The ultimate list of shit you must do (before and during the meal)
- CHECK FOR ALLERGIES
Ask your guests if they have any dietary restrictions before you plan your menu. Hospital visits are a real dinner party buzzkill.
- READ THE FINE PRINT (BRISKET WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY)
Peruse each recipe multiple times before you start cooking to get the flow, timing, and ingredients right.
- DON’T SAY YOU’RE GOING TO HAND-MAKE PASTA ON A DAY WITH 17 MEETINGS
Be realistic about what you can do and delegate as needed.
- PLATES ARE IMPORTANT
Washing silverware and dishes between courses sucks. If you don’t have enough, ask a friend to bring extra.
- YOUR MOM WAS RIGHT, CLEAN AS YOU GO
The tidier you cook, the less you’ll have to clean at the end of the night.
- TAKE OUT THE TRASH
Especially if it’s full or smells, c’mon.
- A.H.S. (ALWAYS HAVE SNACKS)
Sometimes you burn dinner or it takes an extra hour for that late friend to arrive. Put out cheese, nuts, chips, random vegetables, a six-year- old fruitcake——anything to stave off hanger.
- DON’T FREAK OUT
The cardinal rule of disaster proofing: if something does go wrong, like your dog eats your steaks off the counter, just keep in mind that it’s only dinner. Fix problems that can be fixed, and order takeout for ones that can’t.
From The Dinner Party Project by Natasha Feldman. Copyright © 2023 by Natasha Feldman. Reprinted by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.