If you are a sociable kind of person, one of the things that you probably enjoy doing is hosting guests for dinner parties. Indeed, preparing a dinner party can be a lot of work, involving a lot of cooking, food preparation, table setting, and tidying up. In fact, making the house clean and tidy is one of the most important elements as you would only want your guests to see your home when it is neat and spotless. But as any talented host or hostess would agree, once the food is set out and the guests arrive, all your hard work is very well worth it.
However, in reality, if you are working full time and you are very busy, you probably do not have the time to make too many dinner parties unless you have constant household help. Most working mothers will tell you that after a hard day at the office, they do not have the strength to walk into the house and do a major cooking and cleaning job. It is far too hard. Even at the weekends, they are tired and it is just too hard to work so hard during the little free time that they have.
Yet this seems to be a terrible shame. In our busy lives, it is important to have the occasional social activity to provide a diversion from our tough work schedules. So how can you fit in making the occasional dinner party when you are working full time?
The answer is efficient planning:
-Plan your party well in advance - up to a month is good. In that time, slowly do a bit of cleaning every day so that you are not left having to do a massive cleanup the night before.
- Buy in the food you need a few days before and then spread the cooking over that week. Look at the recipes you are making and see what can be prepared and frozen a day or two in advance, rather than frantically cooking up a storm the same day.
- Decide on color schemes and the style of table setting a few days in advance and then plan accordingly. Make sure to have your napkins, etc, in several days before. Make sure that the tablecloth and other accessories are washed in advance also, so that you don't go crazy on the night when you discover that your favorite tablecloth is dirty. Similarly, plan the outfits you will be wearing early enough to make sure that everything is cleaned and ironed well beforehand.
- If you are able to, you could even set up the table the night before. Napkin folding is an easy task to do in advance, for example, and you could lay out anything that is not perishable carefully in the dining room the night before and then lock the door.
Perhaps the most important thing to have, in addition to the above, is a positive attitude. Rather than driving yourself crazy or beating yourself up over it, just do the best that you can under the circumstances and enjoy your guests!
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