One of my “issues” that my husband complains about is that for every party I have to cook something. He is all for calling people home, but he prefers to avoid all the work ! If I left it to him we would be ordering pizza or some oily or deep fried chicken for every party. On a practical note, I think I would do the same if I was not so particular about oil, spices etc.
Given that we have a lot of parties , either our friends coming over or we get invited to theirs, I have now created a broad framework ( sounds so corporate) to ensure that I have to buy minimal food from outside without tiring myself. Here are a few tips on hosting people at home:
- Plan, Plan & Plan well in advance : Impromptu get togethers are great but then guests get daal & Rice or Bread Omelet. I always tell my friends if you want good food and my company please give me enough notice.
- Plan the menu in such a way that a few things can be prepared a day or two in advance. Planning the menu also helps shopping, else last minute rush stresses me out.
- Plan the menu keeping in mind the dietary restrictions for a balanced meal. I keep enough salads to ensure neither I nor my guests feel guilty next day.
- Between starters and main course I keep one simple & light and the other elaborate & rich
- Dessert, of-course, is the highlight of any get together at my place, and most of the time my friends call up and tell me what they want.
Honey & Sesame Stir Fried Chicken is one cocktail starter that my guests love. With a little preparation in advance , it can be made in 5 minutes and served hot. Not too much of an effort for the host and guests get hot starter to welcome them. I like to keep a number of dishes as starter and keep the main course light. If the party is in the evening, I marinate the chicken overnight and fry the chicken next morning and keep it aside. When the party starts, I make it in five minutes when the guests arrive. This way I get to spend time with friends and also get a pat on the back for the tasty food from everyone.