Wednesday, January 04, 2012

My Entertaining Resolution

When I entertain, it usually amounts to cocktails and at times heavy hors d'oeuvres. But this year, I resolve to host a small dinner party on a monthly basis. And I'll continue to have people over for drinks as well because that's fun and easy. Alrighty then, I better start gearing up for all of this planned entertaining. Perhaps I should consult the designer Richard Nelson for advice. If you'll recall the post that I wrote about him in 2010, I mentioned that at one time, Richard hosted suppers for twelve people on average of four or five nights a week! Needless to say, I'm not that ambitious.

I do have a list of recipes that I want to try and things that I want to buy to help make my entertaining easier and more fun too. We'll see if this list helps me to achieve my goal.

1. I hope to finish out my place settings of my flatware, Tiffany & Co.'s Hampton. If I don't do it now, they'll probably discontinue it and then I'll be out of luck.

2. I want to learn more about buying wine. I'm tired of being at the mercy of others while shopping for it.

3. I resolve to start keeping a menu book. If you're wondering why, just read this article by Christopher Petkanas in T Magazine. Maureen Footer and Christopher Spitzmiller are doing it. Perhaps I should too.

4. I want to have custom fill-in invitations made. I have a few ideas floating around in my head. And fill-in invitations are great for informal dinners and drinks parties. Perhaps I'll see what Pickett's Press can do for me.

5. I plan to make a second attempt at Bill Blass' Meatloaf. I hate to be blasphemous, but the last time I prepared it, I wasn't so crazy about it. Maybe the second time will be the charm.

6. I must expand my hors d'oeuvres repertoire in hopes of giving Steven Stolman a run for his money. First up, James Beard's Onion Sandwiches. I'll be sure to have Altoids available for my guests too.

7. And finally, I want to host a party that is so fun and raucous that one of my guests ends up with a lampshade on his or her head! I think that the best way to encourage that to happen would be to serve some Hunch Punch.


  1. Lampshade on the head--super goal. Helen Frankenthaler's statement: "there are no rules" keeps running through my head. Have a wonderful year. Mary

  2. Love your ideas and entertaining goals Jennifer- what fun! Your flatware is one of my favorites! Happy New Year.

  3. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Beautiful flatware!

    Keeping an entertaining diary is an excellent idea, I have been doing it for years beacause I could never remember what was served to whom.

    "NEVER make anything for company that you have not cooked before." That is my #1 rule. Less stress that way and one will know if it is worthy of company.

    Words from my mother... she is always right...

    Happy New Year and thank you for a lovely year of posts.

    Come by and see what my garden looks like this winter.

  4. Your entertaining resolutions are very ambitious, but the resulting parties sound like a ton of fun! I suppose if you have everything at the ready entertaining can be easy.

  5. Admirbale resolutions, Jennifer!
    When I lived at PT, I entertained at least twice a week. Moving up the street into a huge apt, not so much entertaining. This was contrary to what I believed was the benefit of 1200 sq.ft of entertaining space. I like your flatware, and wished i could help you, but alas I have Shell and Tread...and now never use it. Perhaps I should sell it.
    Happy New year!!!

  6. Your parties sound divine. You will take some pictures? for us to see.

  7. Agree about the flatware. My rule: hand wash and dry and COUNT before emptying trash.

    And about the lampshade party. My gentle quiet husband celebrated the end of the first year of law school by attending a party that went on for days...two of which he had a lampshade on his head. He's tall. He was a pole lamp.

    I kinda' disagree with Sandra about making things before. The more you cook, the more you know things will go together and taste great. But never get cocky about a souffle. It will almost always break your heart.

    Happy New Years at POC and thanks for the memories.

  8. The one bit of advice that my mother gave me before I left for college was to avoid party punches, otherwise, I might end up with a lampshade on my head. (Much like your husband, Home!)

  9. TV Diner2:03 PM

    Hunch Punch! Pray tell, we need the recipe. Although I did sample some very tasty punch at a New year's party, which left me with a sledge hammer hangover the next day!
    I decided to entertain much more in 2011, by inviting a few friends for impromptu dinners, and having a few casual drink parties. The key for me was casual - not that I didn't fret or prepare. Ditto on the new dishes - I always served things I'd made before, and above all ( for me, anxiety freak ), I didn't over-prepare or stress. I realized - it's suppose to be fun! And it always works out! Good luck, I'm sure your entertaining is going ot be marvelous!

  10. TV Diner- See the link below to get the recipe for the punch. It's some potent stuff, especially considering it includes both vodka and grain alcohol. If we were still in college, we would serve it in a huge trash bag lined trash can. Seriously. :)

  11. You're classy. You're an inspiration. Your blog is one of my bible. Happy New Year!

  12. Love the idea of an entertaining diary of sorts! Never thought of doing that! I tend to disagree about making a "tried and true" dish every time. I rarely ever make the same thing twice. Life is too short to be a repeat. I always try something new every time! Love your silver! Tiffany's is just the best. You need Breakfast at Tiffanys playing on your flatscreen without sound during cocktails. Maybe that will get the lampshade idea going.

  13. I made Bill Blass' meatloaf a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. However, I did slice it and cook the individual slices on the grill rather than in the oven a la the now defunct Kudzu Cafe.

  14. An entertaining diary is a great idea. I have always noted great or horrible recipes right in my cookbooks and sometimes the date prepared. Your way is so much more elegant.

  15. Interior Ideas- Thanks so much!

    Sega- like the idea of B at T playing in the background.

    HGB- I've never had meatloaf grilled, but it sounds really good.

  16. I believe it was Chips Channon who used to lace his drinks with amphetamines to make sure his party guests would be sparkling. This was back in the Thirties though. Not sure how this would go over today. LOL, as they say.

  17. Paintbrush, That's funny. Although I suppose to those who drank the amphetamine laced drinks, it wasn't quite as amusing!

  18. Dahhhling I can not think of anymore more perfect as a new year resolution!

  19. Anonymous6:54 PM

    My two resolutions this year as well! But both take time....