Many’s the time guests have asked what they can do to help me? Usually, frantic to get everything done and misguided about my role as host, I tell them there is nothing they can do. I believe this has been a big mistake. Guests love to help. Helping provides a level of involvement and connection to you and your home that is real and meaningful. I think a major part of the problem with my turning down offers of help is that I have not stopped to think about what it is that guests can do to help and when they ask, I have no time to stop and think about it. And since statistically, more people will be guests at Thanksgiving than host, and I want to make things easier for hosts, I plan — with your help — to create a list of things that guests can do to help. Together, we are going to make sure that as many Thanksgiving hosts as possible gets this list before Thanksgiving so that when someone asks what they can do to help, the host can respond: “Why thank you, I’d love some help and here’s what I’d love you to do….”
Please post your suggestions for What Guests Can Do To Help on this blog by using the “Leave a Comment” under this post or send an email to me at email@example.com. I need your help now to come up with a great list to share with Thanksgiving hosts and I will need your help later in sharing the list. Let’s work on this together over the next two weeks.
Plan to Entertain: Thanksgiving Planner
Over the next two and half weeks, my blog’s attention will logically focus on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the most home-entertained meal of the year. It is my goal with the blog to make Thanksgiving better and especially easier.
The “secret” to a better and easier Thanksgiving is not great recipes — though they help and we have lots of those. Rather, the “secret” is advance planning and moving as many tasks as you can to as early as you can. That’s what Part 1 of At Home is about. Last Friday’s Top Ten Thanksgiving Host Pitfalls was a lead-in to how to avoid those pitfalls — available at athomebysteveposes.com along with a request form for our Thanksgiving Planner. If you are not directly responsible for your Thanksgiving meal, you still have a responsibility to whomever is making your Thanksgiving, so I strongly suggest you pass along word about the Thanksgiving Planner. People who have received it have responded very enthusiastically.
Saturday’s Book signing at Reading Terminal
I met lots of nice people on Saturday at my At Home Reading Terminal book signing — many of whom shared their fondness for their tattered copies of The Frog Commissary Cookbook and their memories of my restaurants. I love the Reading Terminal and if I have friends visiting Philadelphia, it’s the place I suggest they must visit. Among the great joys of having done what I have done is the pleasure I have provided people. It is wonderful to hear of first dates at The Commissary and marriage proposals at Frog. Of Commissary Carrot Cake wedding cakes made. To have recounted Sunday family breakfast traditions at The Commissary and even the occasional “loved the way City Bites looked.” One couple shared how their daughter, having gone to law school and become a lawyer, changed her life and now makes her living selling Commissary-like carrot cakes and macaroons at a shop in a resort community. (I may have this story not exactly right, but you get the idea.)
Also, on Saturday one women shared with me what will remain one of my favorite Commissary stories. She recounted an experience she had as a young women at The Commissary. The Commissary had what we called the “Demo Kitchen” in the back where in addition to the occasional cooking class, we flipped omelets and tossed pasta each day. She order a Pasta Carbonara replete with peas, bacon and cream. She described it to me as an epiphany — a life-altering event. She had never tasted anything so good. She told me that at that exact moment she began a life long love-affair with food.
The Perfect Gift for Your Thanksgiving Host
At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining with At Home Online, the companion website for book owners, is the perfect house gift to bring to your Thanksgiving host. At Home is not available in bookstores, but only from athomebysteveposes.com. Order now in plenty of time for Thanksgiving.