5 Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party

Cook, freeze and reheat

You won’t leave starving from my house. I’m a feeder. I’ve gotten better at dinner party preparations over the years. There’s less panic now and more meals cooked earlier and often frozen for readiness on the day. A curry night might be the most perfect dinner party. Beef curry, red kidney bean curry and dahl were all made in the weeks leading up to the dinner party.

One entrée is enough

I had two small snacks planned for entrée. At 2 pm I still had a dessert to make. I abandoned the samosas and their pastry with its one hour rest time. BTW I made the samosas the next day and they were nothing to write home about. The fish cutlets, I served for entree, on the other hand, went down a treat. There’s a link to the recipe at the end of this post.

Step away from the kitchen

Cooking when you’re overtired is a recipe for disaster. I approached the ginger pudding recipe with optimism. I was on the home stretch and I’d chosen a recipe that was made in a muffin pan. It was going to be easy and serviced with butterscotch sauce and ice cream, I couldn’t go wrong.

At some point I remembered I was meant to be doubling the recipe but it was obviously too late. I scraped most of the pudding into the chook scraps. They’d be happy. Anyway, the baked coconut cheesecake with caramelised mango I’d made the day before stood better by itself. One dessert is also enough.

What do you need us to bring?

Sri Lankan dinners are characterised by many plates of curry and condiments. I messaged the guests – please bring a couple of extra serving spoons. But how would I heat everything up and keep it warm for serving? I added, has someone got a bain marie? No, I’m not kidding.

Effortless dining

I still find it hard to pull off an effortless dinner party. After all you, friends are there to be fed and there’s the clearing of plates etc. However you roll with a dinner party, it works best for me to have the hour before guests arrive to myself for a cocktail and chat with the Lovely Deputy. This evening, I also managed a quick nap beforehand and was subsequently putting on my makeup when the first guest arrived.

Post Script – Fish cutlets

I disregarded this dish initially because the name put me off. I’d call them spicy fish balls. I used canned, line caught tuna, panko breadcrumbs for texture and served them with homemade tomato sauce. They were cheap, easy and delicious. Fish cutlet recipe.

 

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