Since my goal is to increase home entertaining nationally by 10% I want to encourage you to have more parties. But I don’t want you to have more parties and feel resentful — not of your partner or your children or your guests or your mother…or me. Life is just too short for that. I want your parties to be fun to plan and execute and for you to always get one relaxed hour prior to your guests arrival. I understand you may not be able to imagine that right now. But we haven’t worked on this together.
So, here’s what I suggest. Let’s use my plan for my Halloween party as a case study and introduction to More Parties. Better. Easier. Then beginning the first week of November and continuing until Thanksgiving eve, we’ll use my principles of planning to help you plan your Thanksgiving…a party planners Armageddon. If you know someone who is responsible for a Thanksgiving meal you may want to give them a heads up about the blog between now and Thanksgiving.
My Halloween Party – A Case Study
I want my Halloween party to serve as a birthday party for Gracie’s brother whose birthday falls just after Halloween. (Note: Gracie is my nom d’amour for my wife Christina.) But, here’s the thing. I am incredibly busy between the start-up of At Home and the start-up of our new Franklin Institute operation. And to make matters worse (or better), Gracie and I plan to be away next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (my birthday!) so while I have time to plan I have very little time to do. As an entertaining overachiever I am striving to do less and enjoy it more so this is an excellent opportunity for me to come up with a deliciously practical plan.
This is Pascal’s idea of me at my Halloween party if I do not get my one relaxed hour. Not a pretty site.
One of the things I am trying to do when I plan my menus is to spend more time with guests and less time in the kitchen. We live in a Center City apartment unlikely to get trick or treaters to plan around. But I think my deliciously practical party plan will work for households that have to accommodate the early evening clamour of the doorbell. My guest list is mostly family with a few friends — about 8-10 people. That calls for an informal menu built around things I can mostly do this coming weekend plus some next Friday shopping and finishing up next Saturday.
Because I believe that what we serve should ideally reflect the season, my menu needs to capture a bit of fall without making things too complicated for myself. In an ideal world where time is limitless and daily pressures light, I would take a ride tomorrow to Maple Acres Farm for seasonal inspiration, but there is no way to do that. Instead, I will just use my Foods by Season chart in Part 1 of At Home to remind myself of what’s in season now.
Tomorrow: My Halloween Party menu and how I plan to use this weekend to help insure that I get my one relaxed hour prior to guests arrival next Saturday.
A Halloween Treat: If you are an invited guest to a Halloween party, At Home is the perfect treat for your host. At Home — the book and At Home Online, the companion website — is only available at athomebysteveposes.com — never in bookstores — and at occasional personal appearances.
Postscript: The Good Enough Entertainer — Cooking with Rick Nichols. You can read the final installment of Cooking with Rick Nichols, written by Rick himself, in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer or at Philly.com. My only objection to Rick’s otherwise fun article is where Rick says… “As for his mantra, “Increase Home Entertaining 10 Percent,” Poses acknowledges it’s pretty much a marketing slogan.” I believe passionately in the value of home entertaining and while the increase of 10% is a bit audacious, it nevertheless is my goal…marketing slogan or not.
Reading Terminal on Saturday, November 7th.
I will be at Reading Terminal with a little At Home roadshow on Saturday, November 7th from 11 AM to 2 PM. I will work with selected Reading Terminal merchants on making your Thanksgiving better and easier. At Home will be available for sale.