idea what happens behind closed doors.....or in the kitchen when they think no one can hear....
Case in point....
So, there I was....making my way back from the darling little bathroom off of the kitchen and I happened upon the perfect hosts having this private conversation.......
MY FRIEND: What the fuck is wrong with you now?
HER HUSBAND: You've only been driving me fucking crazy for a week about everything!
MY FRIEND: Bullshit! If you would just do as I say in the first place, I wouldn't be driven to being such a bitch.
HER HUSBAND: Well, if you didn't think that everything has to be so damn perfect then maybe we could actually enjoy ourselves.
So, I did them a favor......
I popped my head into the kitchen.......and, with a huge grin and a thankful hug, I said....
This party just got even more perfect.....
Then, the perfect hosts headed out to check on the grill.....
|Mexican Grilled Corn|
|(I stole this perfect recipe from that perfect party to share with you......it's perfect.......and it goes perfect with this absolutely perfect wine)|
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
- 1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
- 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 4 ears shucked corn
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl. Stir well and set aside.
Remove corn from grill. Use a large spoon to evenly coat corn on all sides with mixture. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.